M43 : Punjab snatch victory from Hyderabad, beat SRH by 12 runs, keep hopes alive
Sunrisers Hyderabad collapsed in incredible fashion to hand Kings XI Punjab a victory on the platter on Saturday (October 24) in Dubai. Despite posting just 126 on the board after being asked to bat first, KXIP defended the total to pick up their fourth win on the trot that keeps them in the racefor a playoff spot.
Vintage Warner takes charge in PP
David Warner hasn't been at his usual best in this year's IPL despite managing to grind out the runs. More often than not, the SRH skipper has been a little conservative with Jonny Bairstow usually taking on the mantle of being the aggressor. But tonight, Warner showed glimpses of how dangerous he can be when he gets going right from the word go. He hit Mohammad Shami over extra cover to fetch a six in the very first over of the chase and pulled Arshdeep Singh for another biggie in the following over. By the end of the powerplay, SRH had already managed to put 52 on the board putting themselves in pole position to close out the game with ease.
How did they end up losing then?
Warner, who had already hit Ravi Bishnoi's first delivery for a boundary courtesy of a reverse sweep, attempted the same shot again to only end up gloving one to Rahul. Six balls later, Bairstow gave KXIP a window to stage a comeback as Murugan Ashwin hit the timber. Abdul Samad's promotion backfired as well to add to SRH's woes as KXIP struck for the third time in three overs. Rahul's decision to bowl out Shami paid off as Samad only managed to find a leaping Jordan at mid-off. Vijay Shankar and Manish Pandey were once again required to step up and get the job done at a tricky stage. Unlike the previous game, the task appeared a lot easier for the duo and that allowed them to bide their time as well. For a period of four overs, no wickets were lost as they continued to consolidate before Shankar upped the ante with a couple of boundaries in the 14th over before adding one more in the following over. By the end of the 16th over, SRH were clear favourites to walk away with two points as the equation boiled down to 28 off 24 with 7 wickets left in hand.
The royal choke
Pandey was the first casualty in this monumental choke at the death when he timed one straight down the ground that was spectacularly held by substitute fielder J Suchith. It is fair to say the ball would have sailed over for six if not for Suchith's efforts as he timed the jump to perfection near the boundary to hold on to the catch. Even though Shankar finished the over with a lofted boundary over mid-off to calm the nerves, his wicket in in the following over made things interesting. After getting hit on the head by a throw, a rattled Shankar edged the next delivery to the keeper to give KXIP another lifeline. And they took it gleefully with both Jason Holder and Rashid Khan aiding them by finding the fielders in the following over bowled by Jordan. 28 off 24 came down to 14 off 6 in the final over as Arshdeep Singh managed to deliver the goods. The left-arm pacer kept taking the pace off the ball on the slowish surface to make it harder for the batsmen. Sandeep Sharma and young Priyam Garg succumbed to the pressure to spark joyous scenes in the KXIP dugout.
How did KXIP start with the bat?
First of all, KXIP didn't go into this game with their regular opening pair. Mayank Agarwal was left out following his injury in the previous game and Mandeep Singh was given a go at the top of the order with KXIP persisting with the formula of using Chris Gayle at one drop. Mayank's absence was clearly felt in the powerplay as KXIP struggled to force the pace. Mandeep couldn't get his timing right on the night and Rahul was a tad conservative hitting a couple of fours and a six only. Sandeep then ended Mandeep's scratchy stay with a cross seamer that was mistimed by the batsman to be caught by Rashid in the deep.
Did Rahul eventually tee off?
No. The game turned on its head in the space of two deliveries and from thereon, it was one-way traffic. Chris Gayle made a great start to his innings fetching two boundaries off Jason Holder to finish the powerplay and then followed it up with a six in the next over bowled by Rashid. But with SRH keeping it tight in the next three overs, Gayle had to break free and ended up losing his wicket. Holder bowled one wide and slow and the batsman mistimed his shot to be caught by Warner. KXIP then suffered their biggest blow off the very next ball when Rashid bowled a beautiful googly to breach Rahul's defence and shatter the stumps. Those two wickets off two deliveries completely derailed the batting unit as the struggled to force the pace.
No boundaries for 69 deliveries
Glenn Maxwell might have found some form the other night but things hardly changed on Saturday for the Australian as he failed to make an impact. Quite stunningly, the innings never got going with KXIP going through a phase where they didn't find the boundary for more than 11 overs. In this phase, not only did they lose Gayle and Rahul, but the likes of Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Jordan and Murugan Ashwin also departed leaving Nicholas Pooran stranded at the other end. Pooran finally broke the shackles with a pull through square leg for his first boundary of the night and added one more in the final over to drag his side to 126/7 - a total that quite spectacularly proved to be enough on the night.
What next now for these two sides?
KXIP's dream run now sets up a tasty clash on October 26 in Sharjah against Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR are fourth with 12 points and KXIP are now fifth with 10 points. The winner of that contest will certainly be viewed as the favourites to clinch that final playoff berth. SRH, on the other hand, can now only get to a maximum of 14 points. And getting there is going to be a mighty challenge as they face the top three teams in their final three group clashes starting with an encounter against Delhi Capitals on October 27.
Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab 126/7 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 32*; Rashid Khan 2-14, Jason Holder 2-27) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 114 in 19.5 overs (David Warner 35; Chris Jordan 3-17, Arshdeep Singh 3-23) by 12 runs.