Dubai, October 24
Kings XI Punjab made an incredible comeback at the death, taking five wickets in the final two overs to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs in an Indian Premier League match here on Saturday.
Chasing a modest 127-run target, SRH batsmen committed ‘harakiri’ after a solid 56-run opening stand between skipper David Warner (35) and Jonny Bairstow (19) to be all out for 114 in 19.5 overs.
The win, their fourth on the trot, kept KXIP in the fray for play-offs as they jumped to fifth spot in the eight-team standings with 10 points from 11 games.
The defeat made life difficult for SRH even though they are mathematically still in with a chance of making the play-offs, but for that to happen they will need to win their remaining three games with good net run rates.
SRH made a brisk start to their chase with skipper Warner and Bairstow adding 56 runs for the opening stand in 6.2 overs before KXIP bowlers inflicted three quick blows to make a return to the contest.
Both Warner and Bairstow soon perished in quick succession before Abdul Samad (7) too failed to rise to the occasion.
After the three quick blows, the going became tough for SRH as KXIP bowlers used the slow conditions to perfection to take the match deep.
SRH’s last match heroes, Manish Pandey (15) and Vijay Shankar (26) looked in good nick but both the players struggled to up the ante and departed in the process.
From thereon, SRH batsmen made heavy weather of the chase as KXIP bowlers reduced the equation to 17 runs off the last two overs.
Bowling the penultimate over, Chris Jordan (3/17) dismissed Jason Holder and Rashid Khan in successive deliveries to tilt the match in KXIP’s favour.
With 14 runs needed from the last over, Arshdeep Singh (3/23) dismissed Priyam Garg and Sandeep Sharma, and Khaleel Ahmed was run out as KXIP recorded a memorable victory.
Earlier, SRH bowlers produced a clinical performance to restrict KXIP to a modest 126 for seven.
SRH bowlers responded impressively to their Warner’s decision to field first, picking wickets at regular intervals to control the innings.
KXIP Skipper KL Rahul (27), Chris Gayle (20) Mandeep Singh (17), who lost his father Hardev Singh earlier on Saturday, all got starts but their innings never got going as they failed to grab the momentum.
Even though Mandeep didn’t make a significant score, he and Nitish Rana, who made 81 for KKR despite the bereavement of his father-in-law Surinder Marwah, drew appreciation from batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar for their lion-hearted efforts to play the games.
“Loss of loved one hurts, but what’s more breathtaking is when one doesn’t get to say a final goodbye. Praying for @mandeeps12, @NitishRana_27 and their families to heal from this tragedy. Hats off for turning up today. Well played,” tweeted Tendulkar, who too lost his father a day before scoring an emotional unbeaten 140 against Kenya during the 1999 ODI World Cup.
SRH perfectly planned Gayle’s dismissal who came at one down. They kept the big-hitting batsman quiet for a long time, consistently bowling wide of the off stump and in the process frustrated him.
Gayle repeatedly tried to force his way out of the shackles but was dismissed by his West Indian teammate Holder (2/27), caught at long-off by Warner with a wide of the stumps delivery in the 10th over.
Rashid (2/14) then went through the defence of captain Rahul in the first ball off the next over as KXIP slumped to 66 for three. PTI