David Warner scored his eight fifty of the season signing off with a 56 ball 81 before heading home for World Cup preparations. Sun Risers Hyderabad put up a massive 212 on the board and got the wicket of Chris Gayle early to leave Kings XI Punjab far behind on the run chase. With 692 runs Warner is still in contention for the orange cap despite the fact that he will miss the remaining matches. He has a 172 run lead over Lokesh Rahul who is the next contender. But Rahul’s 56 ball 79 was not enough to rescue Kings XI who conceded a huge 45 run win to Sunrisers.
Chris Gayle fell on the first ball of the third over caught brilliantly by Manish Pandey as the batsman played a Khaleel Ahmed delivery in the air into the covers. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (27 off 18 balls) put on 60 runs for the second wicket before Rashid Khan came on to bowl. Rashid Khan set Agarwal up when he bowled to him on the middle stump. The batsman attempted to slog-sweep the ball over cow corner but found Vijay Shanker on the boundary. Nicholas Pooran scored a brisk 21 before he was caught by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar off Ahmed.
Rashid Khan then struck a double blow when he had David Miller and Ravichandran Aswin caught off successive balls. KL Rahul hit Mohammed Nabi for two consecutive sixes to reach his fifty as he put together another 53 runs with Simran Singh for the sixth wicket before he skied a ball from Ahmed in the nineteenth over which was caught smartly by a diving Kane Williamson. Rahul scored 79 runs in 56 balls hitting 4 boundaries and 5 sixes. The Sunrisers inning folded tamely as Sandeep Sharma grabbed the wickets of Simran Singh and Mujeeb ur Rahman in the last over and Kings XI ended their inning on 167 for 8. Rashid Khan finished the match with 3 wickets for 21 runs.
Earlier Warner gave an indication of the things to come when he hit Arshdeep Singh for two boundaries in the first over and followed it up with a six off Mujeeb UR Rahman in the next. Along with Wriddhiman Saha, he scored the fastest opening fifty (24 balls) of this IPL season as well as the highest score (77 runs) in the power play overs. Simran Singh did get Saha caught soon after the power play, but the opener, who is batting in place of Jonny Bairstow, who is away on World Cup duties, had scored a brisk 28 runs off 13 balls. Ashwin dropped a difficult catch from Manish Pandey off Mohammed Shami in the twelfth and Warner reached his eight fifty of the season off the next ball.
Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin combined later to dismiss Pandey but not before he along with Warner had added 82 runs for the second wicket. Ashwin also had David Warner caught by Mujeeb Ur Rahman three balls later. Warner’s 81 from 56 balls contained 7 boundaries and two sixes and with four overs to go SRH were 163 for 3 wickets. Kane Williamson and Mohammad Nabi scored 26 runs off the eighteenth over bowled by Mujeeb UR Rahman to push the score along. A further three wickets fell as SRH added another 17 runs to take their total to 212 for 6 wickets.
With this win, Sunrisers Hyderabad is placed fourth in the league table with a healthy positive net run rate, and with two games in hand have a realistic chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Kings XI Punjab can also qualify for the playoffs if they win their remaining two matches and the top three teams do not lose any of theirs.