Bhuvneshwar 5-fer denies KXIP in thriller

Sunrisers Hyderabad 159 for 6 (Warner 70*, Ojha 34, Mohit 2-25) beat Kings XI Punjab 154 (Vohra 95, Bhuvneshwar 5-19) by five runs

Manan Vohra defied a pitch of inconsistent pace and bounce and a situation stacked against his team to produce one of the IPL’s great backs-to-the-walls innings.

M19 - SRH vs KXIP

His 95 off 50 balls revived a floundering chase, taking Kings XI Punjab to within 15 runs of victory, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar would ensure he wouldn’t be able to finish the match, taking two wickets in the 19th over to finish with 5 for 19.

In the end, neither of them would be involved in what became the nerviest finish of the season. Eleven off six balls usually favours the chasing side, but seldom is a chasing side nine down at that stage. Siddarth Kaul conceded four off the first two legal balls, slipping in two wides, but pulled himself together to send down the perfect yorker with six needed off two. Ishant Sharma couldn’t put bat to it, and Sunrisers just about held on to their undefeated home record this season.

Difficult pitch, quiet Powerplay

A pitch full of cracks turned out slower than is usually the case in Hyderabad, with some balls skidding through and others stopping with tennis-ball bounce. Kings XI’s seamers looked to exploit this by bowling at the stumps and pitching just short of a good length.

Denied the drive-able ball, the batsmen couldn’t play square with too much confidence either – given the line and the tendency of the ball to keep low. Sunrisers only scored 29 in the Powerplay, hitting just one four and losing the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan, caught behind off the glove looking to pull Mohit Sharma.

Warner adapts and prospers

Spin came on for the first time in the seventh over, and David Warner immediately picked up his first boundary with a reverse-sweep off KC Cariappa. In his next over, he switch-hit him for six. By the end of Sunrisers’ innings, all but two of Warner’s nine boundaries would come behind the wicket.

Wickets kept falling at the other end – Axar Patel dismissed Moises Henriques and Yuvraj Singh off successive balls in the 10th over – but Warner, with a bit of help from Naman Ojha, ensured Sunrisers reached a competitive total. Having scored only 6 off his first 16 balls – all in the Powerplay – Warner went at a strike rate of 168.42 thereafter to finish unbeaten on 70 off 54.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Act 1

Interviewed between innings, VVS Laxman, the Sunrisers mentor, felt 159 was a match-winning total given the conditions and his team’s bowling resources. As it happened, it wasn’t the pitch that gave Sunrisers an early wicket but Bhuvneshwar’s swing and full length, trapping Hashim Amla lbw first ball. Glenn Maxwell promoted himself to No. 3 for the first time this season, and Bhuvneshwar dismissed him as well. This time it was the slower ball, coupled with a change of field – he brought third man into the circle, pushed mid-off back, and Maxwell took him on, unwisely.

Man of the Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar