Kings XI Punjab 126 for 7 (Pooran 32*, Rashid 2-14, Holder 2-27) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 114 (Warner 35, Shankar 26, Jordan 3-17, Arshdeep 3-23) by 12 runs
The Kings XI Punjab had no business winning this. They had managed all of two boundaries in their last 13 overs, and it could’ve been just one had David Warner not fumbled at wide long-off in the final over of the Kings XI’s innings. Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, and Sandeep Sharma all bowled skilfully to limit the Kings XI to 126 for 7.
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow then dashed out of the blocks, and rattled off 56 together in 38 balls. The Sunrisers Hyderabad had no business losing this. However, they unravelled spectacularly in the face of smart bowling on a tiring Dubai track to be bundled out for 114, losing 10 for 58. Chris Jordan, picked in place of James Neesham, and Arshdeep Singh claimed five of those wickets in the last two overs as the Kings XI defended the lowest total this IPL.
The Kings XI’s come-from-behind victory – their fourth win on the trot – moved them up to fifth on the points table, just behind the Kolkata Knight Riders who had retained their fourth spot after toppling the Delhi Capitals earlier in the day. As for the Sunrisers, they dropped to sixth, but they’re still in the hunt for the playoffs and are the only team outside the top three with a positive net run-rate.
Rashid, and his ripping googlies
After perfectly judging a skier at deep-square leg to get rid of Mandeep Singh, who has been pushed up to the top in place of the injured Mayank Agarwal, for 17 off 14 balls, he tested KL Rahul and Chris Gayle with big-turning googlies.
Gayle and his off stump were beaten in Khan’s first over, then in his second Rahul hastily stabbed a shorter googly towards midwicket. He made the incision in his third with a tossed-up googly that dipped sharply and bowled Rahul through the gate for a run-a-ball 27.
The collapse, part one
At the other end, Holder kept hiding the ball away from Gayle’s swinging arc. Gayle duly tried to manufacture a boundary, but couldn’t clear long-off. Then, when Glenn Maxwell searched for a release, he holed out to long-on. He has now played out 100 balls this IPL without hitting a six.
In the absence of Neesham, the Kings XI’s batting was lighter, and when Jordan flapped a catch to short-fine leg for 7, they were 105 for 6. However, in the last two overs, Nicholas Pooran struck two fours, the second of which slid under Warner, to drag his team to 126 for 7.
The collapse, part two
Even though the pitch was slowing down in the second half, the total didn’t look enough. It certainly didn’t look enough when Warner and Bairstow dominated the Kings XI in the powerplay, sprinting to 52 for 0.
Warner reverse-whipped legspinner Ravi Bishnoi’s first ball for four, and then when he attempted an encore off the second, he tickled a googly behind and was given out following a successful review from Rahul, who had caught the ball behind the stumps. In the next over, M Ashwin, the other legspinner drifted a legbreak in and bowled Bairstow around his legs.
Rahul then punted on Mohammed Shami and brought him back, deciding to finish his quota by the ninth over. Abdul Samad, who was promoted to No. 4, took on Shami, but holed out to mid-off, where Jordan grabbed an excellent overhead catch.
It probably still didn’t look enough when previous match-winners Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar were tapping the ball into the gaps, adding 33 off 44 balls. However, it started to look enough once J Suchith, the substitute fielder, plucked one out of thin air to remove Pandey for 15 off 29 balls.
After Arshdeep Singh had Shankar nicking off for 26 off 27 balls, the equation boiled down to 17 off 12 balls with five wickets in hand. The batsmen panicked, but Jordan and Singh didn’t, and it proved 13 runs too many for the Sunrisers.