IPL 2019, KXIP vs SRH: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal put on a century stand, take Kings XI Punjab to a six-wicket win
Sunrisers Hyderabad trotted in to bat at the PCA Stadium with the most successful opening pair in the IPL this season. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have given three century stands to their side. But Monday wasn’t going to be their day, as hosts Kings XI Punjab came up with a plan and then executed it to perfection, breaking the Warner-Bairstow partnership early to stop SRH from running away with the game. ((Full Scorecard))
The hosts then produced a century stand with KL Rahul (71* off 53 balls) and Mayank Agarwal (55 off 43) adding 114 for the second wicket to seal the game by six wickets.
Kings XI Punjab, despite losing Chris Gayle early to Rashid Khan, began well, racing to 86 for one in 11 overs. SRH needed early wickets but their failure to do so proved costly as even a late burst of wickets couldn’t rescue them. In the end, Kings XI won with one ball to spare.
Rahul batted out the innings. He and Mayank went about their task smoothly and didn’t seem too affected by Gayle’s wicket. When the two were separated finally, Kings XI needed just 19 runs off 17 deliveries.
Earlier, in the face of disciplined bowling, SRH could hit just two sixes and 12 fours through their entire innings.
As Bairstow perished for one to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Warner had no choice but to dig deep and wait for opportunities. His unbeaten 70 off 62 balls (6x4, 1x6), and a cameo by Deepak Hooda (14*) helped SRH reach a respectable 150 for four in 20 overs.
SRH crawled to 27 for 1 after the first six overs and it seemed Kings XI Punjab’s decision to bowl was paying off. The crucial wicket of Bairstow was enough to keep SRH in check as the bowling line-up, comprising Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami did everything right. Just two fours came till the first strategic time out in the ninth over, underlining the sway Kings XI held over SRH.
Crucially for SRH, Warner showed guts to fight it out. Unusual it may seem, but Warner had to grind it out and keep waiting for loose balls which seldom came. Warner was involved in two crucial partnerships which ensured SRH bolwers had something to defend. He added 49 with Vijay Shankar for the second wicket and later added 55 for the third with Pandey (19).
Warner’s first six came in the 16th over of Mujeeb, with the team’s 100 coming of 15.3 overs. Hooda then used the long handle to good effect in the last over, hitting Shami for a six and two fours. Mujeeb, conceding 34 in his four overs, turned out to be the most expensive of the Punjab bowlers while Rajpoot conceded just 21 but went wicket-less.