Match 43 of the ongoing IPL 2020 edition saw David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) take on an in-form KL Rahul-led Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Dubai International Stadium. After Kolkata Knight Riders’ impressive 59-run win over Delhi Capitals (DC), KXIP looked for their fourth win on the trot. Defending only a mere 128, Rahul & Co. fought really hard to emerge on top by 12 runs. Opting to bowl first, Warner & Co. had to strive hard to attain their first breakthrough. However, KXIP lost Mandeep Singh for 17 as Sandeep Sharma struck early. Nonetheless, the youngster was lauded on social media platforms as he came out to open despite losing his father last evening. He was a replacement for the injured Mayank Agarwal.
Rahul once again was off to a solid start before Rashid Khan, Sandeep, and Jason Holder’s regular breakthroughs dented KXIP. From 66 for 1, they were soon reduced to 88 for 5. From thereon, the innings never got any flourish as Glenn Maxwell once again failed whereas Nicholas Pooran’s 28-ball 32* took KXIP to 126/7. From 56 for no loss, Hyderabad was suddenly 67 for 3 with KXIP back in the contest. What followed was some tight bowling as Rahul brought in Mohammed Shami and continued with Bishnoi and Murugan. However, Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar got along for the fourth-wicket and kept the runs coming, although at a slow pace.
With no scoreboard pressure as such, due to a brisk start and low total to chase, SRH were kept in the hunt despite some good fielding from KXIP. Against the run of play, Pandey fell for a 23-ball 15 as he went for a big hit but was beautifully caught by J Suchith at the deep off Chris Jordan. Shankar fell soon after the throw from Pooran hit him severely while sneaking in a quick single. Jordan’s double-wicket three-run over, bowling the 19th, turned the tides for KXIP, who remained brave and determined throughout their defense. Further, Arshdeep Singh’s 3 for 23 took his side home. With this result, KXIP now has four back-to-back wins and 10 points under their belt. They have further complicated the battle for the fourth-spot as the playoff race intensifies.