CHENNAI: Sunrisers Hyderabad finally got their first points of the season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by beating Punjab Kings by nine wickets on Wednesday (Apr 21).
Punjab folded for 120 in 19.4 overs after captain Lokesh Rahul won the toss and elected to bat.
Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 63 off 56 balls ensured that Hyderabad, which had lost three in a row, didn’t face any more hiccups in run-chasing this season as they cruised to 121-1 in 18.4 overs.
Kane Williamson recovered from a troublesome elbow which had kept the New Zealander out of the previous three games and remained not out with 16 off 19 balls.
Bairstow and captain David Warner (37) yet again gave Hyderabad a strong start of 73 runs from 10 overs before Warner holed out in the deep while going for a big shot against left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.
“It’s been really close in most of the games, and haven’t got through. Probably through carelessness, to be honest,” Bairstow said as his team failed to capitalise on good starts in the previous three unsuccessful chases.
Earlier, Punjab's top-order batsmen continued to struggle - especially West Indies duo Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran. The pair were dismissed before the halfway mark and left their team in trouble at 47-4 in the ninth over.
Gayle was trapped leg before wicket for 15 by Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan and Pooran was out for his third score of zero in four innings when he was run out without facing a ball.
Fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed, who had earlier removed opening batsman Mayank Agarwal (22), took two late wickets to finish with 3-21. Left-arm spinner Abhishek Sharma took 2-24.
“A few batsmen got set and couldn’t get those 30s, 40s that could get us through,” Rahul said. “Every game from now is important for us and we’ve always been in that situation, where we get in a place where we have to win every game.”