Sunrisers Hyderabad went up against Kings XI Punjab in Dubai looking to even out their win-loss ratio. Punjab, on the other hand, were desperately looking for a win, having had a terrible outing in the IPL so far with just one win.
Electing to bat first, Sunrisers openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow stuck into the Punjab bowlers from the word go.
Warner smacked five boundaries in his first 14 balls and raced to his 50th IPL half-century.
Bairstow at the other end of the crease also showed off his power hitting. Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bishnoi, Glenn Maxwell - no matter the bowler, Bairstow was pummeling him over the boundary rope.
He took 6, 4, 6 off Bishnoi’s first over, raced to his fifty shortly after and then proceeded to smack Maxwell for 4, 6, 6.
Hyderabad cruised to 160 before Punjab managed to get the first breakthrough - Warner falling for 52 off 40 balls to Bishnoi in the 16th over.
SRH seemed set for a massive total with the platform provided by the openers and Bairstow still at the crease. However, that’s when Punjab finally made an appearance in the game and began pulling things back.
Bairstow fell 3 runs short of a century, making 97 off 55 balls as Bishnoi dismissed the opener just 3 balls after he knocked over Warner.
Suddenly Hyderabad had two new batsmen at the crease.
SRH ended up losing 5 wickets in four overs as two uncapped Indian bowlers - Ravi Bishnoi (3/29) and Arshdeep Singh (2/33) - ripped through the middle order.
After Warner, the highest scorer was Kane Williamson, who remained not out for 20.
From 160/0 at the start of the 16th over, Hyderabad ended up making just 201/6 in their 20 overs.
Punjab has heavily relied on openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal this season and when Agarwal got run out in the second over, things had already begun to look grim for the Kings XI.
3 overs later, Prabhsimran Singh was dismissed by Khaleel Ahmed for 11.
And soon after a scratchy looking Rahul was sent back by Abhishek Sharma after having struggled to 11 off 16 balls. Punjab 58/3 after 6.4 overs.
Number four Nicholas Pooran however was unfazed by the score and the falling wickets. He strode in, started smacking the Hyderabad bowlers around the park and raced to a 50 off just 17 balls - the fastest half-century of IPL 2020.
All-rounder Abdul Samad will probably remember the evening with dismay for some time to come with Pooran hitting him for 6, 4, 6, 6, 6, 0 in one over.
What Pooran needed was someone to play the kind of supporting role that Warner had played for Bairstow earlier on. And that is exactly what he didn’t get.
The next highest score after Pooran’s 77 off 27 balls was 11. Kings XI went from 91/3 in the 9th over to 126/6 in the 14th.
With ducks from the last three in the Punjab batting line-up, the Kings XI were all out for 132 in 16.5 overs, giving Hyderabad a 69-run victory.
Punjab have now lost five out of the six games they have played and sit at the bottom of the table. Hyderabad has gone up to third place.
Jonny Bairstow was named Man of the Match.