Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad survived a sensational David Miller onslaught to manage a tense five-run win over Kings XI Punjab and keep themselves in the race for the playoffs in IPL 2015, here on Monday.
SRH skipper David Warner muscled his way to a blazing 81 from 52 balls as he once again shouldered the responsibility of scoring runs, leading the hosts to a challenging 185 for five after electing to bat.
Miller smashed a breathtaking unbeaten 89 off just 44 balls to bring Punjab agonisingly close to victory but fell short by just five runs.
Punjab needed 28 from the last over but Miller managed to score only 22 with three sixes and a four off Ishant Sharma. Miller hit nine sixes and two fours in his sensational knock.
The pitch was flat and Warner put on 56 runs for the first wicket with Shikhar Dhawan (24) and added 65 for the second with fellow Australian Moises Henriques (28).
Warner cleared the ropes five times and hit the boundary ropes six times before being dismissed in the 18th over. He was in glorious touch as the Australian left-hander pulled, cut and drove ferociously, scoring boundary after boundary, and snatched the Orange cap from Ajinkya Rahane.
Eoin Morgan (17), Lokesh Rahul (17) and Karn Sharma (11) also contributed with cameos to make it an impressive total.
Punjab managed a good start through Murali Vijay (24) and Manan Vohra (20) but Bipul Sharma scalped both the openers to peg back the visitors, who ended at 180 for 7.
SRH are now placed third in the table with two matches –Bangalore (May 15) and Mumbai Indians (May 17) — to go.
Vijay looked in good touch when he creamed 16 runs off Trent Boult’s first over but Bipul (2/13) cut short his stay. The left-arm spinner flighted the ball well outside the off stump, Vijay’s drive failed to connect and Dhawan took a smart low catch at short covers.
Vohra tried to hoick Bipul’s tossed-up delivery but found Bhuvaneshwar at long-on. Boult returned and got rid of Glenn Maxwell (11) with a peach of a delivery that bounced, kissed the shoulder of the bat and flew to Naman Ojha’s hands.
Young Lokesh Rahul pulled off a stunner off Henriques to send back Wriddhinman Saha (5) to leave Punjab gasping at 65 for four.
Miller and skipper Geroge Bailey were left with a daunting task of scoring 124 runs with an asking rate of almost 11-an-over. The home bowlers though kept tightening their grip over the match with tidy bowling and regular strikes. Henriques was the most successful bowler, giving away just 16 runs and taking three wickets in his four overs.