IPL 2020, KXIP vs SRH: Kings XI Punjab ride late surge to snatch incredible win over Sunrisers Hyderabad

Kings XI Punjab’s late resurgence—winning the previous three games after taking only one of the first seven—was shaken up on Saturday, on a perfect bowling day for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Dubai lived up to dire pre-IPL warning of slow pitches softening up batsmen and KXIP batsmen were suffocated to just nine hits to the boundary—only two of them sixes.

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It was some execution of attacking bowling with SRH skipper David Warner superbly rotating his bunch. It demanded a strong bowling response and KXIP found that deep in the death overs to rein in the team chasing only 127.

Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh struck the late blows as SRH caved in once key batsmen Vijay Shankar and Mandeep Singh fell, Kings XI winning by 12 runs.

The win left KXIP fifth on the points table, two points adrift of the fourth-placed team, and fighting for a playoff berth with three games left. For SRH, even winning the last three games may not be enough.

At 100 for three in 16 overs, SRH seemed to have sewed up the game, but Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, dazed after a throw struck his helmet, and Jason Holder fell in succession. The tail didn’t offer any resistance after that as Punjab defended the lowest total of the season.

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SRH skipper David Warner opted to chase while KXIP were unsettled. Mayank Agarwal was out due to a leg injury and Mandeep Singh came in, though he was playing after his father’s death overnight. He had to go for big shots, living dangerously, as Gayle waited to come in next. He holed out soon after before SRH bowlers took a vice-like grip.

In reply, Warner (35) and Jonny Bairstow (19) gave a rapid start only for KXIP to fight back as the slow pitch didn’t give batsmen much freedom.

KXIP never found momentum. Jason Holder frustrated Gayle (20 off 20 b) with full, wide deliveries before teasing him out, not getting enough power and giving Warner at long-off the catch. The boundaries dried up as batsmen struggled. After Gayle had hit a six in the seventh over, KXIP’s only two fours were hit by Nicholas Pooran (32) in the final two overs.

Rahul (27) was bowled between bat and pad off a Rashid Khan googly. Glenn Maxwell (12) was again underwhelming, holing out pacer Sandeep Sharma to the deep. There were wickets for a perfect leg-break from Rashid (Deepak Hooda stumped) and a slow bouncer from Holder (Chris Jordan caught at square leg) as well.

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Warner attacked in a 56-run opening stand with Bairstow. KXIP leg-spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin struck. Warner gloved a catch behind off Bishnoi—given after a review—and Bairstow was bowled around his legs by Ashwin.

In the end, with 16 to get off 14 balls, Vijay Shankar (26) nicked behind, triggering the collapse and KXIP celebrations.

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