IPL 2020: Bairstow-Warner stand too much for Kings XI, SRH win by 69 runs
IPL 2020:?Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Kings XI Punjab by 69 runs in an Indian Premier League match in Dubai. Batting first, SRH posted 201 for 6 riding on fifties from David Warner (52) and Jonny Bairstow (97). In reply, XKIP were bowled out for 132 in 16.5 overs as Rashi Khad picked up 3 for 12.Updated: Oct 08, 2020 23:39 IST
At the end of the 15th over of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s innings—neatly bookended by the strategic timeout—the recuperating bowlers of Kings XI Punjab must’ve wondered what they were doing wrong. They hadn’t just gone wicketless on the night thus far (with SRH having notched 160 undefeated runs), but for exactly a week in all. Yes, you read that right. One week, no wickets.
The last time KXIP had taken a wicket was October 1, and the player to depart then was Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma. In the remaining 23 balls that Punjab bowled after Sharma’s dismissal, MI scored 67 runs. Then, the Chennai Super Kings beat Punjab by 10 wickets over the weekend, scoring 181 runs along the way in 104 balls. Aggregate all that with Thursday’s then unbeaten 160-run stand between SRH openers and Punjab hadn’t taken a wicket for a total of 407 runs.
So, what was wrong with KXIP wicket-takers? Nothing, apparently. After having gone wicketless for a period of 37 overs spread over three different matches, KXIP took five wickets in the space of the next 19 balls and even a sixth by the end of the innings. Simultaneously, SRH– who were threatening a total of 250 at one point—barely scraped past 200; it was one of the great acts of defiance by a bowling side in this IPL.
That resistance began with an unforeseen hurdle in 19-year-old leggie, Ravi Bishnoi. In his only over until then, Bishnoi had been easily clubbed for two sixes and a four by Jonny Bairstow and had gone for 18 runs. It was a brave call for captain KL Rahul to reintroduce the teen at 160 for no loss with five overs to go, but what is that they say about great risks and rewards?
First ball after the strategic time-out, David Warner misread a Bishnoi googly and holed out for 52. Two balls later, Bairstow misread the teenager’s slider and was LBW for 97. This miraculous over heavily swung the innings Punjab’s way.
Yet, even miracles couldn’t help bottom-placed Punjab during their chase, despite plenty of assistance from Nicholas Pooran. Pooran’s breathtaking knock of 77 even saw him snatch the record for the fastest-ever IPL fifty (16 balls) along the way.
Before Pooran’s pyro, the night was all about Bairstow. Unlike Pooran, who relied heavily on muscling the spinners over the ropes (the West Indian belted seven sixes from his first 16 balls), Bairstow was more than comfortable to play proper cricket shots. Whether it cleared it rope or not hinged completely on the quality of the shot. To illustrate this point, Bairstow’s very first boundary was a crisp cover drive off a Mujeeb Ur Rahman full-toss.
Seven overs later, it was again the timing of the stroke that stood out from Bairstow’s maiden six of the night. He danced down the wicket to kill Bishnoi’s spin and simply caressed the ball over the midwicket fence. A violent thump through the covers off the next ball had a final straw effect on Bairstow’s heavily taped bat. Ostensibly, this beloved piece of wood had not only helped him score three fifties in the course of this IPL but also turn around an English summer that saw him lose his Test contract with a hundred in the final ODI. Bairstow wasn’t as sensitive about the new willow. Off the very first ball he faced, Bairstow walloped Bishnoi beyond the roof of the Dubai International Stadium and took him to 47 runs. Three runs short of Bairstow’s bigger milestone of 100 runs, Bishnoi would exact his revenge.
Brief scores: SRH 201/6 (D Warner 52, J Bairstow 97; R Bishnoi 3/29, A Singh 2/33). KXIP 132 all out (N Pooran 77; R Khan 3/12). SRH won by 69 runs.