Spin twins Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan shared five wickets between them to help Sunrisers Hyderabad defend a meagre 132 against Kings XI Punjab by 13 runs in a nail-biting clash.
Demoted to No.3, Kings XI Punjab squandered a watchful 55-run opening start from Chris Gayle and Lokesh Rahul before falling apart.
While Gayle started with a thunderous six over Mohammad Nabi’s head before going into a shell, Rahul sent the Afghan to the cleaners.
Rahul’s innings was laced with a range of cover drives and straight drives even as Gayle found back his groove by welcoming medium pacer Basil Thampi, and helping his side past the 50-run mark.
With Punjab sailing smoothly towards the target, Kane Williamson brought in his strike bowler Rashid Khan, who responded in style by hammering Rahul’s off-stump with a googly.
Punjab’s nightmare continued in the coming overs when Shakib packed back Aaron Finch after being clobbered for a massive six.
With the target gradually getting out of Punjab’s hands, tailenders Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Ankit Rajpoot got a few hits before Thampi uprooted Rajpoot’s middle stick to take his team home.
Earlier, medium pacer Ankit Rajpoot (5/14) ripped through the Hyderabad batting to restrict them to a paltry 132.
The 24-year-old Rajpoot started off with the key wickets of skipper Kane Williamson, Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha from his first three overs before returning to pick Manish Pandey and Mohammad Nabi in the final over of the innings.
Put in to bat, the hosts were saved from the blushes by Pandey’s fighting 51-ball knock, after Rajpoot reduced them to 27/3 in the first five overs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 132/6 (Manish Pandey 54, Shakib Al Hasan 28; Ankit Rajpoot 5/14) beat Kings XI Punjab (Lokesh Rahul 32, Chris Gayle 23; Rashid Khan 3/19, Basil Thampi 2/14, Shakib Al Hasan 2/18) by 13 runs.