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Dhawan, Warner, Williamson fifties set up Hyderabad win

Wisden India logo Wisden India 28-04-2017 Nisha Shetty

Hyderabad subdues Punjab © IANS Hyderabad subdues Punjab

Though the margin might not quite suggest it, it was a lopsided contest at the PCA Stadium in Mohali as the batting might of Sunrisers Hyderabad set up a 26-run win against Kings XI Punjab on Friday (April 28), giving the victors their first away win this season.

Punjab opted to field, but Shikhar Dhawan (77 in 48 balls), David Warner (51 in 27) and Kane Williamson (54 not out in 27) combined to help Hyderabad post 207 for 3.

Scorecard: KXIP vs SRH

Martin Guptill – coming in for the injured Hashim Amla and one of four changes made by the hosts – slammed 23 off 11 balls but was sent back in the third over, toe-ending a knuckle ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Moises Henriques at cover. A bright cameo like that might do for a small target, but a mammoth one meant that it would largely be up to Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell, Eoin Morgan and Shaun Marsh to get them there.

Instead, Vohra popped a simple catch off Ashish Nehra for three, and Maxwell perished for a duck, trying to flick a ball from Siddarth Kaul off his pads but finding the fielder at the short fine-leg region.

Marsh and Morgan batted well, adding 73 runs to briefly raise Punjab's hopes, but the England limited-overs captain made the cardinal mistake of attacking Rashid Khan in his fourth over after the legspinner had given away only ten runs in his first three. It also allowed Deepak Hooda to redeem himself after dropping Marsh on 56 the previous over off Moises Henriques, Morgan (26 in 21) top-edging the ball to the same fielder, near the long-on boundary.

Marsh continued to go hammer and tongs, even benefitting from a rare drop by Warner off Kaul's bowling when he was on 75. This, though, didn't prove too costly as Warner brought back Bhuvneshwar, who responded by dismissing Marsh for a 50-ball 84.

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From there, the result was pretty much a formality as Hyderabad restricted Punjab to 181 for 9, Kaul ending with 3 for 36 to compliment Bhuvneshwar (2 for 27) and Nehra (3 for 42).

It was all one-way traffic in the first half with Warner and Dhawan putting on a 107-run opening stand in just ten overs. Dhawan opened his account with back-to-back fours against Anureet Singh in the second over and kicked on from there, while Warner took slightly longer to get settled before also blazing away.

Punjab have stubbornly stuck to a primarily all-Indian attack this season and were under pressure yet again. They introduced Axar Patel in the fifth over and he was promptly tonked for 17 runs in the first five balls. The sixth ball Axar induced an edge from Warner, on 25, to Wriddhiman Saha but such was Punjab's luck that the usually excellent wicketkeeper couldn't hold on.

With Hyderabad cruising at 72 for no loss after seven overs, Maxwell had seen enough and brought himself on. He went for 11 in his first over – Warner dispatching his countrymate for a six – but the Punjab captain got his opposite number out in the following over, going past his defence with a full delivery.

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Even then, a century seemed there for the taking for Dhawan, who had motored to 77 off 47 balls before he fell next ball, slogging across the line and finding Maxwell at midwicket. Maxwell returned to bowl the 16th and 18th overs, dismissing Yuvraj Singh for 15 to end with impressive figures of 2 for 29.

His brilliance aside, the rest of the bowlers – all going at over ten an over and Ishant Sharma yet to pick up a wicket in four games this season – suffered at the hands of Williamson, who continued to show his range to take Hyderabad past the 200-run mark.

Punjab probably would have preferred a Maxwell special with the bat rather than the ball on the night, though.

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