By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
The dependable trio of Jonny Bairstow, David Warner and Rashid Khan rose to the occasion as Sunrisers Hyderabad were back to the winning ways to annihilate Kings XI Punjab by a mammoth 69 runs 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 SRH 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, KXIP never looked like threatening the opposition. The team was eventually bundled out for a paltry 132 in 16.5 overs. Rashid Khan did the maximum damage with a three-wicket haul.
The left-handed Nicholas Pooran played a fighting knock of 77 off 37 balls. The 25-year-old Trinidadian walloped five fours and seven sixes but his heroics went in vain. The aggressive West Indian 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 middle, Kings XI Punjab had a chance. When he was caught at the fence by T Natarajan off Rashid Khan at the score of 126 it was all over for the KXIP.
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 inspired bowling performance by SRH bowlers.
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. Medium-pacers T Natarajan and Khaleel Ahmed claimed a couple of wickets apiece.
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.
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 KXIP. 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 two deliveries.
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 his innings, the 33-year-old Aussie 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.
On Friday, Delhi Capitals will lock horns with Rajasthan Royals at the Sharjah Cricket Ground.
Brief scores: 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 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).