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Sunrisers top order brushes Kings XI away

Sunrisers Hyderabad showed intent from the outset to get ahead of Kings XI Punjab via quickfire fifties from their top three batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner and Kane Williamson. Thereon, Sunrisers never looked like squandering the decisive advantage they gained within the first quarter of the game, putting on the joint second-highest total of the season and following it up with another relatively comfortable defence.

Shaun Marsh put on a display of timing in a belligerent 50-ball 84 to keep Kings XI in the hunt for the majority of the chase despite an increasing required rate. However, Kings XI’s insufficient resources towards the end meant they fell 26 runs short. Sunrisers’ win pushed them to third on the points table.

Getting ahead of the game

Ishant Sharma, one of two fast-bowling inclusions for Kings XI, bowled an accurate first over and generated appreciable lateral movement. Anureet Singh, the other, started with three leg-side deliveries. Dhawan flicked two of those deliveries to the boundary. Ishant’s line was wayward in his next over, and Dhawan picked him off for plenty of free runs. Dhawan helped himself to 20 of his first 23 runs into the leg side. Warner laid into the left-arm spin of Axar Patel, and Sunrisers plundered 60 in the Powerplay, their best this season.

The field spread but the Sunrisers openers’ intent didn’t change: Warner and Dhawan hit five boundaries in the first five overs of the innings and six more between overs 6 and 10. Warner was bowled for 51, looking to swat Glenn Maxwell in the 10th over. By that time, Sunrisers had scored 107.

T20s not all about power

Williamson isn’t the most powerful of ball-strikers, especially while hitting straight. What he lacks in power, he makes up in touch. After Warner’s dismissal, Williamson took his time, accruing nine runs in nine balls. As soon as he felt a need to attack, he picked his areas and executed flawlessly.

When the spinners dropped short, Williamson pulled. When the seamers were wide, he cut. He also improvised to hit behind square on either side as fatigue crept in. He faced the same number of deliveries as Warner, but scored three runs more without a muscular stroke.

Falling behind legspin

Before the game against Kings XI, Rashid Khan had conceded just 48 runs off 45 balls against overseas batsmen this season. Kings XI required 141 runs off 13 overs when Warner introduced Rashid. Shaun Marsh and Eoin Morgan weren’t particularly comfortable against Rashid’s legspin. So they decided to chip away as opposed to putting Rashid off his length.

While Marsh and Morgan, aware that Kings XI’s lower order was thin on batting, prodded about, the asking rate soared over 12. Rashid conceded just 16 off his four overs and had Eoin Morgan caught in the deep. It wasn’t the worst tactic from Kings XI, but the target proved to be too much to ‘play out’ a bowler.

Credit:@ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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