IPL 2020: Kings XI Punjab pull off a coup against SRH
KL Rahul's side win by 12 runs in low-scoring affair
Whether Kings XI Punjab make it to the play-offs or not, one thing is certain, their penchant for the dramatics and their ability to provide wholesome entertainment. And it goes without saying that their co-owner is Bollywood actress - the dimpled beauty Preity Zinta.
A team that has already gone through two Super Overs, a few heartbreaks, chewed nails and a few heart-thumping thrillers, over the course of this IPL season, came up with another cinematic experience that was filled with drama.
And at the end of it all, they pulled off yet another heist, this time against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday night.
In a low-scoring affair, KL Rahul's side were on the right side of the result - a 12-run win at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
What a victory this for @lionsdenkxip. Four wins in a row for them.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad made a mountain out of a molehill target of 127 as they collapsed like a deck of cards, losing seven wickets for 17 runs.
An unlikely fifth victory it was for Kings XI Punjab and an astounding fourth on the trot and what it did was push them to fifth on the table and give them a sliver of hope of getting into the top four.
"I feel great," Man of the Match Chris Jordan, who picked 3-17, said at the post-match presentation.
"We had a pretty tough start to the tournament, but the entire squad, the entire management kept a lot of belief, and that's why you see that performance tonight," he added.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad openers captain David Warner and Jonny Bairstow shaved off 56 runs at the top end of the chase before the former edged leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi to Rahul.
Warner was eyeing a 10th successive half-century against them and tried to reverse sweep and got the faintest of edges. Umpire Paul Reiffel differed but KL Rahul went up and was successful with the DRS review.
Bishnoi and KL had a huge shout for leg before against Bairstow but they were not to be successful this time.
But Bairstow's stay didn't last long enough though as he was castled by a classic delivery from Murugan Ashwin round his legs as he attempted to sweep.
With all-rounder Abdul Samad too leaving soon enough, it brought the trusted pair of Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar together.
And the duo went about playing the ball on merit yet keeping in touch with the run rate. The situation required a cool and calm approach and the pair restored normalcy after the madness.
The two had starred in the team's huge win against the Rajasthan Royals in Dubai the other night and a repeat looked likely.
But it was not to be as Pandey was taken off by an outstanding catch by substitute fielder J Suchith off Jordan.
Meanwhile, Shankar, who was hit hard on his head by Nicholas Pooran as he attempted to hit the stumps to run him out, edged the next ball from Arshdeep Singh to KL.
With 15 runs needed from nine balls, West Indian all-rounder Jason Holder tried to hit out but smacked Chris Jordan into the hands of Mandeep Singh at extra cover.
Jordan was on a hat-trick after Rashid Khan was gobbled up by Pooran at sweeper cover but Priyam Garg denied him that honour.
The Sunrisers needed 14 from the last over and it was Arshdeep Singh who was on a hat-trick after scalping Sandeep Sharma and Priyam Garg to inch Kings XI Punjab closer.
And although Arshdeep didn't get one, Khaleel Ahmed was run out by a direct hit from Bishnoi to complete the win.
Earlier, Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers turned it on to restrict Kings XI Punjab to what had seemed a low score.
Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan picked up two wickets and West Indian all-rounder Jason Holder and Sandeep Sharma too ended up with two as Kings XI Punjab managed to muster 126 for seven.
Rashid Khan took two for 14, while Holder returned with two for 27. Sharma had two for 29 as he completed 100 IPL wickets.
Kings XI Punjab: 126-7 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 32, KL Rahul 27, Chris Gayle 20, Rashid Khan 2-14, Jason Holder 2-27, Sandeep Sharma 2-29) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad: 114 all out in 19.5 overs (David Warner 35, Vijay Shankar 26, Chris Jordan 3-17, Arshdeep Singh 3-23) by 12 runs.
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (C) (wk), Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Rashid Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan.