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SRH vs KXIP IPL 2019: KL Rahul takes Punjab home in tense finish

By Chaitanya Laxman

KXIP have made a habit of turning around games from nowhere and winning them with strong bowling. But today they were at the opposite end of one such batting collapse but KL Rahul kept his calm and steered Punjab home in a tense chase against SRH.

Rahul absorbs hiccup, steers Punjab home

For most part of the chase of 151 runs, Punjab looked in complete control as KL Rahul (71 unbeaten off 53 balls) and Mayank Agarwal (55 off 43 balls) added 114 runs for the second wicket.

But with 19 needed off 18 balls, Agarwal was caught by Shankar on Sandeep Sharma’s first ball of the 18th over. In the same over, Sandeep removed David Miller as well with a knuckle ball and suddenly Punjab were on the backfoot.

In the next over Siddarth Kaul gave just five runs and dismissed Mandeep Singh on the last ball of the over. With 11 needed off the last over Curran scored a couple on first two balls of the over and then Rahul drilled a four down the ground on the fourth ball.

And then a miss field by Warner on the next ball allowed Rahul to steal another two runs and Punjab won by six wickets to register their fourth win of Indian Premier League 2019.

SRH powerless in Powerplay

Earlier in the night, despite David Warner’s fourth half-century of IPL season 12, SRH failed to gain momentum in their innings. Hyderabad had a poor start as Jony Bairstow was sent back by Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the second over of the innings and SRH scored just 27 runs in their Powerplays.

The middle overs too went unproductive as R Ashwin removed Vijay Shankar (26 off 27 balls) just when he looked set to explode and Mohammad Nabi who was promoted up in the batting order was run-out smartly by the KXIP skipper.

Hooda pumps up SRH after Warner’s struggles

Meanwhile. uncharacteristically, Warner had a strike rate of below hundred till the 15th over of the innings courtesy of accurate bowling by Punjab. However he tried to break the shackles in the death overs and clobbered Mujeeb for a six off the first ball of the 16th over and then smashed Shami for a four in the next over.

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But the biggest boost came from Deepak Hooda who slammed two fours and a six on the last three deliveries of the inning to take SRH to 150 runs. Warner remained unbeaten on 70 off 62 balls.

Chaitanya Laxman