By BV Swagath
Sunrisers Hyderabad remain in contention for the play offs after beating hosts Kings XI Punjab by a comprehensive margin of 30 runs at Mohali. The Sunrisers are now on level with the RCB with 8 wins in 13 matches. Kings XI Punjab are out of the play offs for sure with 8 defeats in 13 matches.
It was hard work for the Sunrisers to overcome the Kings XI on a pitch that looked green and was aiding lateral movement. In the end, it was the better pace attack of the Sunrisers that made the difference over the Kings XI which lacked a genuine fast bowler to exploit the pitch conditions.
Sunrisers asked to bat first were put into massive trouble at 52 for 5 in 8.4 overs by the Kings XI seamers. However, once the ball got softer, the medium pacers couldn’t get the same kind of respect from the batsmen and the Sunrisers’ decision to hold back Thisara Perera proved to be a brilliant one. Along with opener Parthiv Patel, Perera revived Sunrisers’ chances of getting to a decent total on the board.
Parthiv played a good knock of 61 from 47 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes to keep one end intact. Perera provided the perfect finish with 32* from 19 balls to help the Sunrisers to reach 150 for 7. For the homeside, India U-19 pacer Sandeep Sharma showed promise with his swing bowling to take 3 for 21.
Kings XI looked good in their run chase as long as Gilchrist and Marsh were there in the middle but both the left-handers fell in the same over to Darren Sammy. From 45 for 3 in 7.2 overs, the fortunes of Kings XI quickly dwindled and when David Miller was caught at extra covers off Sammy in the 10th over, the match was secured by the Sunrisers. Kings XI struggled to end up with 120 for 9 with Luke Pomersbach playing a terrible innings of 33 from 40 balls. Sammy was the hero for the visitors taking 4 for 22.
Toss and Teams: Hosts Kings XI Punjab have won the toss and asked Sunrisers to bat first at Mohali. Kumar Sangakkara has once again been dropped by SRH and in his place comes Cameron White who will also lead the side. Mohali has seen lots of rain today and apparently the pitch has taken some moisture which should help the bowlers big time.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (C&WK), Mandeep Singh, Shaun Marsh, Luke Pomersbach, David Miller, Rajagopal Sathish, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Harmeet Singh, Parvinder Awana, Sandeep Sharma
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Parthiv Patel (WK), Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Cameron White (C), Thisara Perera, Darren Sammy, Biplab Samantray, Karan Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma