The Sunrisers Hyderabad managed to defend yet another below-par total on Thursday. This has almost become a trend with the Hyderabad franchise, who managed to restrict Kings XI Punjab – known as one of the stronger batting sides of the tournament – to just 106.
The Sunrisers’ bowling unit once again put on a fantastic show to make up for the lacklustre batting performance. Rashid Khan was the star again, picking up 3 wickets whilst conceding just 19 runs from his 4 overs. Shakib Al Hasan finished with 2 for 18 in 3 overs, while Sandeep Sharma and Basil Thampi also picked up a couple of wickets each in equally economic spells.
Unlike most games, the Man of the Match award went to a player from the losing side in this game. Kings XI fast bowler Ankit Rajpoot had the spell of his life when he picked up 5 out of the 6 wickets taken during the Sunrisers’ innings, which also marked the first 5-wicket haul of the tournament. Ankit finished with the tremendous figures of 5 for 14 in his 4 overs. Mujeeb Ur Rahman continued his fine bowling form by picking up the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan. He finished with 1 for 17.
After the game Ankit Rajpoot reflected on his performance: “I don't think the IPL is easy. Everybody works hard and does well. (I was) Getting help from the wicket ... I had a plan and I stuck to it. I was aided by the pace that I found. It was my day today, so I got five wickets"
The SRH innings got off to a disastrous start as Ankit Rajpoot picked up wickets in each of his first 3 overs, leaving the team in complete disarray at 27 for 3. Manish Pandey, who was the top scorer for SRH with 54, and Shakib steadied the ship by putting up a hard-earned 63-run partnership. When Shakib was dismissed for 21, Yusuf Pathan stepped in to give Manish the necessary support to take the Sunrisers to a fighting total of 132.
Punjab started the innings very well and looked to be on course to a comfortable victory. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, who were the team’s top scorers with 32 and 23 respectively, put up 55 runs for the first wicket. When the pair was dismissed within 3 balls, leaving the score at 57 for 2, the Hyderabad bowlers sensed a chance at a comeback. They bundled out the rest of the side in just 11 overs. KXIP lost their last 8 wickets for just 62 runs in that time.
This result puts the 2 teams in second and third positions of the table. Both teams are tied with 10 points each, but SRH have a higher net run-rate, therefore taking them ahead of KXIP.