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Kings XI Punjab slumped to another loss in the 2020 Dream11 Indian Premier League, as a strong partnership stand from David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, coupled with the clinical bowling of Rashid Khan proved too good for them on the day. Chasing a big total of 202 at the Dubai International Stadium, Kings XI kept losing wickets at regular intervals, and despite Nicholas Pooran’s powerful cameo, they ended up losing the game by 69 runs. 

Opting to bat first, Sunrisers Hyderabad got a strong start as David Warner took on the KXIP pacers, getting his team to 26 without loss after three overs. Jonny Bairstow too got into the act soon, scoring three fours off Sheldon Cottrell’s second over. Kings XI Punjab found no luck in the powerplay, as two uppish shots from Warner escaped the clutches of the fielders, as SRH finished the powerplay at 58 for no wicket. 

Post the powerplay, Ravi Bishnoi was introduced into the attack, but his first over proved expensive, as Bairstow got two sixes and a four to push the run rate to 10 an over. In the 10th over, Baistow hit one straight down the ground to get his first half century of IPL 2020. In the same over, SRH put on 100 on the board. 

Bairstow continued to power through post his fifty, as he clobbered Glenn Maxwell for two sixes and a four. A couple of overs later, Warner glanced one towards the leg side to get to his ninth successive fifty against Kings XI Punjab. On the other end, Bairstow wasn’t slowing down as he targeted Mujeeb’s final over to get two more sixes and push the scoring rate to nearly 11 an over. 

The first wicket finally came in the 16th over, as a googly from Ravi Bishnoi outfoxed Warner, who managed to hit a tame shot to the fielder in the deep. The leg spinner struck again, this time trapping Bairstow in front of the wicket to send him back to the pavilion after scoring 97. 

The tide seemed to have turned with those two quick wickets, as Manish Pandey was puzzled by a slower ball from Arshdeep Singh, and tamely hit it back to the bowler. Bishnoi struck again in his third over, getting the wicket of the dangerous Abdul Samad, and that was followed up with Arshdeep dismissing Priyam Garg who failed to even open his account. 

The final five overs yielded just 41 runs, as SRH lost six wickets to finish at 201/6 after their 20 overs. 

Turning Point

The opening partnership of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow put the game beyond KXIP’s reach from the beginning, as they could never really get going in the chase. 

In reply, Kings XI Punjab uncharacteristically lost an early wicket, as Mayank Agarwal was dismissed for single figures, run out by Khaleel Ahmed. Debutant Prabhsimran Singh came out to bat next, and started positively with a flick on the leg side which went to the fence. The youngster followed that up with a powerful drive on the off-side, but that was the last of the cameo as he was then dismissed, caught at covers. 

The wicket got Nicholas Pooran to the crease, who got going with a four and a six to boost the powerplay score of his team to 45/2. The southpaw continued his explosive batting, welcoming Abhishek Sharma into the attack with two big sixes on the leg side. The left-arm spinner however had the last laugh, as he managed to dismiss KL Rahul, caught at square leg. 

Despite losing wickets around him, Nicholas Pooran continued his carnage, as he smashed Abdul Samad’s first over for a whooping 28 runs, scoring four sixes and a four. In the process, the 25-year-old got the fastest fifty of IPL 2020, getting to that mark in 17 balls. 

Sunrisers however found a way back in the game after the strategic timeout, as a direct hit from Priyam Garg meant that Glenn Maxwell had to walk back to the pavilion after scoring just seven. Another wicket fell soon for KXIP, as Mandeep Singh was foxed by a Rashid Khan googly and was knocked over. 

The wicket meant that the chasing team needed 85 runs of the last seven overs, with half their team back in the hut. KXIP lost Mujeeb ur Rahman too in the next over, leaving the team with a mountain to climb in the slog overs. 

Things got worse for the chasing team, as the in form Nicholas Pooran was the next to be dismissed, caught at point off Rashid Khan’s bowling. The Afghani bowler struck again with his final ball of the over, to end his spell with a double wicket maiden. Pooran’s wicket all but ended the contest, as T Natarajan picked up the final two wickets to give Sunrisers Hyderabad an empathic 69 run win.

KXIP play their next game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.