Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXP) by five runs to boost their chances of qualifying to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League. The team now has 14 points from 12 matches. They will play at home in the next couple of matches. Both the games are against other playoffs chasers: first against Royal Challengers Bangalore and second against Mumbai Indians. This is the seventh straight defeat in a row for the Punjab side.
The match was never close like the eventual score line would suggest. Sunrisers dominated the match right from the beginning. Only some characteristic brave hitting from David Miller got KXP close to the target.
David Warner won the toss and chose to bat first. He then took the responsibility of taking his team to a respectable total by blitzing a 52-ball 81 with the help of six fours and five sixes. With this innings, he has become the highest run-scorer in this edition of the IPL. Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques and Eoin Morgan all played useful cameos to take Sunrisers’ score to 185 for five in 20 overs.
Kings XI Punjab began the chase well, as Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra unleashed a flurry of boundaries. The introduction of spinners put a stop to their merry ways. Left arm spinner Bipul Sharma accounted for both the openers. Henriques then bowled some tight middle overs and grabbed three wickets. Soon, KXP were reduced to 104 for six after 15 overs. The team needed 82 runs in 30 balls.
Miller was going sedately while the wickets were falling alarmingly at the other end. Miller and Axar Patel tried to trigger a miracle. The 16th over went for 12 runs, the 17th produced 13 runs and the 18th yielded 18 runs, as Miller chased an improbable win. KXP needed 39 runs in two overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away just 11 runs and took the wicket of Axar Patel in the 19th over. Ishant Sharma had 28 runs to defend in the final over.
Miller hit the first two balls for a six: 16 needed of the final four balls. The third ball was a yorker which he hit straight to the fielder. He refused a single. He smashed the next ball for a four. Two sixes were needed off the final two deliveries.
Miller could not hit a six off the fifth ball. Game over. However, he hit the final ball for another six to reduce the victory margin. KXP finished five runs short of target.
David Warner is the man of the match.