Sunrisers’ bowlers have done it again. Twice in two matches they have defended a low-score. In the last match, they defended 118 against Mumbai, and today, they defended a score of 132 against the mighty Kings XI Punjab.
Opting to bowl first, KXIP managed to keep the Sunrisers down to a low total. Punjab’s bowlers played their part well in ensuring that the target doesn’t go out-of-reach. Ankit Rajpoot was the pick of the bowlers for Punjab. He picked up 5 wickets for 14 runs in his 4-overs. Had Punjab fielded a little better, they would have managed to pack Sunrisers up for a score as low as 110 or even less. But their misfields and dropped chances helped Hyderabad reach 132.
Coming into bat, Punjab had a great start. Gayle and Rahul gave Punjab the kind of start they would have wanted. They had a first-wicket partnership of 55 runs before Rahul got out in the 8th over. With Rahul returning to the den, Punjab started to shatter. Chris Gayle followed soon. And it was just a matter of time before Punjab saw their score go from 55-0 to 119-10. Except Rahul and Gayle’s 32 and 23, no other batsman managed to reach the 20s.
For Hyderabad, it was Sandeep Sharma and their best bowler, Rashid Khan who did the job yet again. They were all over the batsmen. Other bowlers supported them quite well. Sandeep ended his spell with 2 wickets for 17 runs in 4-overs, whereas Rashid picked up 3 wickets for 19 runs in his 4-overs.
In spite of scoring 132, Hyderabad managed to win the contest comfortably by a margin of 13 runs. Sunrisers Hyderabad proved once again how helpful can a good bowling attack be! They have made a statement loud and clear that you don’t always need big runs to win the match. Quality bowlers like Sandeep, Rashid and Shakib can win you a match from any position. They can defend the lowest of scores for you.
It is performances like these that prove T20 cricket is not all about batting and scoring big runs. Good bowling performances can also win you matches.