Hyderabad, April 26: A spirited bowling effort from Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) handed them a second consecutive win in a low-scoring game as they edged an in-form Kings XI Punjab side by 13 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 encounter here on Thursday (April 26).
Chasing a modest total of 133 to win, Kings XI batsmen made a royal mess of themselves in the run chase as they were bundled out for 119 in 19.2 overs.
I am starting to enjoy these low scoring games— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 26, 2018
At one stage the visitors were 55 for none before they lost their opener Lokesh Rahul (32 off 26) in the eighth over. The right-handed batsman from Karnataka was batting well before he failed to read a beauty from Rashid Khan. Rahul failed to read the line of the ball as it brushed his willow and crashed into the stumps to leave him stunned.
Not the result we would have liked, but happy with the first half of the tournament.5 out of 7 we will take it. Have a week’s break now. Congratulations @SunRisers on the victory & a great effort from young Ankit Rajpoot becoming the first Punjab bowler to take a 5-for #SRHvKXIP— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) April 26, 2018
Chris Gayle (23 off 22) was dismissed three balls later when he was caught and bowled by young Basil Thampi. It was the Jamaican's dismissal that opened the floodgates for the visitors as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals in front of a charged-up spin attack from Sunrisers.
Rashid was the wrecker-in-chief, with his impressive figures of 3/19, and he was superbly backed up by young Thampi (2-14), Sandeep Sharma (2-17) and Shakib Al Hasan (2-18) as Punjab tumbled from 55/0 to 119 all out.
Self-belief is the word to best describe our bowlers. Two matches in a row, and successfully defending low scores just shows the enormous belief and skills of the bowlers. They have been outstanding and brilliantly led by Kane once again. #SRHvKXIP— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) April 26, 2018
Punjab, who were coming from four consecutive wins, paid the price of dropping too many catches while bowling as they allowed Manish Pandey (54 off 51) to settle down and steer his team from the early dismissal of top order batsmen. Kane Williamson (0), Shikhar Dhawan (11) and Wriddhiman Saha (6) were all sent back to the pavilion in the powerplay by a spirited Rajpoot.
Manish Pandey was dropped on four, nine and 46, before Ankit Rajpoot (5-14) returned with the best figures from an uncapped player in the IPL. Rajpoot ran through the Sunrisers' top order to ensure Punjab had a modest total to chase.
Best bowling figures on the losing side in the IPL:— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) April 26, 2018
6/19 - Adam Zampa for RPS, 2016
5/14 - Ankit Rajpoot for KXIP, Today
5/16 - James Faulkner for RR, 2013
All against Sunrisers Hyderabad. #IPL2018 #SRHvKXIP
Pandey, who slammed a fifty when these two teams faced each other at Mohali, made most of the breathers given by Punjab fielders. He along with Shakib (28 off 29) stitched a partnership of 52 runs for the fourth wicket and ensured the hosts had something on the board to defend.
Later, he stitched a crucial stand with Yusuf Pathan (21 off 29) and added 48 runs for the fifth wicket before getting dismissed in the final over.
Coming out to defend a paltry total, Sunrisers bowlers put up yet another fine bowling effort and bundled a star-studded Punjab batting line-up to win the game.
Ashwin conceded that it was the fielding and the middle-order batsmen who let the team down in a low scoring game. The visiting captain also lauded Rashid for his bowling.
"From where we were we should have really put this game away. It is disappointing. It was not the greatest of wickets and we succumbed to it. These losses can happen in this format and these sort of games do happen in IPL, we have to move on. We need to address our fielding. It is always difficult to catch under the lights but there are no excuses, we are professional cricketers and we have to put it behind and work harder."
The Tamil Nadu off-spinner felt that the gap of 7 days will get his team some time to reflect upon and improve things.
"This 7 days gap is good for us, we will try to regroup and come back stronger. Rashid bowled really well, he is a world-class bowler and we lost wickets against him in the middle overs," he added further.
From 55-0 this is a crazy collapse by Punjab!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 26, 2018
SRH skipper Williamson once again hailed the bowlers for their clinical show but felt the batting department should start contributing more.
"We haven't really played on surfaces that are 180s and 190s. We wanted more from our batters, and today 150-160 would have been a competitive total. The Kings XI bowled really, really well, but the boys fought really hard.
Player getting Man of the Match award in losing cause in IPL:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) April 26, 2018
2008 - A Morkel, S Goswami
2009 - Yuvraj, Kumble
2010 - Y Pathan
2011 - Yuvraj, Rahul Sharma
2012 - Steyn, Narine
2016 - Kohli, Morris, Zampa, Amla
2018 - ANKIT RAJPOOT#SRHvKXIP
"It's nice to be able to defend these totals. We didn't bowl well in the powerplay, but we did well to squeeze it towards the end. We want to be a little bit smarter with the bat. It's about getting 145s and 155s on these kinds of surfaces which are competitive totals on these kinds of surfaces. The bowlers have been operating very well, they know their roles very well. We are fortunate with our bowling depth. Very lucky to have the local talent. Some good tough decisions to make going into the next few matches," the New Zealand cricketer added further.
The @SunRisers can defend the undefendable. Rashid Khan is brilliant but the way Sid Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, Thampi exert and maintain pressure is fantastic. Great effort to defend this against Punjab #SRHvKXIP— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) April 26, 2018
With this win, Sunrisers maintained their second position in the points table, which is being led by Chennai Super Kings.
Williamson and Company have ensured they remain a force to reckon with in the tournament and the teams take them lightly even after restricting them to a low total.