An all-round bowling performance and a brilliant opening stand between David Warner [37 off 37] and Jonny Bairstow [63* off 56] has helped SunRisers Hyderabad finally notch up their maiden victory in IPL 2021 as they thumped Punjab Kings in Chennai.
Chasing 121 to win, SunRisers Hyderabad once again got off to a sensational start thanks to the duo of skipper David Warner and the rampaging Jonny Bairstow.
Just like the last game, Bairstow once again upped the ante during the powerplay as he smoked a couple of fours and as many sixes to help the ‘Orange Army’ rack up as many as 50 runs in the first six.
The introduction of spin in the form of Murugan Ashwin, Deepak Hooda, and Fabian Allen put some lid on the scoring rate and while David Warner [37 off 37] stroked Hooda for a six, he holed out at deep mid-wicket while trying to deposit a drag down by Fabian Allen into the stands.
But, unlike the last two games where SunRisers Hyderabad squandered winning positions, the calmness of Jonny Bairstow, who scored an unbeaten half-century, and Kane Willaimson [16* off 19 balls] ensured that there were no hiccups this time around as they gunned down the chase with ease.
An all-round bowling performance by SunRisers Hyderabad helped them restrict Punjab Kings to 120
Earlier in the day, Punjab Kings won the toss and on what proved to be an extremely sluggish pitch, KL Rahul has no hesitating in the option to bat first.
But, the KL Rahul-led batting unit struggled to get acclimatize to the wicket as they continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. With batting during the second half of the innings in Chennai proving to be difficult this season, the key to Punjab Kings putting a competitive total was to make the most of the powerplay.
But they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Skipper KL Rahul perished for a 6-ball 4 to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in just the 3rd over.
Mayank Agarwal got a lucky reprieve in the first over thanks to a dropped catch by Rashid Khan but the latter made amends for it as he claimed a brilliant diving catch in the 7th over after Khaleel Ahmed’s clever change of pace lulled Agarwal into a mistimed pull-stroke.
Post Mayank’s dismissal, Punjab Kings endured a mini-collapse that proceeded to peg their innings back substantially. Nicholas Pooran registered his 3rd duck in his last four innings- this time a diamond duck- thanks to a poorly judged single by both him and Chris Gayle.
Rashid Khan [1/17 in four overs] then proceeded to knock over the ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle by trapping him plumb in front. Abhishek Sharma [2/24 in 4 over] accounted for both Deepak Hooda and Moises Henriques before Khaleel Ahmed [3/18] returned to break the 19-run-stand between Shahrukh Khan and Fabian Allen by dismissing the duo in quick succession as PBKS eventually finished at 120.
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