Hyderabad bounced back to winning ways on Thursday, riding on the back of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow's 160-run opening wicket stand to beat Punjab by 69 runs.
After having won the toss and elected to bat, skipper David Warner decided to set a score on the board, a decision that worked wonders. Cruising alongside his partner in crime, Jonny Bairstow, Warner finally set the momentum for Hyderabad, putting 201/6 on board. And while their batting was top notch on the day, their bowling contingent oozed similar confidence, as four of their six bowlers maintained an economy of under eight, with Rashid Khan, as one can expect, topping the chart by picking three wickets for 13 in four overs, which is now his best bowling figure in the Indian T20 League.
Punjab got off on a wrong foot, and while Nicholas Pooran gave them a hope, the others crumbled like a house of card to hand Hyderabad their third-biggest win (by runs) of the Indian T20 League.
That said, here are a few talking points from the game:
Warner and Bairstow finally off the mark
Openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow were often criticized for letting it loose this season. In fact, prior to tonight’s game, the duo had jotted a mere 154 runs in five innings (18 vs Bangalore, 24 vs Kolkata, 77 vs Delhi, 1 vs Chennai, 34 vs Mumbai), a figure that is even less than what they accumulated at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
This was the duo’s first 100-run partnership against Punjab and fifth in the Indian T20 League. Warner and Bairstow got off to a strong start and went on to score 58 runs in the power play overs; the highest they have accumulated in the ongoing edition thus far.
|JM Bairstow, DA Warner||185||1st||v Bangalore||Hyderabad (Deccan)||31-Mar-19|
|DA Warner, JM Bairstow||160||1st||v Punjab||Dubai (DSC)||08-Oct-20|
|DA Warner, JM Bairstow||131||1st||v Kolkata||Hyderabad (Deccan)||21-Apr-19|
|DA Warner, JM Bairstow||118||1st||v Kolkata||Kolkata||24-Mar-19|
|DA Warner, JM Bairstow||110||1st||v Rajasthan||Hyderabad (Deccan)||29-Mar-19|
Table: Highest partnership between Warner and Bairstow in Indian T20 League
Riding on their 160-run opening wicket stand - the duo’s second-highest partnership in the competition - Hyderabad went on to score 201/6 in 20 overs, which is now the fourth time the one-time league winners have scored 200 or more runs against Punjab in the Indian T20 League.
Bairstow may feel gutted for missing out on a century by three runs, but Warner achieved something to rejoice. A 40-ball 52 was his 11th half-century against Punjab, and in doing so, he became the first player to score 50 fifth-plus scores in the Indian T20 League (46 half-centuries and four centuries).
|AB de Villiers||159||147||4550||3||35||38|
Table: Players with most 50+ scores in Indian T20 League
Bishnoi and Arshdeep: The needed spark in the dark
While the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Mohammad Shami and Glenn Maxwell were hit across the park, there was something positive about Punjab’s bowling line-up, as youngster Ravi Bishnoi continued to wreak havoc with the ball. It was the 20-year-old who got put a dent in the Warner- Bairstow partnership, dismissing both the openers in a single over. He was at it once again in the 18th over, this time dismissing Abdul Samad.
The youngster did concede 29 runs in his three overs, but he more than made up for it by picking three important wickets.
It certainly was a night to forget for the senior bowlers, but rightfully not for a certain Arshdeep Singh. Apart from playing his part in dismissing Samad, the 21-year-old left-arm seamer got himself two wickets while maintaining an economy of 8.25; lowest amongst the Punjab bowlers.
Nicholas Pooran: More of the same, please?
Nicholas Pooran had a rather forgettable outing in the first innings, dropping Samad at the long-off in what was a not-so-difficult catch. Samad had a good connection with the bat off Ravi Bishoi's ball but lacked the power. And while the elevation was flat, Pooran could only manage to tip it off for a boundary.
But as Punjab struggled to get going with the bat, Pooran gave the team a renewed hope, hitting a quick-fire 17-ball 50 to bring his side right in the game. By the end of the eight over, Punjab were 63/3, but all that changed as Warner decided to bring Samad into attack. An act of sweet revenge was on card as Pooran went no to smash 28 runs in his over. And in the midst, he scored the fastest half-century of the ongoing edition. Overall, it is now the second-fastest 50 for Punjab in the Indian T20 League, behind KL Rahul's 14-ball half-century he scored against Delhi in 2018.
|KL Rahul||14||Punjab vs Delhi||Chandigarh||08-Apr-18|
|N Pooran||17||Punjab vs Hyderabad||Dubai||08-Oct-20|
|DA Miller||19||Punjab vs Rajasthan||Sharjah||20-Apr-14|
|KL Rahul||19||Punjab vs Chennai||Chandigarh||05-May-19|
|V Sehwag||21||Punjab vs Chennai||Mumbai||30-May-14|
|GJ Maxwell||21||Punjab vs Hyderabad||Sharjah||22-Apr-14|
Table: Fastest 50 for Punjab in Indian T20 League (by balls faced)
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / @IndianT20League