Sunrisers Hyderabad 121 for 1 (Bairstow 63*, Warner 37, Allen 1-22) beat Punjab Kings 120 (Shahrukh 22, Agarwal 22, Ahmed 3-21, Sharma 2-24) by nine wickets
After spending a few days of frustration, David Warner would be all smiles as Sunrisers Hyderabad registered their first win in IPL 2021 after beating PBKS by 9 wickets on Wednesday.
Punjab Kings perhaps didn’t adapt very well to the Chepauk's conditions with very limited practice time. The batsmen had seemingly played in the same manner as they played their last few games at Wankhede. It eventually turned out to be a disastrous first inning for Punjab kings as they folded for just 120 runs. In response, SRH chased down the target with 8 balls to spare in the end.
Here’s a look at three major talking points from the game:
Bowlers Set Up SRH’s 9-Wicket Win
SRH bowlers were spot on with their plans right from the start of the innings. Having played the last three games at Chepauk, they knew how to bowl on the surface.
The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed did not offer any pace to the batsmen to hit big shots. Most of their deliveries were cutters and Punjab’s batsmen failed to time those too well.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent back KL Rahul in the fourth over of the innings to put Punjab on the backfoot right from the start.
Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle got the starts but couldn’t convert them. Rashid outfoxed the universal boss with a googly, while Khaleel Ahmed sent Agarwal back to the pavilion after scoring 22 off 25.
The left-arm spinner, Abhishek Sharma too chipped in with two wickets. Both Henriques and Hooda fell prey to the spinner while trying to hit big shots one too many. Khaleel Ahmed then picked the wickets of Shahrukh Khan and Fabien Allen to once again deny Punjab of building a partnership. Khaleel Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 3 for 21 in 4 overs.
Punjab Kings Gets Punched in Alien Conditions
After losing two consecutive games, Punjab shifted their base at Chepauk on Wednesday. Playing their first game at the very surface, they looked clueless against a potent SRH attack.
It was the same pitch where RCB posted the 204-run total the other night. However, no other team have found it easy to play at Chepauk and Punjab were no different. The likes of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle were outfoxed by the slowness of the surface.
Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda should be regretting not playing till the end and instead took the aggressive route when it wasn’t required.
Warner-Bairstow Makes the Chase a Cakewalk:
Warner and Bairstow were coming into the game on the back of a good show with that bat against MI at the same surface. They, however, took less risk against Punjab but still managed to score 50 runs inside the powerplay. The duo made sure they hit the bad balls to the boundary ropes and keep rotating the strike. They stitched a 73-run opening stand and almost sealed the game for SRH.
Jonny Bairstow remained unbeaten till the end, scoring 63 off 56 balls. David Warner, on the other hand, scored 37 in as many deliveries.
Questions To Be Answered
1. Nicholas Pooran’s performance this year has been nothing but disappointing. With Dawid Malan warming the bench, should Punjab continue with him in the next game or replace him with the Englishman?
2. Sidharth Kaul didn’t make a significant impact in the game. Given T Natarajan’s ability to bowl pin-point yorkers in the death, would it be wise to not include him in the eleven?
1. Kl Rahul has completed 5000 runs in T20 cricket. With that, he becomes the second fastest after Chris Gayle in terms of the number of innings.