A match-winning effort from KL Rahul helped Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) topple Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at home in the final over. After David Warner took the visitors to a decent total despite a slow start, half-centuries from Rahul and Mayank Agarwal ensured Kings XI were racing to the target. But they choked a bit in the death before recovering in time to register a fourth win in six matches.
Here are the best moments from the match.
Never back up too far against Ashwin unless you are Warner
Jos Buttler had realised that backing up against Ravichandran Ashwin can be dangerous when the off-spinner mankaded him in the match against Rajasthan Royals. Despite much furore, a lesson wasn't apparently learned by Mohammad Nabi, who was at the receiving end of another bit of cheeky work from the Kings XI Punjab skipper.
In the 14th over of the Sunrisers innings, David Warner smashed Ashwin down the ground with a horizontal bat but the alert off-spinner stopped the ball with his right hand and immediately noticed Nabi had backed up way outside the crease. He threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end with the Afghanistan all-rounder well short of the crease. The effort was particularly brilliant because Ashwin had just 0.52 seconds to react to stop the ball. Aside from a superb stop, Ashwin was also alert enough to run Nabi out.
Funnily, in the seventh over of the innings, Warner had feigned going outside his crease at the non-striker's end when Ashwin was bowling but dragged his bat back in at the last second almost as though to tease the off-spinner. Ashwin had the last laugh, though, when he ran out his partner.
Mohammed Shami shows off some football skills
In the 18th over of the Sunrisers innings, David Warner slammed Ankit Rajpoot's low full toss through the leg-side. The ball seemed to be headed for a certain boundary with it bisecting the two fielders in the deep perfectly.
Mohammed Shami, though, was determined to not let Warner get that boundary. He covered good ground while racing to the ball and realising that it might be a bit late to dive, Shami brought out his footballing skills and stopped the ball with his boots. The brilliant effort saved Kings XI two runs although the injury risks associated with such stops are high. Shami might want to tread more cautiously with the World Cup around the corner.
Kings XI miss DRS calls
In the 15th over, Sam Curran steamed in from over the wicket and rapped Manish Pandey's pads with a length ball that seamed back in. The Sunrisers middle-order batsman played a weird flick sans feet movement and was struck in front to trigger a vociferous appeal from the Kings XI players.
The on-field umpire, though, was unmoved and stood in favour of Sunrisers. Curran, Ashwin, and Rahul pondered a review but the skipper seemed to suggest that there was an inside edge off Pandey's bat. They eventually did not review but replays showed that there was no edge and that the ball would have crashed into the stumps. Pandey, on 2 at the time, went on to make 19 in 15 balls.
In the final over, Kings XI once again didn't review when David Warner looked to hook Shami's bumper and missed. Shami had just dismissed Pandey and caught Warner off guard with the quick bouncer. The Australian opener went for a full-blown hook but missed. Replays, though, showed that Warner had actually gloved the ball to the keeper. It didn't make much of an impact, though, with Warner adding just one more run.
Hooda's running catch and Rashid's revenge
Last year, when these sides met at Mohali, Chris Gayle had hammered an unbeaten 104 off 63 balls with 11 sixes. What was incredulous about the knock was the manner in which he dealt with Rashid Khan. The West Indian had plundered the Afghanistan spinner for 42 runs in 16 balls including six sixes, four of them off consecutive balls.
In Mohali, Bhuvneshwar decided to throw Gayle a bait and bowled Rashid to him as early as the fourth over. With most fielders inside the circle for the powerplay overs, it was an open invitation for the Kings XI opener to take the leggie on. His ego hurt, Gayle smashed Rashid down the ground the very first ball he bowled. Unfortunately, he did not generate enough power to clear the ropes but with the long-on wide, it should have gone for a four.
Instead, Deepak Hooda rushed in from long-on and dived while holding onto the ball to complete a terrific catch. Gayle's tussle with Rashid lasted just one ball and gave Sunrisers an early break in the game.
Kings XI leave it till the very end
At one stage, Kings XI needed just 32 to win from four overs with nine wickets in hand. KL Rahul had completed his half-century and Mayank Agarwal was on the verge of his when they decided to throw caution to the wind and make the game a bit more interesting. They smashed 13 in the 17th over without losing a wicket and brought the equation down to 19 in three overs with nine wickets in the bag, ideally a cakewalk to the target.
However, Sandeep Sharma struck twice in the 18th over — a sensational over where just three runs were scored — with the wickets of Mayank and Miller and suddenly Sunrisers were sniffing a chance. Siddarth Kaul followed it up with another excellent over, giving just five runs and picking up the wicket of Mandeep Singh, to give Nabi 10 to defend in the final over.
With the set Rahul still at the crease, Kings XI managed to pull off a win with the opener smashing a crucial boundary off the fourth ball of the over. With two needed from two balls, Warner fumbled at long-on to leak an extra run as Kings XI romped home.