Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad produced a clinical performance to register a convincing eight-wicket victory over Punjab Kings and open their account in the ongoing Indian Premier League here on Sunday.
With SRH chasing 144 after spinner Mayank Markande's (4/15) exploits with ball, Rahul Tripathi sizzled with an unbeaten 48-ball 74 to help his side complete the task in 17.1 overs.
Skipper Aiden Markram remained not out on 37 off 21 balls, and their efforts ensured that Shikhar Dhawan's 66-ball 99 not out, which lifted Punjab Kings to 143 for nine, went in vain.
Markande did the star turn with figures of 4 for 15 to leave Punjab Kings reeling at 88 for nine in the 15th over. Dhawan hit 12 fours and five sixes.
When their turn to bat came, SRH were slow to start with and reached 34 for one at the end of the six powerplay overs.
Having being hit for six by Tripathi, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar came back to grab the big wicket of Mayank Agarwal for a 20-ball 21, in the ninth over.
Tripathi then struck two successive fours off Chahar to help SRH cross 50, before hitting left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar for three boundaries on the trot to keep his team in the contest.
On a pitch where almost all the batters struggled, with the exception of Shikhar Dhawan, Tripathi managed to shine and brought up his half-century in 35 balls with a six off Mohit Rathee.
That was followed by the duo of Tripathi and skipper Aiden Markram bringing up the fifty partnership at the start of the 14th over, with SRH requiring 49 runs in 42 balls.
Tripathi and Markram then almost sealed the issue in their team's favour by striking Rathee for 21 runs, bringing the equation down to 26 runs in the last five overs.
Earlier, even as Punjab Kings lost wickets at regular intervals, Dhawan showed his teammates how to do it with his incredible knock.
Asked to bat first, Punjab Kings endured a disastrous start as they lost Prabhsimran Singh in the very first ball of the match, trapped in front of the wicket by veteran India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The ball hit him above the knee roll but Prabhsimran decided to walk back without asking for a review, leaving Punjab at none for one.
Skipper Shikhar Dhawan played Bhuvneshwar towards the third man region for the innings first boundary.
However, Dhawan again watched from the non-striker's end as Matthew Short (1) was dismissed lbw by South African left-arm pacer Marco Jansen on the second delivery of the match's second over at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
The ball landed on a good length and swung in before hitting Short's pads. Unlike Prabhsimran, Short consulted his skipper before deciding to come back into the dugout, leaving Punjab Kings in a spot of bother at 10 for two in the second over.
Next ball, and another swinging delivery struck wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma (4) on the pads, and a Jansen's loud shout for an lbw was upheld by the umpire. DRS was promptly taken and the ball-tracking technology showed it was going well down the leg-side, leading to the decision being overturned and giving some relief to PBKS.
Dhawan found two fours off his Indian team colleague Bhuvneshwar, before Jansen returned to send back Jitesh Sharma, who failed to clear SRH skipper Aiden Markram at mid-off.
Sam Curran struck a six and a four off successive Jansen deliveries but, after having made 22 off 15 balls, the English all-rounder was done in by leg-spinner Markande, who finished with fine figures after the SRH's seamers brilliant display at the start.
But Dhawan had other ideas as he smashed the SRH bowlers to take his team to a respectable total. Helping Dhawan along the way was Bhuvneshwar, who spilled three chances by the batter, including two off his own bowling.