More often than not, a target of 133 would not be defended in today’s day and age of T20 cricket. But in the on-going season of the IPL, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have not only defended 133, but also previously managed to defend 119. On Thursday evening, when they achieved one of the said feats, the opponents or victims of some fantastic bowling and fielding was the Kings XI Punjab.

The KXIP side which has Chris Gayle at the top of the order along with KL Rahul began in their usual busy manner before Rashid Khan and Basil Thampi engineered what would be eventually a middle order collapse. After the loss of the two openers, the Punjab batsmen could manage only another 62 runs as they crumbled under pressure and succumbed to a 13-run defeat.

 A rather disappointed KXIP captain R Ashwin was quoted by the Hindustan Times saying, “These things (batting collapse) happen in this kind of a tournament and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling made the difference. We lost wickets throughout the middle (overs) and I thought we kept attacking a little too much and lost few wickets,” he said after the match.

For Ashwin’s side, the middle-order has been a problem and it was at the forefront once again. For the Punjab franchise, the main scoring batsmen so far have been Gayle, Rahul and Karun Nair. The rest together total a little over 100 runs in the season.
After the loss, Ashwin said he hoped that batsmen will pull up their socks and come good in due course of time.
“We do have finishers but they are not coming off. You won’t get all the puzzles solved at once. Hopefully, some of the people whom we have trusted will come good at the right time. That’s how you get going. They are quality players,” he said.