Sunrisers have another win in their kitty
Sunrisers Hyderabad got better as the night wore on and eclipsed Kings XI Punjab with a clinical performance to ensure the party continued late.
Dale Steyn proved too hot to handle, yet again, and Amit Mishra dished out another standout performance as Kings XI Punjab lost wickets in a heap to be restricted to 123 for nine in their T20 league encounter. Mishra also earned the Purple cap for his 11 sticks in the tournament.
The wicket at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, which the captains termed ‘interesting’ at the toss, held no terrors for the Sunrisers as they made light of the early dismissal of Quinto de Kock to complete a five-wicket win with seven deliveries to spare.
GH Vihari, who started the proceedings, laid the foundation for the victory with a composed 46 (39b, 5×4). The 19-year-old has come on real well since his opening-over heroics enticed Chris Gayle to his doom in Sunrisers’ last match at this venue, and his maturity stood out on a night when the hosts showed that they belong at the top of the table.
Walking in with nothing on the board, Vihari not just stymied Praveen Kumar’s charge after he bowled a wicket maiden, but in adding 48 (43b) for the second wicket with his Ranji captain Akshath Reddy (19, 17b, 2×4), who replaced Parthiv Patel in the lone change Sunrisers made to their team that beat Pune Warriors, he almost shut the opposition out of the game.
However, things got a bit close towards the end with 18 required from two overs. But Thisara Perera biffed an unbeaten 23 (11b, 6×3) to complete the formalities.
It was in a way reminiscent of the fine show dished out by their bowlers, who have made it a habit to give very little away.
Steyn’s opening salvo meant Kings XI had to take their chances. Ishant Sharma conceded 10 in his first but also made the initial inroads.
Thisara conceded three boundaries to skipper Adam Gilchrist (26, 25b, 4×4), but little-known leg-spinner Karan Sharma struck two times in the ninth over to set the visitors back.