Chasing a modest total of 124 runs to win, the Hyderabad side achieved the target scoring 127 for five from 18.5 overs, but not before a few hiccups.
Hyderabad made a wobbly start in pursuit of 124, losing opener Quinton de Kock cheaply. The South African cricketer failed to make a mark once again, after his poor outing with the bat against the Pune Warriors, which was his first game in IPL 2013.
De Kock fell for a duck on the fourth ball of the innings off Praveen Kumar.
Akshath Reddy and Vihari joined forces to take Hyderabad ahead, and the two batted cautiously to keep the Punjab bowlers at bay. Both Akshath and Vihari kept picking runs from both sides of the wicket, and boundaries off lose balls.
Punjab spinner Piyush Chawla was welcomed into the attack with two boundaries by Vihari, as Hyderabad consolidated their position.
But in the eighth over of the innings, Akshath lost his cool and tried hitting over Azhar Mahmood at mid-off. Akshath hadn’t hit it hard and all Mahmood did was to jump and grab the ball.
Cameron White walked in and added a further 22 runs with Vihari, who carried on scoring without any trouble.
Chawla struck in his third over of the game to provide Punjab the key wicket of Vihari, who gave an easy catch to David Hussey at extra cover in a bid to hit a boundary.
Vihari scored a fluent 46, but a poor shot selection resulted in him missing out on a half-century.
Hyderabad slipped from 70/3 from 12 overs to 100/5 after 17 as White and Biplab Samantray fell in quick succession.
Towards the end, Perera slammed a quickfire 23 not out from 11 balls studded with three sixes to seal a narrow win for the hosts.
Manpreet Gony was Punjab’s most successful bowler, taking two for 24.
Electing to bat first, Punjab failed to put up a strong first innings total as their batsmen once again let down the side.
The Kings XI slipped from 104 for five in the 16th over to 123 for nine as Sunrisers Hyderabad seized momentum in the game.
None of the Punjab batsmen could convert a start into big scores. Adam Gilchrist, Piyush Chawla and David Hussey scored quick runs but failed to drop the anchor and provide stability.
Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 123 for 9 in 20 overs (Adam Gilchrist 26, Piyush Chawla 23; Amit Mishra 2 for 29, Ishant Sharma 2 for 29) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 127 for 5 in 18.5 overs (Hanuma Vihari 46, Thisara Perera 23*; Manpreet Gony 2 for 24) by 5 wickets.
(Devarchit Varma is a cricket fanatic who finds nothing more exciting to do than to write, watch or talk about the sport. Having played the game at club and college level, he now pursues his passion as a scribe)