From the very start this season, David Warner has been the torch-bearer for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Riding on his own personal form despite a nagging back injury, the fiery Australian opener recorded his sixth half-century of the 2015 IPL. On Monday, playing against Kings Eleven Punjab, Warner batted until the 18th over of the SRH innings and his 81 off 52 balls contained 6 fours and 5 sixes. With smaller contributions from other batsmen, SRH ended their 20 overs with a challenging 185/5. Kings Eleven Punjab, for whom the only reason for existence in IPL is the pride came back to chase 186 for victory and pushed SRH hard in the end. With nothing more to lose, KXIP batsmen began well before the rot set in the middle overs. After Murali Vijay fell in the 5th over, five more wickets fell in quick succession as KXIP tottered at 99/6 in the 15th. Then suddenly, David Miller created a huge scare with his 44-ball 89 that included 2 fours and 9 sixes. With 28 still required off the last 6 balls, Miller belted two consecutive sixes off Ishant Sharma and after a dot ball hit the fourth delivery for four. KXIP were unlucky that the fifth from Sharma was another dot ball since Miller sent the last delivery soaring into the stands as SRH scraped through with a narrow 5-run victory.
David Warner won the toss and elected to bat first. With Shikhar Dhawan, he added 56 in the power play period and Sunrisers were off to a rousing start. Even after Dhawan was beaten and stumped to Glenn Maxwell’s flighted ball, Warner found ideal company in Moises Henriques as the two batsmen compiled 65 for the second wicket before Henriques fell. Eoin Morgan was next and another 19 were added for the third wicket. Warner kept going at the other end before getting out in the 18th over. But his lead role rubbed on others as Lokesh Rahul and Karn Sharma came up with small but useful scores and SRH ended their 20 overs at 185/5.
In response, Kings Eleven openers also began well to put up a 42-run opening wicket stand in the 5th over before Bipul Sharma removed both openers in a space of 5 runs. The KXIP batting lost its rhythm as Maxwell and Saha also got out soon. In trying to play lofted shots, George Bailey and Gurkeerat Singh too lost their wickets and KXIP’s score stood at 99/6 in 15th over. With 86 required for victory at this stage off 34 balls, no one would have thought KXIP could make a game out of these conditions. But David Miller had his own mind as he refused to yield under such adversity. He assumed control and began clobbering the bowlers mercilessly. Axar Patel did well to give Miller whatever support he needed. 12 runs came of the 16th over, 13 off the 17th, 18 off 18th and 11 off the 19th. By the time the game entered the 20th over, Axar Patel had departed and Miller needed 28 off the six balls from Ishant Sharma. Undeterred, he struck two sixes off Ishant to reduce the gap to 16 runs. Miller couldn’t score off the third-ball yorker from Ishant but edged the fourth ball for 4. With Miller in full cry, panic gripped SRH as Miller looked perfectly capable of scoring 12 required of the next two balls. But unfortunately, he missed the fifth ball and despite the last ball clearing the ropes yet again, KXIP fell short by 5 runs.