Aaron Finch once again took a back seat as the Big Show took centre stage for Kings XI Punjab.
Glenn Maxwell and his teammates are quickly developing a reputation for destroying opposition bowling attacks and unfortunately for Sunrisers Hyderabad they fell victim to another staggering run chase at the Rajiv Ghandi Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad.
SRH had posted a mammoth 205-4, their highest of the tournament, but it was knocked off with more than an over to spare as Kings XI became the first side to successfully chase two scores of over 200 in one IPL campaign.
The fact that Finch’s innings pales into insignificance is a testament to the quality of the batting on display. Finch once again looked in good form as he got the SRH innings off to a flyer with trademark drives off Sandeep Sharma.
Finch and Shikhar Dhawan got the home side off to a flyer as they posted their best powerplay of the tournament, reaching 55-0 after six overs. After reaching 20 at a run a ball, Finch had to watch on as Dhawan dominated the bowling of KXI and the Yorkshire recruit was soon dismissed as he tried to keep up with his partner.
Sandeep Sharma managed to sneak one through the defences of Finch and he was forced to depart for 20 off 23 balls.
It was the batting of Dhawan, Naman Ojha and David Warner that set the crowd alive. The skipper was dismissed in the 12th over for 45 to leave the game evenly balanced at 92-2.
Ojha and Warner then shared a partnership of 81 in just seven overs to put SRH in a dominant position at the halfway stage with a total of 205-4. Ojha’s innings was outstanding and finished not out with 79 from just 36 deliveries, including seven sixes.
With SRH looking to bounce back from the defeat to Mumbai, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed the evergreen Virender Sehwag early on but Wriddham Saha and Manan Vohra took a liking to the bowling of Dale Steyn et al as they accelerated to a scarcely believable score of 86-1 after six overs.
Saha was dismissed shortly after, but the damage had been done with 54 in 26 balls. Karan Sharma may have been happy with the wicket, but his face dropped as he saw the current holder of the orange cap walking to the wicket.
Sunrisers v Royals, April 18, Royals won by 4 wickets
Kings XI v Sunrisers, April 22, Kings XI won by 72 runs
Sunrisers v Daredevils, April 25, Sunrisers won by 4 runs
Sunrisers v Super Kings, April 27, Super Kings won by 5 wickets
Indians v Sunrisers, April 30, Sunrisers won by 15 runs
Royal Challengers v Sunrisers, May 4, Royal Challengers win by 4 wickets
Royals v Sunrisers, May 8, 3.30pm BST, Sunrisers win by 32 runs
Daredevils v Sunrisers, May 10, 11.30am BST, Sunrisers win by 8 wickets (D/L Method)
Sunrisers v Indians, May 12, 3.30pm BST, Indians win by 7 wickets
Sunrisers v Kings XI, May 14, 11.30am BST, Kings XI win by 6 wickets
Sunrisers v Knight Riders, May 18, 3.30pm BST
Sunrisers v Royal Challengers, May 20, 11.30am BST
Super Kings v Sunrisers, May 22, 3.30pm BST
Knight Riders v Sunrisers, May 24, 3.30pm BST
Qualifiers, 27-30 May
Final, June 1, 3.30pm BST
Maxwell showed once again why he is so highly rated, hitting 43 in 22 balls with five huge sixes over midwicket. Kings XI passed 100 and 150 in record IPL time as they closed in on the SRH total.
Despite losing Maxwell and Vohra (47 from 20), ex-Yorkshire batsman David Miller (24*) and George Bailey (35*) saw the away side to a famous victory as they returned to the top of the 2014 Pepsi IPL.
SRH have now gone two games without a win and are in fifth place, behind Kolkata Knight Riders who won later this afternoon.
Finch: 20 off 23 balls; SR; 86.95; 2 × 4.
Will Jackson, Finch Watch Correspondent
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