Sunrisers v Kings XI, IPL 2014, Hyderabad May 14, 2014

Saha, Vohra star as Kings XI go top


Play 05:41

Kings XI Punjab 211 for 4 (Saha 54, Vohra 47) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 205 for 5 (Ojha 79, Dhawan 45) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The prospect of facing Kings XI Punjab means extensive research on Glenn Maxwell. Perhaps a few hours spent decoding David Miller. But the winning push, in Hyderabad, came from two men who fly well under the radar. Wriddhiman Saha, usually charged with steadying a top-order wobble, exploded to make 54 off 26 and Manan Vohra, who was inked into the XI for the first time this season, made 47 off 20. Sunrisers Hyderabad had amassed 205 but came in second best.

The Powerplay provides a crucial opportunity when chasing a big total. Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, though, aren't the most straightforward bowlers to cart around. But that was what happened and the 86 for 1 that Saha and Vohra drove Kings XI to missed out on the overall IPL record for most runs in the first six overs by just one run.

Kings XI needed the audacious foundation, though. Only 24 runs came between the 13th and 17th overs. Sunrisers managed to keep Maxwell quiet for an over and dismissed him in the next. Miller wasn't managing his usual pace and Sunrisers' attack is well versed in flummoxing strong batting line-ups. Steyn was enlisted with the 18th over, but his extra pace proved just what George Bailey needed to hike his team back to the top of the table.

It was an unmitigated assault, and each shot carried the imprint of the dressing room's backing. Vohra faced eight balls from Steyn and smashed 20 runs, including two thumping sixes over midwicket. Saha deposited the second ball he faced from the South African quick into the same region with consummate authority. Both players were unafraid to go aerial and were quite efficient when they did. The result was Steyn, Sunrisers best hope, recorded his worst T20 figures - 0 for 51.

Sunrisers would rue not converting the opportunities they created - Bailey was absently loitering out of his crease in the 17th over, worried about a leg before appeal when Karn Sharma missed a run-out. Next ball, he hoisted a contentious chance to David Warner at long-off, but replays did not offer conclusive evidence of the catch being cleanly taken.

Shikhar Dhawan was confident of his top orders's aptitude at the toss. His concerns lay with the middle order and their ability to accelerate. Those were laid to rest courtesy a Naman Ojha-inspired bludgeoning. A strong bottom hand dominated most of his shots, so much that drives through the cover region seemed shoveled. Sunrisers have been searching for an Indian batsman to support their big-name top order and his 79 off 36 has given a strong message.

He was brutal against the spinners and Sandeep Sharma's medium pace enabled him to drive Sunrisers past the 200-mark. The 26 runs that came in the 19th over meant Sandeep's 1 for 65 became the joint second worst figures in IPL.

The early goings were markedly subdued though, with Dhawan stumbling around for form. He was leaping down the track only to find the inside edge. When he stayed deep in his crease, he couldn't pierce the gap on the off side. The fifth over provided ample relief and more pertinently, restored Dhawan's fluency. Sandeep's indiscipline - he offered two free hits - was punished with a four and a six. Having succumbed to the 30s on four previous occasions, he looked set to become the first Sunrisers captain to make a half-century but a flick off the hips found short fine leg.

David Warner strode in at No. 4 and ensured the foundation laid by the openers was taken advantage of. He contributed 44 to an 81-run stand for the third wicket that built a total fit to challenge most teams. But Kings XI's batting might was ruthlessly effective.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on May 15, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    @ moscowman Can't understand Shikar Dhawan …. And Shikar has to pull up socks and score…... Even Warner is subdued,why?"

    You have answered your own question. Dhawan's captaincy sent this team to the grave this year. Now they are just going through the motions. They want it to be over, and to get away from the awful team atmosphere under Dhawan. And Dhawan wants to get away from the burden of the responsibility for leading a losing team.

  • Dummy4 on May 15, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    Still Steyn is no match to Malinga in t20 cricket. There have been countless times he has leaked runs in a back end of an innings. This year he did just that in the wt20 semi-final against India and in this year's IPL against RCB and KXIP.

  • Android on May 15, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    very well done kxip ... see u guys in grand final....

  • varadarajan on May 15, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    Can't understand Shikar Dhawan persisting with Henriques benching Darren Sammy. Atrocious. Sammy iks a game changer. And Rahul is too slow. For a change N.Ojha has started scoring fast,otherwise he is no good. And Shikar has to pull up socks and score. Even Warner is subdued,why?

  • Farhan on May 15, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    everybody got bad days. there is no doubt that Steyn is the best in the world. you all forgot his heroics seeing his off day performance in a batting paradise??. styen can perform in any pitches, he is a gem. anyone remembers steyn's 7 wicket performance in his very first innings in india? this years IPL he did not perform well, i agree. but dont say he is not best and he is an ordinary bowler. if he is an oridnary bowler he couldnt have enjoyed the success he plz stop bashing guys. he wil bounce back, has that ability....

  • Naresh on May 15, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    Lets see Naman Ohja being given some India A games and see where he stands. Some great timing by him. Uthappa has almost guaranteed himself a place in the India Odi squad as an opener. He certainly will take over Rohit's spot up there. SRH lost that game due to poor captaincy and their bowling unit leaked. When they took the field I thought here is a chance for them to win an important game.

  • Android on May 15, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    give steyn some rest pick up holder and comes Sammy for henricks , junja for irfan bcuz irfan was not bowl and rasool for kV and mishra

  • syed on May 15, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    If Pathan is picked as a bowler then he should be bowled or otherwise why is he in the team.

  • Cricket on May 15, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    I can't quite believe this Steyn bashing. He has 2 or 3 bad games out of 10 and suddenly, he becomes overrated? Just take a look at Malinga's record against India. He has been spanked everywhere, mainly by Kohli and even by Raina and the others. No bowler is perfect. Steyn has a T20 economy of about 6.5 and an average around 20. Those are great numbers for anyone. He is accurate and deadly. This pitch had nothing for the fast bowlers. Even Bhuvi got smashed all around. If you really want to see Steyn's master bowling, just take a look at any of his test innings this past year. You don't even have to go that far back, just look at the last year matches and see how he decimated Pakistan, India and Australia line ups. Irfan got one good over in when Bailey was new to the crease. The previous match, he had been carted around merrily by MI. If anything, IRFAN is the one who just comes in and bowls straight and he doesn't even have Steyn's speed.

  • sree on May 15, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Very hard to see SRH making the playoffs from here. They might ironically end up 5th on table. But they deserve that 5th place. For this match, just can't say where SRH went wrong. Obviously they would have wanted to bowl better but Punjab batsmen just took breath away and I do not think any side could have stopped them. May be some half chances should have been converted by SRH. Steyn needs to use his brain rather than heart from now on. SRH can even gamble with the option of playing Warner, Finch, Sammy, and Henriques leaving out Steyn and bringing in Ishant or a some other surprise bowler. Other problem with SRH attack is it is too predictable now to the extent of who bowls which over. They need to surprise the opposition and gamble a bit now.

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