With four wins from six games, Punjab occupy the third spot with eight points. @ BCCI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) displayed their might at home following a thrilling six-wicket over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019) at Mohali on Monday. The win – KXIP’s fourth and third at home – has ensured they not only remain unbeaten at their fortress but have also jumped to the third spot. (WATCH: KL Rahul takes KXIP to third spot with six-wicket win over SRH)

Chasing 151, KXIP would have liked to have finished things off earlier, specially after a century-run partnership from KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (55) that steadied the innings following the early departure of Chris Gayle. Indeed, there was dew on the pitch, but Rahul and Agarwal kept themselves busy at the crease and played very few dot balls while denying wickets to the opposition bowlers.

The partnership was brought to an end by Sandeep Sharma, who had Agarwal caught by Vijay Shankar in the 18th over, but the damage was already. The Karnataka batsman departed for a well-played 55 off 43 that included four boundaries and as many hits over the fence. His statemate and good friend, Rahul, at the other end remained unbeaten on 51 off 53 to take his side to the finish line. (ALSO READ: There is scope for improvement: Ashwin)

Siddharth Kaul might have bowled a terrific penultimate over which yielded just five runs and a wicket, but it was he who also allowed things to drift away in the middle overs. He conceded 24 off his first two overs which shifted the momentum to the home side.

Teams M W L T N/R P NRR
Kolkata Knight Riders 5 4 1 0 0 8 +1.058
Chennai Super Kings 5 4 1 0 0 8 +0.159
Kings XI Punjab 6 4 2 0 0 8 -0.061
Sunrisers Hyderabad 6 3 3 0 0 6 +0.810
Mumbai Indians 5 3 2 0 0 6 +0.342
Delhi Capitals 6 3 3 0 0 6 +0.131
Rajasthan Royals 5 1 4 0 0 2 -0.848
Royal Challengers Bangalore 6 0 6 0 0 0 -1.453

What did hurt SRH was the ineffectiveness of their pace bowling attack. Skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who’s death over bowling this IPL has been a major concern, returned wicketless and went for above 6 an over in his four overs. Kaul was the most expensive, going for 42 in his four overs. Sandeep pocketed two wickets, but was a tad bit expensive.

Earlier, put into bat on a sluggish wicket, a disciplined KXIP bowling attack restricted SRH to 150/4. Had it not been for David Warner’s unbeaten 70, SRH would have been sweating over their target, with the next best scorer coming from Vijay Shankar, who added 26. Captain Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Mujeeb Ur Rahman snapped one wicket each. (FULL POINTS TABLE)

With four wins from six games, Punjab occupy the third spot with eight points. However, there will want to up their existing run-rate of -0.061. Sunrisers Hyderabad, meanwhile, last year’s finalists, have slipped to the fourth spot with three wins and as many losses. On the bright side, SRH have a good run-rate (+0.810), but will want to accelerate their wins.

KXIP next visit the Wankhede Stadium as they lock horns with Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, while Sunrisers Hyderabad hosts Delhi Capitals on Sunday. The match begins at 8 pm IST.