Kane Williamson    AFP
Kane Williamson AFP

Match 25 of the ongoing VIVO IPL 2018 turned out to be yet another rollercoaster ride. After being asked to bat first, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) mustered a mediocre 132 for 6 courtesy Ankit Rajpoot, whose 5 for 14 were the best figures in Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) history and the second-best spell ever by an Indian pacer. In reply, KL Rahul and Chris Gayle predictably cut loose, putting on 55 for the first wicket. From there, KXIP stuttered to 101 for 9 before being bowled out for 119 thanks to Rashid Khan (3 for 19), Shakib Al Hasan (2 for 18) and the SRH pacers.

SRH, after defending 119 versus Mumbai Indians (MI) at Wankhede Stadium on Monday, came from behind to restrict the opposition in another low-scoring encounter. Lauding SRH bowlers for knowing their roles, and delivering accordingly, skipper Kane Williamson wished for the side to maintain the same trend going forward. However, he urged the batsmen to be more smart in application and at least get close to 150-155 on ‘such tough wickets.’

In the post-match conference, Williamson stated, “We haven’t really played on surfaces like 180-190. The Kings XI bowled really, really well, but the boys fought really hard. It’s nice to be able to defend this totals. We want to be more smarter with the bat. It’s about getting 155 and those competitive totals on these kind of surfaces. The bowlers have been operating very well, they know their roles very well. Some good tough decisions to make going into the next few matches. The boys have been fantastic in the way they fought with the ball and we want to maintain the same trend for the rest of the tournament.”

SRH with 5 wins out of 7 games are second in the points table. KXIP, with same number of wins and losses, are placed in the third spot.