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Thanks to the combined efforts of their batting unit – including Wriddhiman Saha, Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey – Kings XI Punjab comfortably chased down the 206-run target set by Sunrisers Hyderabad. While Naman Ojha’s stellar half-century was the talk of the town at half-time, Saha’s early blitz soon overshadowed all performances that preceded it. And after a record-setting start – that included KXIP bringing up the fastest 100 and 150 in IPL history – the middle order did the trick for the table-toppers.
Earlier, George Bailey won the toss and elected to field first. The decision seemed to have worked for SRH as Shikhar Dhawan, who was well supported by Aaron Finch, got off to a good start. After getting his eye in, the SRH skipper played a big role in plundering 26 runs off Sandeep Sharma in the fifth over. Thanks to these early exploits, SRH notched up 55 runs in the powerplay without losing a single wicket. In fact, the first-wicket pair brought up 65 runs, before Finch (20) was dismissed by Rishi Dhawan in the ninth over.
By the halfway stage, SRH had posted 72 for one with Shikhar Dhawan (45) going great guns, along with Naman Ojha for company. However, a half-century would elude the SRH skipper, who had to return to the dugout just five runs short of it; Shivam Sharma bowled him out in the 12th over. Ojha then brought SRH back in the contest back by helping score 16 runs off the very next over. And then, David Warner joined in the blitz as the duo picked up another 16 runs from the 15th over to take their team’s score to 127 for two.
The two batsmen then added 42 runs – including 18 off the 18th over – off the next 19 deliveries, before Warner (44) was run-out off the first ball of the 19th over. But Ojha carried on unfazed; he got to his half-century with a boundary off Sandeep Sharma. And while the KXIP pacer picked up Moises Henriques’ (0) wicket, Ojha took him to the cleaners and helped pick 26 runs off the 19th over. Irfan Pathan (0) also got out without troubling the scorers; Rishi Dhawan claimed his wicket in the final over. Ojha (79*), however, ensured SRH got past the 200-run mark as he struck another maximum – the seventh of his 36-ball knock. Thanks to the middle-order batsman’s big-hitting, his team posted a total of 205 for five in 20 overs.
In response, KXIP lost Virender Sehwag (4) in the first over; Bhuvneshwar Kumar caught the veteran opener off his own bowling. However, Wriddhiman Saha, who walked in at No.3, took charge of the innings as Manan Vohra played a great supporting role to him. As a result of an early onslaught, KXIP raced past 50 in the fourth over of the run-chase. And the big-hitting was far from over as Saha brought up his half-century in the sixth over – which yielded 20 runs – en route to bringing up a whopping 86 runs in the powerplay.
Finally, SRH caught a break when Karn Sharma ended Saha’s (54) 26-ball blitz in the eighth over. At 95 for two, another big-hitter – Glenn Maxwell – came in to bat, and he did not take too long to unleash his willow. After facing a dot-ball first up, the destructive batter struck a six to take SRH past the 100-run mark in just 7.3 overs – the fastest that any team has got to triple digits in the IPL. Maxwell followed it up with two more sixes in that over. He added 30 runs off 12 balls with Vohra (47), until the latter was run-out in the 10th over.
With KXIP needing 81 runs off 65 balls, KXIP’s two Ms – Maxwell and David Miller – joined forces. While Miller worked the ball around for singles, Maxwell continued with the big hits, as the pair compiled 34 runs in quick time. However, Maxwell’s (43) 22-ball blitz was ended by Amit Mishra in the 14th over. However, by then the run-chase equation had come down drastically – 47 runs off 41 balls. The SRH bowlers then bowled a few tight overs, which induced a lofted shot from George Bailey that was claimed by Warner; but after replays suggested that the fielder had grassed it, the KXIP skipper got a much-needed respite.
Given that there were no boundaries hit during a three-and-a-half-over stretch leading up to the 18th over, the SRH bowlers had snuck their team back into contention – as the run-chase equation read 26 runs off 18 balls. But Bailey then struck a welcome six, followed by a four, to bring the required run-rate down to a run-a-ball. He then, struck another maximum and a boundary, and took Dale Steyn for 22 runs in the 18th over. With just four needed off two overs, Bailey (35*) and Miller (24*) took their team across the line with five wickets in hand and eight balls to spare. Man of the Match: Wriddhiman Saha for his game-changing knock
Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated the Delhi Daredevils by 16 runs in Bengaluru. Fuelled by Yuvraj Singh’s 29-ball 68, the hosts set a 187-run target for their opponents. And despite a few sparks in the DD innings, the visitors could only manage 170 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
Earlier, DD chose to field first upon winning the toss, after an hour-long rain delay. Chris Gayle (22) and Parthiv Patel opened for RCB and added 33 runs, before the former was dismissed by Rahul Shukla in the sixth over. Virat Kohli (10) then joined Parthiv Patel in the middle, but was run-out with his team’s score on 45. However, AB de Villiers and Parthiv Patel (29) then stitched together a valuable 49-run stand, before the latter was sent back to the dugout by Mohammad Shami. de Villiers’ (33) 17-ball cameo then came to an end with the RCB score on 107; Siddharth Kaul bowled him out in the 15th over.
However, Yuvraj Singh had got his eye in by then, and on the back of his outstanding performance against RR a couple of days ago, the veteran all-rounder took charge of this innings as well. Despite the DD bowlers’ best efforts, the southpaw belted them to all corners of M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Sachin Rana (15*) held up the other end during his partner’s 29-ball blitz. Yuvraj Singh (68) – who struck a four and nine massive sixes – took the RCB score to 186 for four after 20 overs. En route to his half-century, he even helped plunder 20-plus runs off two separate overs – 21 off the 17th and 27 off the 20th.
In response, DD lost Murali Vijay (1) in the first over itself; he was trapped leg-before by Muttiah Muralitharan. The visitors lost their other opener, Quinton de Kock (6), early as well; Mitchell Starc bowled him out in the second over. Mayank Agarwal and Kevin Pietersen then set about reconstructing the faltering DD innings. They added 63 runs off 44 balls for the third wicket, before Abu Nechim got the better of Agarwal (31). JP Duminy was the next man in, and he added 24 runs with Pietersen (33). But Yuzvendra Chahal had the DD skipper stumped in the 12th over. And soon after that, Muralitharan returned into the attack and claimed Dinesh Karthik’s (1) wicket.
With the Daredevils needing 85 runs off 42 balls, their most successful batting pair of the season – Duminy and Kedar Jadhav – came together.
The duo played some big shots to, and over, the fence and added 45 runs off 28 deliveries. Thanks to their partnership, DD stayed in the hunt. However, Starc bowled Duminy (48) out in the 18th over to leave the visitors on 147 for six. And despite Jadhav’s (37) hard hitting, DD still needed 26 runs off the last over. But after striking the first ball for a six, he could only manage a single off the next. And the wicketkeeper ran him out a couple deliveries later as he desperately tried to regain strike. DD ended up on 170 for seven after 20 overs, resulting in a much-needed 16-run home win for RCB.
Man of the Match: Yuvraj Singh for his match-winning knock