Chris Jordan in action against Sunrisers Hyderabad during their IPL match in Dubai. Courtesy: Twitter
Chris Jordan (3-17) and Arshdeep Singh (3-23) led a miraculous comeback as a resilient Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) held their nerves to continue their juggernaut with a 12-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their IPL match on Saturday.
With the victory, Punjab have moved to the fifth spot in the standings, having procured 10 points from ten games. After setting up a paltry target of 127 to win for Hyderabad, Punjab restricted Hyderabad to 115 all out to register their fourth consecutive victory.
Chasing, Hyderabad were off to a flying start as openers David Warner and Jonny Bairtsow (19) added 56 runs for the first wicket.
Bishnoi gave Punjab first breakthrough by getting rid of Warner (33). In the next over, Murugan Ashwin rattled the stumps of Bairstow to give Hyderabad second jolt.
After the dismissal of the openers, no batsmen other than Vijay Shankar (26) could show any kind of resistance and there was abject surrender from by Hyderabad.
They lost last seven wickets just for 15 runs. Hyderabad were 99-3 in 16 overs. They needed just 27 runs off 23 balls with seven wickets in hands. But Hyderabad batsmen played some reckless shots and gifted their wickets to Punjab bowlers.
Jordan bowled a super penultimate as he got rid of Jason Holder and Rashid Khan on the consecutive deliveries, conceding only three runs to bring the equation down to 15 needed off the last six balls.
Young Arshdeep held his nerves to send Priyam Garg and Sandeep Sharma back to the pavilion before Bishnoi found Khalil Ahmed short of his ground to complete the formalities.
Earlier, Punjab failed to capitalize on their opening start as their top and middle order failed to fire. None of their batsmen could manage to score a fifty even.
KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh added 37 runs for the first wicket in just 4.4 overs to give Punjab a quick start. Mandeep, who lost to his father a day before on Friday, stepped up for Punjab in the absence of star batsman Mayank Agarwal, who missed the match because of an injury which he picked in the last game.
Agarwal is the second highest scorer of the touranmnet in the 2020 edition behind his captain Rahul, who is leading the chart with a whopping 567 runs with the help of 5 fifties and one century.
Punjab players came out with a black band as mark of respect for the departed soul. However a grieving Mandeep could not last long was dismissed for 17 off 14 deliveries.
Swashbuckling West Indian batsman Chris Gayle and Rahul added another 29 runs taking the score to 66 in 10 overs. Both the batsmen were aware of the lack of depth in the batting line-up due the absence of Agarwal and Jimmy Neesham and played rather cautiously.
But Punjab lost the important wicket of Rahul and Gayle in quick succession. Both the batsmen were dismissed with in a span of two deliveries of different overs.
Rashid Khan rattled the stumps of Rahul to give Hyderabad second breakthrough. On the first ball of the next over, West Indian pacer Jason Holder had compatriot Gayle caught by Warner to make it 66-3. After the departure of the Gayle and Rahul, all eyes were resting on Nicholas Pooran hoping him to emulate his last match feat.
Pooran did try to steady the ship but the wickets kept on falling on the other end and he did not get support from the other batsmen. Glenn Maxwell’s failure with the bat continued as he was dismissed for 12 by Sharma, who had him caught by Warner. Maxwell was the most successful Punjab player when the IPL was held in the UAE in 2014. So fierce were the Hyderabad’s bowlers that the last five batsmen of Punjab could add only 18 runs to the total. Pooran remained unbeaten on 32 off 28 deliveries, hitting two boundaries as Punjab posted a below par total of 126/7 – third lowest score of the season.
Chasing, Hyderabad got off to stuttering start as captain David Warner fell short of his ground while scrambling for a run in just the second over of the innings.
Rashid Khan bowled (3-12) yet another scintillating spell after a stupendous batting performance by Jonny Bairstow and David Warner as a clinical Sunrisers Hyderabad routed reckless Kings XI Punjab
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