Hyderabad, May 14: Wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha bludgeoned his way to an unbeaten 36-ball 79 as Sunrisers Hyderabad posted 205 for five against Kings XI Punjab at the Uppal today.
Put into bat on a sunny afternoon, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Aaron Finch started on a cautious note but soon gained momentum at the end of the powerplays.
After a slow but steady start, Dhawan let it rip against Sandeep Sharma in the fifth over, hitting the medium-pacer for 26 runs with four fours and a six.
The left-handed batsman started with a boundary off a no ball and then continued with the straight hits for three more boundaries while the six got stuck towards the mid-wicket region as a hapless Sandeep could do little about the blitz.
Sandeep was taken off the attack as Punjab skipper George Bailey juggled with his bowling options to check the run-flow.
Off-spinner Shivam Sharma provided the first breakthrough by cleaning up Finch for 20, which ended a 65-run opening stand.
The Aussie opener tried to cut a flattish round-the-wicket delivery from the Delhi youngster that rattled his middle stump.
While new man Naman found form, walloping Shivam for a six over long-on, Shikhar (45) was denied his fifty by Rishi Dhawan.
The southpaw got a sliding delivery on the leg-side, which he tried whip off his hips only to gift a catch to Shivam at short-fine leg.
Joined in by David Warner, wicketkeeper-batsman Naman continued to increase his boundary count by hitting sixes and fours in every over.
The hard-hitting Warner soon overtook Naman’s strike-rate — with fours and sixes galore — as the duo stitched 81-runs for the third wicket.
Warner was run out after a quickfire 44 post a mix-up, but Naman continued in the same vein to post his fifty with a four.
A spate of wickets in the end also failed to stop Naman from piling the agony against Punjab.