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Some top notch bowling from SunRisers Hyderabad redeems reckless batting

Ankit Rajpoot

SunRisers Hyderabad (132-6) beat Kings XI Punjab (119-10) in a low scoring came on the back of some impeccable bowling.

Only they could have done it, and they have done it yet again. After trouncing Mumbai Indians in a low scoring game, it was now time for KXIP to face Hyderabad’s music.

SRH bowlers are operating in a parallel universe and it’s difficult to state if actually any score is low enough for them to defend.

Going against their own decision of batting first against SRH in the last encounter between the two teams, KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin invited Hyderabad to bat after he won the toss. It became evident once again that SRH are half the team if their two key batsmen in Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson do not fire and this time neither of them did.

A new inclusion in the Punjab side, Ankit Rajpoot (4-14-5) looked very threatening on a Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium pitch in Hyderabad offering some assistance to bowlers as he swung the ball beautifully to get rid of both Williamson (0) and Dhawan (11) in back to back overs.

Amid dome ordinary fielding, Rajpoot then got the better of keeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (6). Barinder Sran (3-27-0) then dismissed Shakib al Hasan on a short delivery outside the off stump that flew off the edge and was caught at third man. However, Sran committed a blunder by overstepping and Shakib got a life line.

Shakib (28) and Manish Pandey (54) then stitched together a 52-run partnership before the all-rounder was dismissed by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Soon, Pandey also departed after a hard-fought half century. Yusuf Pathan (21) could not free his hands to the extent he would have liked as SRH only managed 132-6 with Ankit Rajpoot bagging a fifer off the last ball of the innings.

KIXIP were expected to chase down the subpar total with a star studded batting line up. At 55-0, with openers KL Rahul (32) and Chris Gayle (23) going along nicely, it was KXIP’s game to lose from there on.

Rashid Khan who was surprisingly held back by Captain Kane Williamson in the Powerplay overs then came to bowl and slipped one in through Rahul to rattle his stumps.

Once that happened, the floodgates just opened for Punjab which kept losing one wicket after another owing to some reckless shot making and some top class bowling. With Mayank Agarwal (12), Karun Nair (13), Manoj Tiwary (1) and Aaron Finch (8) departing cheaply, KXIP lost all its 10 wickets for 64 runs and missed out on the chance of reclaiming the top spot in the points table.

Shakib al Hasan (3-18-2), Basil Thampi (2.2-14-2), Siddarth Kaul (4-25-0) and Sandeep Sharma (4-17-2) gave Rahid Khan (4-19-3) good support in an all-round good bowling performance from SRH.

However, despite ending on the wrong side, Ankit Rajpoot clinched the Man of the Match for his economical 5-wicket haul.

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