Sunrisers Hyderabad once again toppled a team with their immaculate bowling attack after their batsmen struggled to get them to a par total. The game seemed all but over when KL Rahul and Chris Gayle put on a half-century stand for Kings XI Punjab, but one wicket brought many and before you knew it, Sunrisers Hyderabad were well in sight of victory. Here we discuss the players’ report card from the SRH-KXIP match:
The uncapped Indian seamer was a revelation in Delhi in the last match and once again led from the front, snapping up the big wickets of Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan. He knocked over Wriddhiman Saha as well to finish an opening spell of 3-0-9-3. Rajpoot returned to the attack in the final over and grabbed the wickets of Manish Pandey and Mohammad Nabi to finish with a five-wicket haul.
The Sunrisers leg-spinner once again bowled brilliantly and his crucial breakthrough – the wicket of Rahul to break a 55-run opening stand – gave the Sunrisers the belief that the game wasn't done and dusted.
Rashid went on to snap up Karun Nair with a googly and sealed the game with the wicket of Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin in his final over.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Using the slowness of the surface, Mujeeb once again sent down a tidy spell that went for just over four runs an over and yielded the crucial wicket of Shakib-al-Hasan at a time when the Sunrisers were looking to accelerate.
With Williamson and Dhawan flopping, the onus was on Pandey to repeat some of his heroics for Kolkata Knight Riders in the past few seasons. Despite wickets falling around him, Pandey stood firm and compiled a fine half-century to take his side to a reasonable score.
At 27/3, the Sunrisers were staring down the barrel when Shakib joined hands with Pandey and started a mini fightback. The Bangladesh all-rounder took his time to settle in but couldn't really get going as he fell to Mujeeb. He returned with the ball and prised out the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Aaron Finch to cap off a great day.
In yet another sublime knock, Rahul enchanted one and all with some superb stroke-making. His fiery starts have allowed Chris Gayle to settle in and the duo put on another half-century stand.
Even as Gayle and Rahul got stuck into the other bowlers, Sandeep bowled beautifully with the new ball, conceding a mere 11 runs in his three-over spell upfront. He finished his spell with two wickets in the final over that all but sealed the game for the Sunrisers.
Much like in the previous game, Thampi gets his rating for sheer impact. He came in to bowl with Kings XI Punjab still the favourites to win the contest, but changed all that with the big wicket of Gayle courtesy a sharp bouncer.
Kaul has been brilliant in the middle and death overs for the Sunrisers this year and once again did his job to perfection, although he couldn't buy a wicket.
The ever so threatening West Indian was looking to blow the roof off with his hitting, but then top-edged a pull off Thampi back to him for a 22-ball 23.
Pathan has been donning the firefighter's hat this season for the Sunrisers and played his part in resurrecting a faltering innings with a 19-ball 21. He remained unbeaten but couldn't quite get the team to a good enough total.
Though wicketless, Tye contributed to restricting the Sunrisers to an average total in his four-over spell that went for just 28.
Nair is the ideal sheet anchor in this Kings XI Punjab batting line-up, but against a strong Sunrisers bowling unit, Nair failed to get going in what was a fairly regulation run chase. He completely misjudged a googly from Rashid to be dismissed for 13.
Despite his spectacular domestic returns for Karnataka, Mayank Agarwal's struggles in the IPL continues. He skied a slog off Shakib to long-off and departed for a disappointing 15-ball 12.
Ashwin once again skippered the side well but did an ordinary job with the ball in his four overs that went for 34.
The surface was tailor-made for someone like Sran but he couldn't exploit it well enough in a three-over spell that went for 27 runs, a bit more than what Kings XI Punjab would have liked.
Barring his Kedar Jadhav-like action, nothing about Tiwary oozed confidence on Thursday and he ended with a solitary run in five balls before playing an uppish flick to the fielder.
The Australian hasn't quite hit his straps in this edition of the IPL and just when his team needed him, Finch chose to play a heedless slog against Shakib, only to get dismissed and sink the Kings XI further.
The Afghanistan all-rounder opened the attack to exploit Gayle's off-spin woes but found himself taken to the cleaners by Rahul with 16 runs coming in an over.
The Kiwi captain of the Sunrisers was off the radar on Thursday after a couple of good games and top-edged a pull to mid-off in the very first over.
Dhawan hasn't been the same after returning from injury and copped another failure after he was undone by Rajpoot's tricky bouncer.
It would be a surprise if Saha is persisted with in the Sunrisers top order after his multiple failures. In another poor score for the season, Saha made six before slogging Rajpoot's slower ball to mid-wicket.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor