Sunrisers Hyderabad's all-international attack defended a moderate total so well Kings XI Punjab looked out just after the halfway mark of the chase. Wriddhiman Saha sparked a revival, but Trent Boult justified playing ahead of Dale Steyn again, removing the keeper and Axar Patel in a decisive 18th over. A victory margin of 20 runs showed just how far behind Kings XI's top order had fallen.
The pace and swing of Boult was followed by the control of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Praveen Kumar, barring an expensive opening over. That was followed by lack of pace from Moises Henriques and tight legspin from Karn Sharma, providing Kings XI no release.
Boult kickstarted Sunrisers' defence when he swung one in full to bowl Manan Vohra - playing instead of Virender Sehwag - off the inside edge in the third over. The next and bigger strike came off the inside edge too, when Shaun Marsh played the wrong line off Bhuvneshwar in the fourth over.
George Bailey counter-attacked briefly, hitting Praveen for three fours in an over, but when he failed to clear mid-off against Henriques in the eighth over, Kings XI had slipped to 45 for 3.
That became 53 for 4, as David Miller misjudged a call for two and M Vijay failed to return in time. Miller could not make up for that error, swinging Karn to long-off in the 13th over to leave Sunrisers on 72 for 5.
Dropped twice in three balls, Saha, along with Axar, fought back, the pair adding 44 in 4.5 overs. Praveen, Henriques and Bhuvneshwar went for runs in three successive overs as the equation came down to 35 needed off 18 balls.
That was when Boult stepped up again. Axar backed away first ball of the over, and found his leg stump uprooted with a yorker. As he usually does, Saha had relied on the pull during his 42 but Boult hurried one onto him, and square leg took the catch. The over went for just seven, including four off Saha's leg when he missed an attempted scoop.
Bhuvneshwar and Praveen were too good for the lower order.
The lower half of Sunrisers' innings had tapered off again after David Warner's fourth fifty in seven innings this season. Warner had taken 46 of his 58 runs in boundaries. Even as the batsmen at the other end struggled, Warner kept making room and smearing boundaries through the off side.
Sunrisers again failed to double the score at Warner's exit in the tenth over. Henriques and Naman Ojha laboured to add 45 in nearly seven overs. Even though Henriques lasted till the last over, his strike-rate remained below run a ball.