Bairstow guides Sunrisers to first win of IPL season

Chennai (Agencies): Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 63 led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their first win of the 2021 Indian Premier League with a nine-wicket victory over Punjab Kings.

Bairstow put on 73 with David Warner (37) and 48 with Kane Williamson (16*) as his side won with eight balls spare. Punjab were bowled out for 120 from 19.4 overs with Mayank Agarwal and Shahrukh Khan top-scoring with 22. Khaleel Ahmed was the pick of the Sunrisers bowlers taking 3-21.

Bairstow is now the third-highest run-scorer, behind Delhi Capitals’ Shikhar Dhawan and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Glenn Maxwell, in this season’s competition with 173 runs from four innings. He hit three fours and three sixes in his 56-ball innings, and took 48 balls to reach his half-century – the longest it has ever taken him in a Twenty20 match. It was his seventh half-century in IPL cricket, and the highest individual score in a chase at Chennai this season. Sunrisers are the third team, in eight games, to win chasing in Chennai this season with sides finding batting second difficult at the ground with the pitch slowing as the game progresses.

The win takes Sunrisers – who are coached by England’s World Cup-winning coach Trevor Bayliss – to fifth in the eight-team table, while Punjab are now bottom.