Sunrisers Hyderabad's top-order batted with aplomb before the bowlers delivered the goods as the defending champions registered an emphatic 26-run win over struggling Kings XI Punjab, at Mohali on Friday. Half-centuries from openers Shikhar Dhawan (77), David Warner (51) and Kane Williamson (54 not out) propelled Hyderabad to a very challenging 207 for three after being asked to take the first strike. The hosts were off to a flying start but intermittent wickets did not help their cause. All they could manage was 181 for nine, allowing Hyderabad consolidate their third position in the table.
Australian left-hander Shaun Marsh made good use of two lives to keep the defending champions nervous but once his whirlwind knock 84 runs was ended by pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the win was a mere formality for Hyderabad.
At the start also when Martin Guptill (23) was going hammer and tongs, it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who had dismissed the Kiwi cricketer to bring relief for his side. Bhuvneshwar, who has been the most impressive bowler this IPL season, continued to dominate the batsmen and his impeccable line and length at crucial juncture yet again proved a boon for his side.
Afghan spinner Rashid Khan was exceptional in the middle overs. He choked the Punjab batsmen with his superb control over line and length. He conceded only two runs in his first 12 balls which meant that the required run-rate mounted to 13.20 after 10 overs. Overall, he gave away only 16 runs in his four-over quota and also dismissed dangerous Eoin Morgan. Siddarth Kaul accounted for three batsmen -- Maxwell (0), Wriddhiman Saha (2) and Axar Patel (16).
Earlier, home skipper Glenn Maxwell invited Hyderabad to bat but could hardly trouble the visitors who negotiated the attack with remarkable ease. The platform for Hyderabad's second 200-plus total was set by the 107-run stand between Dhawan and Warner.