Sunrisers Hyderabad slumped to their second successive defeat as K Lokesh Rahul (71 not out; 53 balls, 7×4, 1×6) steered Kings XI Punjab to a close six-wicket victory in IPL at PCA Stadium on Monday.

David Warner struck his fourth fifty of the season while Deepak Hooda played a cameo in the final over to lift Sunrisers Hyderabad to a challenging 150 for four. Chasing the modest target, the Kings XI scampered home with a ball to spare. This was SRH’s third defeat in six matches while Kings XI recorded their fourth win.

Kings XI lost the dangerous Chris Gayle in the fourth over. The left-handed opener, who hit a blistering century against SRH last season, could not repeat that show. After hitting a six and a four, he holed out to leg spinner Rashid Khan with Deepak Hooda grabbing a good sliding catch at long on.

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Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (55; 43 balls; 3×4. 3×6) rebuilt the innings after the early setback. Rahul played some elegant and attacking shots while Agarwal was impressive and aggressive. The duo was involved in a scintillating 114–run stand.

SRH had an opportunity to break this partnership but Yusuf Pathan grassed a sitter in the deep off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Agarwal was the lucky batsman. But SRH got the wickets of Agarwal and David Miller in the 18th over while Mandeep Singh was out in the next over to send the match went to the wire. The solid Rahul, however, ensured a Kings XI victory in the end. SRH, who lost to Mumbai Indians in their previous match at home, put up yet another disappointing show.

Earlier, opening the batting, Warner carried on his bat for an uncharacteristic 70 not out off 62 balls to anchor Sunrisers’ innings but it was Hooda’s unbeaten 14 off three deliveries that provided the late thrust to the visitors’ innings.

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Warner struck six boundaries and one six during his knock, but it was Hooda who stole the limelight, smashing Mohammed Shami for two fours and one hit over the fence to pick up vital 15 runs off the last over.

Sunrisers suffered an early blow in the form of Jonny Bairstow (1) after being sent into bat. Bairstow failed to control a flick off Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s (1/34) bowling as Kings XI skipper Ravichandran Ashwin took a smart catch at short midwicket in the second over.

The early dismissal, together with some disciplined bowling from Kings XI, made life difficult for Sunrisers batsmen as Warner and new man in Vijay Shankar (26) found the going tough. The duo failed to strike big and stitched 49 runs for the second wicket off 57 balls to stabilise the Sunrisers innings.

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But just when it was time to cut loose after a slow start, Shankar edged a Ashwin delivery to K L Rahul behind the stumps as Sunrisers slumped to 56 for two after 10.4 overs. Promoted up the order, Mohammad Nabi (12) fell victim to an unfortunate run out after adding just 24 runs with Warner. Warner was not his elements Monday as he struggled to his fifty off 49 balls with the help of four boundaries and one six.

Warner and Manish Pandey (19) then added 55 runs for the fourth wicket to take Sunrisers forward before Hooda finished off the innings in style to give Sunrisers’ bowlers a total to defend.

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A senior journalist, aged 54, having 25 years of experience in national and international publications and media houses across the globe. A multi-lingual personality with multi-tasking skills on his work. He belongs to Hyderabad in India. WHO AM I An award-winning, qualified, experienced, cutting-edge and result-oriented Entrepreneur and Journalist (with a side of 'Philosophy of Happiness'...real course I promise!), my career began in India reviewing & marketing news reporting, editing and research writing. Since then, I have immersed myself in creative industry and written about everything from shamanic healing to garden conservatories, from plumbing technologies to six star retreats, and from human trafficking to the best Cronuts. Now I spend my days blending powerful language & beautiful visuals, to help brands narrate who they are, what they do and why they do it.

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