Kings’ humbled at Hyderabad Bollywood beau owned Kings’ XI Punjab (KXIP) continue to languish at the bottom of the table with one more defeat at the hands of Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad.
Put into bat, the visitors never looked comfortable. Losing star opener Murali Vijay (2) early on, Manan Vohra and Shaun Marsh put in their best efforts to steady the ship.
The duo stayed put together till the end of the power-play adding 22 runs for the second wicket, before Vohra, trying to steal a run after pushing a slower delivery from Mustafizir Rehman to the cover region, stepped out to take a run but found the ever agile Shikhar Dhawan swoop on the ball and disturb the stumps at the striker’s end.
He tried to retract his steps and dived but the bat, though inside the crease, was ‘hanging on the air’ and the third umpire, AY Dandekar, had no hesitation in ruling him RUN OUT.
Vohra scored 25 runs off 23 deliveries with 3 fours and a six.
Then followed a 34-run fifth-wicket partnership in 3.3 overs between Shaun Marsh and the wicket-keeper, Nikhil Nayak that took the team score to 89 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 13.3 overs.
Shaun Marsh made a well-deserved 40 runs off 34 deliveries studded with 3 fours and 2 sixes before Mustafizur Rehman foxed him by an off-cutter. Marsh missed the line and was wrapped on the pads, rendering himself plumb in front of the wicket.
A 50-run sixth wicket partnership between Naik (22) and Axar Patel (36) helped the team to put up 143 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs.
Mustafizur Rehman and Moises Henriques were the most successful bowlers claiming 2 wickets each.
Chasing 144 runs, SRH openers, David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan followed from where they had left in their previous game and produced another wonderful opening partnership of 90 runs in 9.5 overs.
Warner’s 27th IPL half century came in just 23 deliveries with the help of 6 fours and 3 sixes.
After scoring 59 runs off 31 deliveries with 7 fours and 3 sixes, Warner, trying to loft a Sandeep Sharma delivery out of the ground, mistimed and gave a simple catch to David Miller.
Another 25 runs later, Dhawan also departed after scoring 45 runs off 44 deliveries with 4 fours. Rishi Dhawan bowled one short to Shikhar Dhawan, who played the shot a tad too early. The ball took the top edge and the wicket-keeper Naik comfortably walloped it.
A rearguard action by Eoin Morgan (25, 20b, 2 fours, 1 six) enabled SRH put up 146 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 17.5 overs and win the game by 5 wickets with 13 deliveries to spare.
For his wonderful bowling analysis of 4-1-9-2, Mustafizur Rehman was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, a dejected David Miller, skipper of KXIP said, “We didn”t score enough runs, even though we ended really well. I don”t think it”s the lack of self-confidence which is an issue. The guys are in high spirits. We still believe we are in the competition. One or two wins can get us back into the mid-table. I”m confident that we can bounce back. For starters, I need to win tosses. Their start took the game away from us, credit to Warner, but we pulled it back well and showed a lot of heart. Every game becomes crucial from here on.”
An ecstatic David Warner said, “I”m just ecstatic. The boys bowled superbly to restrict them to a small total which we chased it down. You have to give yourself time, but when it is in your area, you have to go after it. That”s the way I play. It was good to see Shikhar get into his rhythm and have some time in the middle. One of us should have ideally batted till the end, that would have been a clinical finish. Mustafizur Rahman is a special talent, Bangladesh should be privileged to have him. His change of pace and execution is brilliant.”