The dependable trio of Jonny Bairstow, David Warner and Rashid Khan rose to the occasion as Sunrisers Hyderabad are back to their winning ways with a mammoth 69-run victory against Kings XI Punjab at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
The 22nd match of the Dream11 Indian Premier League between two struggling teams turned out to be a one-sided affair once Sunrisers Hyderabad amassed 201 for 6 on the board, thanks mainly to a big 160-run partnership for the opening wicket between Bairstow and Warner.
In pursuit of a daunting target of 202, Kings XI Punjab never looked like threatening the opposition and bundled out for a paltry score of 132 in 16.5 overs. Rashid Khan did the maximum damage with a three-wicket haul, which floored the rivals.
The heroics of Nicholas Pooran went in vain as he lacked support from the other end. The aggressive left-hander played a fighting knock of 77 off just 37 balls. The 25-year-old Trinidadian walloped five fours and seven sixes to make a match of it.
Pooran gave a special treatment to teenage leg-spinner Abdul Samad as he pounded him for 28 runs in one over. Till he was at the centre, Kings XI Punjab had a slight chance but when he was caught at the fence by T Natarajan off Rashid Khan at the score of 126 it was all over for the Kings XI Punjab.
The spineless batting display by the KXIP team can be gauged from the fact that only two players besides Pooran managed to reach double-digit scores. Captain KL Rahul and Simran Singh both scored 11 runs but others just could not get going against some inspired bowling performance by SRH bowlers.
The bad mix-up between the wickets resulted in the run out of in-form batsman Mayank Agarwal, which summed up the Kings XI Punjab’s forgettable day.
Rashid Khan once again emerged as the most dangerous bowler for the opposition. The Afghanistan leg-spinner scalped 3 for 12 from his tidy spell of four overs. Medium-pacers T Natarajan and Khaleel Ahmed claimed a couple of wickets apiece. Left-arm spinner Abhishek Sharma took a wicket.
Earlier, Bairstow might have missed his deserving hundred but guided Sunrisers Hyderabad to a huge score of 201 for 6.
The 31-year-old opening batsman struck a blistering 97 (55 balls, 7×7, 6×6) to give his team a terrific start. The tall right-hander is one of the most consistent batsmen of this IPL season and maintained his dazzling form to give his team an ideal chance to break the losing streak.
It was a perfect evening for Sunrisers skipper David Warner. He not only won an important toss but also slammed a superb 51 (40 balls, 5×4, 1×6) to lay a strong foundation for a 200-plus total.
The left-right combination of Warner and Bairstow stitched a 160-run stand for the first wicket. It was the fifth 100-plus partnership between the experienced duo. Bairstow posted his third highest T20 score ever. It was his ninth fifty on the trot against the Kings XI Punjab.
At one stage when Bairstow and Warner were going hammer and tongs, SRH were 160 for no loss in 15 overs and it looked like the 220-mark will be breached.
However, the solid partnership was broken by Ravi Bishnoi in the 16th over as he removed Warner (50) and then Bairstow (97) in a gap of just a couple of deliveries.
Warner mistimed a lofted shot and was caught at long-on by Glenn Maxwell on the first ball of the eventful 16th over. Moments later, Bairstow was adjudged leg-before by the third umpire as he played on the backfoot to a googly. The young leg-spinner picked up two wickets in the 16th over and conceded just a run.
Abdul Samad was promoted at the No. 3 spot but he could not do much. Manish Pandey was also dismissed cheaply as he was caught and bowled by Arshdeep Singh.
Kane Williamson, who remained unbeaten on 20, ended the innings with a double to take his side beyond 200. KXIP bowlers struck late and grabbed six wickets in the death overs. In the last five overs, SRH managed to muster only 41 runs and lost a whopping 6 wickets.
During this innings, the 33-year-old Warner became the first batsman to score fifty 50 plus scores in IPL. The southpaw created history in 132 innings.
Indian captain Virat Kohli is next in the list with 42 scores of 50+ in 174 innings while Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma are tied for the third position with 39 scores of 50+ in 189 innings apiece.
SRH have made one change in the playing XI as Khaleel Ahmed came in for Siddharth Kaul. KXIP, on the other hand, made three big changes — Prabhsimran, Arshdeep and Mujeeb come in for Jordan, Brar and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
With this thumping win, Sunrisers Hyderabad have now moved up to the third spot with six points to their credit in as many ties.
The dismal run of Kings XI Punjab continued as they remained at the bottom with a solitary win from six matches.
On Friday, Delhi Capitals will lock horns with Rajasthan Royals at the Sharjah Cricket Ground.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 201 for 6 in 20 overs (Jonny Bairstow 97, David Warner 52, Kane Williamson 20 not out, Abhishek Sharma 12, Abdul Samad 8; Ravi Bishnoi 3-29, Arshdeep Singh 2-33, Mohammed Shami 1-40) beat Kings XI Punjab 132 all out in 16.5 overs (Nicholas Pooran 77, KL Rahul 11, Simran Singh 11, Mayank Agarwal 9; Rashid Khan 3-12, T Natarajan 2-24, Khaleel Ahmed 2-24, Abhishek Sharma 1-15) by 69 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad)