Sunrisers Hyderabad consolidated their fourth position in the VIVO IPL 2019 standings after they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 45 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Monday night. In their final league match at home this season, the Sunrisers posted 212-6 and then restricted the visitors to 167-8. David Warner (81) and Rashid Khan (3-21) were the most influential performers in SRH’s win.
The Sunrisers, who were asked to bat first, came out all guns blazing. The new opening pair of Warner and Wriddhiman Saha added 77 runs in the first six overs – posting the highest score in the powerplay this season. After Saha was dismissed at the start of the seventh over, Warner and Manish Pandey carried the momentum forward; they added 82 runs in 9.1 overs for the second wicket.
The Sunrisers slipped a bit in the final five overs; the loss of Pandey and Warner in the sixteenth over cost them a few runs. But Kane Williamson and Mohammad Nabi took 26 off the 18th over bowled by Mujeeb ur Rahman to give SRH some momentum at the end.
Captain Ravichandran Ashwin (2-30) was the pick of the bowlers for Kings XI Punjab; the remaining four wickets were shared by Mohammed Shami (2-36), Murugan Ashwin (1-32) and Arshdeep Singh (1-42). The spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman had a disastrous day with the ball; he was hit for five fours and four sixes, and conceded 66 runs in his four overs – the most any spinner has conceded in an IPL inning.
Given the enormity of the chase in front of Kings XI Punjab, the spotlight was on their openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul. After Gayle was dismissed at the start of the third over, the onus fell on the shoulders of Rahul, who did not disappoint. Rahul once again started slowly, but accelerated as the innings progressed; he battled hard, constructed his innings, and played some delightful strokes in his 56-ball 79.
KXIP were 44 for 1 at the end of powerplay, and added 79 runs for the loss of four wickets in the middle nine overs. They batted out their twenty overs, finishing at 167 for 8.
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rashid Khan and Khaleel Ahmed picked up three wickets each, while Sandeep Sharma collected the remaining two wickets.
Standout batting performances
David Warner signed off from VIVO IPL 2019 in style; the Australian top-scored for the Sunrisers for the fifth time this season. His 81 – which came of 56 balls and contained 7 boundaries and 2 sixes – took his tally of runs for the season to 692. The left-hander’s knock on Monday evening was a very uncharacteristic Warner innings; while he normally takes the bowlers on and bludgeons the ball, on Monday evening he scored the bulk of his runs behind the wickets. While he took toll of the poor lines bowled by the Kings XI Punjab bowlers, Warner also created his own scoring opportunity by playing the switch-hit on a couple of occasions. The one other feature of Warner’s innings, which won’t be evident from a glance at the scorecard, is how hard he ran between the wickets; Warner’s 81 contained 25 singles and 8 twos.
Notable Support Act – Batting
There were two other important contributions in the Sunrisers’ innings; Wriddhiman Saha, in his first innings as opener this season, scored 28, while Manish Pandey made a fluent 36 batting at number three.
While Warner was scoring briskly at one end, Saha ensured the bowlers didn’t get away with a few quiet deliveries by keeping him on strike. Saha hit three boundaries and a six in his 13-ball knock; the standout strokes were the lofted on-drive and the pull-six off his Bengal teammate Mohammed Sham. Saha was dismissed just after the powerplay when he bottom-edged a short delivery from Murugan Ashwin to the wicket-keeper.
Pandey, who had scored half-centuries in his last two innings, remained busy at the crease and kept handing the strike back to the well-set Warner. He struck three fours – and hit a six straight down the ground, and contributed 36 to the 82-run partnership with Warner.
Standout bowling performance
Rashid Khan would be Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wrecker-in-chief; he picked up three middle-order wickets at a time when the match was still in the balance. Mayank Agarwal and David Miller were caught at deep midwicket, while Ravichandran Ashwin picked out long-on. The leg-spinner, who completed 50 IPL wickets with the dismissal of Agarwal, bowled 12 dot balls and finished with figures of 3 for 21.
R Ashwin added two more wickets to his this season’s tally; the wickets he picked up – of Pandey and Warner – came at a stage when the Sunrisers had a launchpad heading into the last five overs. Ashwin first dismissed Pandey; he had the batsman, who shaped to play a lap shot through fine-leg, in two minds, only to hit the ball straight to the short fine-leg fielder. Three balls later, he picked up the big wicket of Warner, who had to reach out to a wide delivery, didn’t get enough power on the shot and holed out to the fielder at point. Ashwin finished his four overs with figures of 2 for 30.
Stat of the Match
David Warner’s 81 was his eighth consecutive half-century in IPL matches against Kings XI Punjab.
With the wicket of Mayank Agarwal, Rashid Khan completed 50 wickets in the IPL; he would be the second bowler to take 50 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad after Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
There were only 25 dot balls in the Sunrisers’ innings; in contrast, the KXIP innings had 48 dot deliveries.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 212-6 (David Warner 81, Manish Pandey 36, R Ashwin 2-30) defeated
Kings XI Punjab: 167-8 (KL Rahul 79, Khaleel Ahmed 3-40, Rashid Khan 3-21) by 45 runs.
Man of the Match
David Warner, for his 56-ball 81.