A resurgent Hyderabad was taking on the dejected Punjab side. Fresh from consecutive victories, the Sunrisers seem a buoyant unit while the Punjab team looks to have forgotten how to win.
David Warner won the toss for the sunrisers and had no hesitation to bowl first. They have won both their matches chasing and seem a better side when batting second.
On the other hand, the Kings XI Punjab would have definitely wanted to put up a show on the field but even this game was not theirs.
Kings XI Punjab has no shortage of world class players but the problem lies in their belief. I wonder, if they even think they can win a game. This game started in a familiar fashion for both the sides.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar got an early wicket as he does so often as Punjab lost their opener Murli Vijay in the 3rd over of the match.
Shaun Marsh and Manan Vohra showed glimpses of promise but once again failed to deliver. Manan Vohra, as a player, plays some exquisite shots and gets starts but also finds different ways to get out. Manan was run out in the 6th over for 25 by a direct hit from Shikhar Dhawan. Manan reached the crease but his dive meant the bat bounced up in the air when the stumps were broken. Another start wasted.
Shaun Marsh was looking good at one end but the other top order batsmen failed to support him. Miller looked confident as he took strike but soon found an edge off Moses Henriques to walk back for just 9 runs.
Next man Maxwell walked back in the same over, trying to hit out Henriques out towards fine leg off just the 2nd ball he faced. As a matter of fact, in the 5 matches that Punjab have played this season, this is the 3rd instance when Miller and Maxwell fell in the same over. That would pretty much sum up their standings on the point table. Marsh scored 40 before falling to the Impressive Mustafizur. Wicket Keeper Batsman Nikhil Naik and all rounder Axar Patel gave some respectability to the innings as they put on 50 for the 6th wicket. Axar, in particular carried the innings forward with a 17 ball 36 not out to finish at 143 for 6 in their 20 over. Mustafizur was the star with the ball. His figures of 2 for 9 in 4 overs are the most economical for any team this season.
Coming out to chase 144 on a good batting wicket, Sunrisers again counted on Warner and he delivered yet again. Warner scored his 3rd consecutive fifty to brush aside any chances of upset.
He put on a 90 run opening stand with Dhawan inside of 10 overs. New man Aditya Tare was run out off the first ball giving some hopes to the Punjab team but the Match was all but finished with Dhawan scoring 45 and Morgan playing a little cameo for 25 runs. The Sunrisers reached home easily with 13 balls to spare. Warner was the top scorer again for Hyderabad as he muscled away 59 runs off just 31 balls. Mustafizur was the man of the match for his superlative effort with the ball.
Sunrisers look stronger with each passing match with their batting and bowling, both coming good consistently. While the Punjab team seems to be heading nowhere.
They have match winners but are not contributing at all. They have a decent bowling line up but they seem short on planning as to how to approach the game. With 9 more games to go for them, they need to win 7 to qualify. With the recent application shown by the team, it seems highly unlikely. While the cricket fans would love to see Miller and Maxwell back amongst some runs.