By BV Swagath
Sunrisers Hyderabad is sitting on top of all the teams in IPL 6 following yet another win scripted by their superb bowling unit. This time at their home ground in Hyderabad, the Sunrisers chased down a small target of 124 with five wickets in hand and seven balls to spare. The chase wasn’t an easy one against a good bowling attack of the Kings XI Punjab and it needed a heroic cameo of 23* (from 11 balls with 3 sixes) from Thisara Perera to take the Sunrisers home.
The hosts had set off steadily after losing Quinton de Kock early to Praveen Kumar. Akshath Reddy with 19 (from 17 balls) and Hanuma Vihari with 46 (from 39 balls with 5 fours) steadied the ship for the Hyderabad team. Kings XI Punjab came back in the contest by reducing the hosts to 97 for 5 in 16.1 overs but lacked a genuine fast bowler who could deliver the knockout punch. Instead it was Thisara Perera toying with the medium pace of Azhar Mahmood to complete the match in the penultimate over.
Earlier, Adam Gilchrist seemed to be getting into some kind of form but his damage was cut down to a 25-ball 26 and the Kings XI Punjab couldn’t get the desired momentum in the first 10 overs. The two leggies of the homeside – Karan Sharma and Amit Mishra got the ball to turn away with bounce to peg back Kings XI completely. The visitors sent in left-handed Piyush Chawla to counter the leggies and the former came up with a couple of sixes in his 15-ball 23 before getting run out.
It was the 18th over that saw Kings XI lose the plot completely with three wickets going down in three balls which included a run out. The visitors settled for a tame 123 for 9 with the top score being the 26 from Gilchrist. Although Karan Sharma and Amit Mishra bowled well, Dale Steyn was the real hero with figures of 4-0-14-1.
Toss and Teams: Kings XI Punjab won the toss and elected to bat first against hosts Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Kumar Sangakkara continues to sit out for a second time and White has come out to lead the Sunrisers.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Akshath Reddy, Quinton de Kock (WK), Hanuma Vihari, Biplab Samantray, Cameron White (C), Thisara Perera, Karan Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (C&WK), Paul Valthaty, Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, Azhar Mahmood, David Hussey, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Manpreet Gony, Gurkeerat Singh