Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Kings XI Punjab made a mockery of the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s score of 205 as they chased it down with eight balls to spare.
Punjab wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha was the standout performer as he smashed an entertaining half-century.
Punjab captain George Bailey would have been brooding over whether he made the right decision to bowl first as Hyderabad skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Aaron Finch amassed a 65-run partnership before Finch was clean bowled by Shivam Sharma for 20.
Dhawan ended up scoring 45 off 37 balls, which included five boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Sharma at short fine leg off the bowling of Rishi Dhawan.
Australia batsman David Warner and Naman Ojha kept the runs flowing with an 81-run partnership before Warner was run out by Manan Vohra for 44 off 23 deliveries, which included three boundaries and three sixes.
Moises Henriques failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught by David Miller at long-on off the bowling of Sandeep Sharma for a golden duck.
Irfan Pathan only made one run before he was caught by Miller at long-on off the bowling of Dhawan.
Hyderabad eventually finished on 205/5 off their 20 overs thanks to Ojha’s unbeaten knock of 79, which came off 36 balls and included four boundaries and an incredible seven sixes.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Dhawan was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Shivam Sharma and Sandeep Sharma chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing a mammoth target of 206 to win, Punjab got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Virender Sehwag was caught and bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for four runs.
Saha and Vohra made up for the early loss of Sehwag with a 91-run partnership, during which Saha brought up his half-century, before he was stumped by Ojha off the bowling of Karn Sharma.
Saha’s fantastic knock of 54 came off 26 balls and included eight boundaries and two sixes.
Vohra went on to score 47 off 20 deliveries, which included five boundaries and two sixes, before he was run out by Kumar.
Glenn Maxwell made a quickfire 43, which came off 22 balls and included two boundaries and five sixes, before he was caught by Dale Steyn at long-off off the bowling of Amit Mishra.
Punjab recorded a six-wicket win following Bailey and Miller’s unbeaten 52-run partnership.
Bailey finished on 35 off 19 balls, which included two boundaries and three sixes, while Miller remained undefeated on 24 off 24 deliveries, which included one boundary.
Kumar, Sharma and Mishra snapped up one wicket each.
Bailey was ecstatic to have won the match, and said: “I walked off at the half way point angry at our bowlers. Maybe we bowled okay, I am not sure. Saha and Manan were outstanding. Really pleasing thing was it looked calculated, did not like they were slogging or taking everything on, they were really good cricket shots, it gave the rest of the guys the confidence that it was a chaseable total.
“At the halfway stage, I was thinking if it was one of those ones where I would be asked if we toss again, if I would change it. It just skids on a little bit, it did feel like it was coming on quite nicely (batting second), but it felt like it was coming on nicely all day. You get the first one away and you get some confidence I guess. We are not relying overly on Maxwell and Miller, though they have had a fantastic series. Other guys are contributing, which is important.”
Saha was named Man of the Match, and said: “Me and Manan were thinking of scoring as much as possible in the first six overs and keeping the momentum going. He (Vohra) is outstanding, timing the ball properly. Good pitch, 400 runs in 40 overs.”