Bairstow’s innings was brutal, the Englishman clubbing seven fours and six sixes in one of the best innings of the tournament.
He shared a 160-run opening-wicket stand with David Warner (52), who despite being one of the game’s most devastating batters, couldn’t match Bairstow’s form on the night. The pair helped set a formidable target of 202.
No bowler was spared, although Ravi Bishnoi conceding 18 in one over was particularly cruel and beautiful in equal measure. Bairstow’s hitting area was, well, the oval. He creamed the KXIP bowlers to all parts of the ground and while the wicket’s flatness did assist, it would be remiss not to celebrate the innings’ brilliance.
The total was significant, but KXIP have a stacked batting lineup that includes the tournament’s leading run-scorer, KL Rahul, the third-best Mayank Agarwal and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell.
Rahul fell for just 11 and two more wickets tumbled in quick succession leaving KXIP struggling at 58-3.
However, Nicolas Pooran launched an offensive, smashing 77 off just 37 deliveries in an innings that featured five fours and seven sixes.
But he struggled for partners and when he was dismissed, KXIP’s innings fell apart, thanks in large part to an incredible spell from Rashid Khan, whose four overs cost just 12 runs and three wickets.