UPDATED: April 21, 2021 19:56 IST
Sunrisers Hyderabad finally got off the mark with a win on Wednesday as they beat Punjab Kings in a low-scoring Match 14 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Chasing the lowest target of this year’s IPL, Sunrisers openers Jonny Bairstow and David Warner laid a solid platform with their 73-run partnership after which Kane Williamson joined the action and guided the team to victory in the 19th over with the unbroken second-wicket partnership worth 48 runs.
Bairstow ended up as their top-scorer with 63 not out while Warner made 37 off as many balls. Williamson, playing his first match of the season, remained unbeaten on 16.
The win helped SRH register their first points this season and topple KKR from the 5th spot on the table thanks to a better net run-rate than the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned team. PBKS traded places with SRH and are now the last-placed team courtesy of their third defeat in a row.
This was only the third occasion when a team managed to successfully chase down a target out of 8 matches at the Chepauk in IPL 2021.
But SRH’s win was actually set up by their bowlers in the first half of the game, especially by Khaleel Ahmed and Abhishek Sharma.
Punjab’s innings never really got going as they kept losing wickets right from the start with captain KL Rahul suffering a rare failure and departing for 4 in the 4th overs bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Rahul crossed the 5000-run mark in T20 cricket after taking a single off the first ball of the match. He became the 2nd fastest batsman after his PBKS teammate Chris Gayle to achieve the feat and smashed Virat Kohli’s record to become the fastest Indian to enter the 5k club.
But unlike in the previous matches, Rahul couldn’t go on to get a big one and got out for his 2nd single-digit score this season.
Khaleel then joined the action and removed Mayank Agarwal before getting the late wickets of Shahrukh Khan and Fabian Allen in the death overs to help SRH bowl out PBKS for 120 in 19.4 overs.
Abhishek played a crucial role in the middle overs by sending back the in-form Deepak Hooda (13) and Moises Henriques (14).