David Warner won the toss and elected to bat first.
So far in this tournament, Warner and Bairstow have got some runs but has not been in the same dominating manner as it was last year. In this match, it looked like they were in full flow as they got a brilliant 160 runs partnership which was their 5th century partnership in IPL. Jonny Bairstow took charge as he smashed a brilliant 97 off just 55 balls. Warner played second fiddle and supported Bairstow well as he got yet another 50. After this opening partnership, Bishnoi was brought into the attack and the collapse started. They quickly lost 3 wicket for just 1 run after that. Williamson and Abhishek Sharma did a decent job finishing as SRH got 201 which was a big total.
Punjab did have the batting on paper to chase down this target against SRH which is a slightly weakened bowler as they don’t have Bhuvneshwar Kumar and they are playing with just 4 genuine bowlers. But Punjab were never in the game from the moment Agarwal got run out in the second over. Pooran was the only bright spot who played an almost flawless innings of 77 from just 37 balls. He was able to middle every ball and was striking the ball cleanly. Unfortunately for Punjab, there was no other batsman to stay with him at the other end as they kept losing wickets and eventually got bowled out for 132.
Having lost 5 out of the 6 games, Punjab will really need to play out of their skins and to give themselves a chance which looks very difficult at the moment. They are definitely underperforming for the kind of talent they have in the team and in the think tank.
Game Changing Moments
The partnership between Warner and Bairstow really took the game away from Punjab.
For Punjab to have a chance, they needed a very good start from the openers who have been prolific in this tournament but once Agarwal was run out after a brilliant piece of fielding from Warner, it dented Punjab’s hopes.
Areas to Focus
Punjab really need to focus on their combinations. At the moment, their bowling combination doesn’t seem right. Shami, Mujeeb and Cottrell are at their best with the new ball and hence they don’t have a genuine death bowler. Also the three are not getting a good opportunity to bowl a spell with the new ball.
They lacked the depth in batting today with Mujeeb coming out at 7.
Glenn Maxwell is a big player for Punjab but he has not been able to perform at all so far in this tournament. He is a genuine match winner but they need him firing. It might also be an option to rest him for a couple of games to let him regroup and get him back.
Underrated Performer of the Day
Ravi Bishnoi after getting hit for 18 runs in his first over, showed the courage and heart to come back in the 16 over and picked up the wickets of Warner and Bairstow in the same over. He also picked up the wicket of Samad after that. His come back restricted SRH and gave Punjab a bit of hope.