Barring a couple of dismissals close to the finish line, Sunrisers Hyderabad cruised to a five-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium on Saturday night. The home side overhauled the visitor’s 143 for six with 13 balls to spare.
David Warner resumed his role of ruthless run-hunter in right earnest, pillaging the Punjab attack at will. Shikhar Dhawan, keen perhaps to live up to his born-again batsman avatar, let his captain take most of the strike. And wisely too, for Warner was at his marauding best, coming close to his personal high of a 21-ball half century, this time with 23.
After finding the ropes seven times and clearing them thrice, Warner’s less-than-full-blooded loft off Sandeep Sharma brought about his end. David Miller at long on was more than pleased to have a hand in his counterpart’s dismissal. Dhawan’s 44-ball 45 drew to a close when a punch off Rishi Dhawan ballooned to wicket-keeper Nikhil Naik.
After the tourists were put in to bat, M. Vijay flirted with disaster, dabbing a delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar that drifted away. Stumper Naman Ojha, waiting with open arms, gladly accepted the offering.
Manan Vohra, who smacked a six and three boundaries, was reined in by Mustafizur Rahman.
Stifled by the left-arm danger man’s angled assault, Vohra set out for a single. The Punjab opener realised he wouldn’t make it, retraced his steps but lost the race to Dhawan’s direct hit from short cover. Miller edged Moises Henriques to oblivion, Ojha behind the woodwork getting airborne to clasp the overhead catch.
Glenn Maxwell glided Henriques to doom and Mustafizur at backward of square. Punjab found its bulwark of resistance in Shaun Marsh, who cracked three boundaries and a brace of big ones. Mustafizur softened the strapping southpaw with a string of dot balls before getting rid of him with a rap on the pads.
There was a revival of fortunes for the visitors through 50 rearguard runs from the sixth-wicket pair of Nikhil Naik and Axar Patel. The latter smacked sixes towards the sight screen, quite unfazed by the reversals that went before him. Naik’s skier was closely tracked and clutched by Henriques, who ran some distance to hold the catch at deep mid-on.
Mustafizur tormented the Punjab batsmen, none of them able to read him right or able to come to terms with his line. The Bangladesh paceman was at his miserly best returning the tournament’s best figures so far of two for nine. Deployed with deadly precision, he either slammed the brakes on the scoring rate or made inroads each time he joined the firing line.
Kings XI Punjab: Murali Vijay c Ojha b Bhuvneshwar 2 (3b), Manan Vohra run out 25 (23b, 3x4, 1x6), Shaun Marsh lbw b Mustafizur 40 (34b, 3x4, 2x6), David Miller c Ojha b Henriques 9 (11b, 1x4), Glenn Maxwell c Mustafizur b Henriques 1 (2b), Nikhil Naik c Henriques b Mustafizur 22 (28b, 1x4), Axar Patel (not out) 36 (17b, 1x4, 3x6), Rishi Dhawan (not out) 3 (2b); Extras (lb-1, w-4): 5; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 143.
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Vijay), 2-35 (Vohra), 3-63 (Miller), 4-65 (Maxwell), 5-89 (Marsh), 6-139 (Naik).
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-37-1, Barinder Sran 4-0-33-0, Deepak Hooda 4-0-30-0, Mustafizur Rahman 4-1-9-2, Moises Henriques 4-0-33-2.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner c Miller b Sandeep 59 (31b, 7x4, 3x6), Shikhar Dhawan c Naik b Dhawan 45 (44b, 4x4), Aditya Tare run out 0 (1b), Eoin Morgan c Vohra b Mohit 25 (20b, 2x4, 1x6), Deepak Hooda run out 5 (5b), Moises Henriques (not out) 5 (4b, 1x4), Naman Ojha (not out) 2 (2b); Extras (w-5): 5; Total (for five wkts. in 17.5 overs): 146.
Fall of wickets: 1-90 (Warner), 2-90 (Tare), 3-115 (Dhawan), 4-139 (Morgan), 5-139 (Hooda).
Kings XI Punjab bowling: Sandeep Sharma 4-0-30-1, Kyle Abbott 3-0-34-0, Glenn Maxwell 2-0-16-0, Mohit Sharma 3-0-20-1, Rishi Dhawan 4-0-35-1, Axar Patel 1.5-0-11-0.
Man-of-the-match: Mustafizur Rahman.
Sunrisers won by five wickets with 13 balls remaining.