No other team seemed to have ever depended on one player for their success as much as the Sunrisers Hyderabad outfit this season on David Warner. Warner was made the captain of the side following a poor outing last year under Shikhar Dhawan and he has led from the front with aplomb.

Why, Warner has almost single-handedly taken the team’s campaign forward despite several mediocre performances from his team mates. Warner's 89, his sixth half-century of the season, laid the foundation for a 5-run victory over the struggling Kings XI Punjab, despite a late flourish from David Miller which threatened for a while.

Miller, man on a mission, but the mission was already lost

The asking rate had already become too high for comfort as Punjab needed 105 runs from 46 balls. Then George Bailey tried to hoick one through the leg side, but the slower ball got the better of him and he chipped it into the safe hands of Warner at cover. Kings XI were reduced to 81 for 5.

It was interesting to see the reaction of David Miller. He just turned around and asked for a new bat from the dressing room. He knew then that he had to to do it all by himself from here onwards. The skipper would not be there to lend a helping hand in pursuit of this mammoth task.

As a dejected Bailey walked past, Miller had no consoling words to his skipper. Bailey had no words of wisdom to Miller. For wisdom has long been lost to Kings XI.

It was pretty straightforward. Miller had to hit 103 from 7 overs at a rate of 15 an over.

Karn Sharma, a leg-spinner turning the ball into the left-hander, was juicy for Miller. He went for two sixes over long-on and midwicket. Sixteen runs from the over. Punjab on course.

Moises Henriques got Gurkeerat Singh in the next over and went for just five runs. Not on course. The asking rate climbed up to over 16. Henriques proved his worth as an all-rounder and finished wih figures of 3 for 16.

Ishant Shama's next over. Punjab got 12 from it. Decent, but one big hit less than needed. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar went for 13 after that. Again, one hit short.

Trent Boult has the reputation for killer yorkers at the death. But he missed the length in the 18th over and Miller duly punished him. Eight runs off the over. The asking rate was 19. Still one hit too little.

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar again. He also has perfected the art of bowling yorkers at the death. He got it largely right here as well, except for one which was a bit wide and allowed Miller to get underneath. It went for another maximum.

Axar Patel tried to play a cheeky dab over the keeper in the last ball of the over but spooned a simple chance to Naman Ojha. Miller was furiously waving his hands at Patel to make sure that they would not cross so that he could be back on strike for the last over.

Last over: 28 needed. Surely it was too much even for Miller? Ishant Sharma to bowl. First ball on leg stump and on a length. Miller got his front foor out of the way and smashed it over long-on. Six. Next, full-toss outside off stump. Miller heaved it over the covers for another maximum.

David Warner looked worried. He went back to his position at long-on after a lengthy conversation with his bowler.

Miller could only squirt the next ball to long-off, and he refused the single. Fourth ball, another full-toss. Past short third man for four. 12 needed off 2 balls. Miller had hit 5 sixes in his last 12 balls. Not unattainable any more. He could do it.

But he did not. He failed to connect with the fifth ball properly, and the last ball six was just a consolation. In fact, the whole Miller innings was just a consolation for the ailing Punjab unit. He finished with 89 off 44 balls.

Warner show again

Warner made his intentions clear in the second over of the match itself as he made full use of the short balls from Anureet Singh and scored 14 runs. Shikhar Dhawan, struggling for form, gave good company and hit the occasional boundary to maintain a healthy run rate. Sunrisers got 56 from the powerplay overs.

Dhawan's dismissal off Maxwell brought Moises Henriques to the crease. He has been doing well at No. 3 for Sunrisers. The pair added 65 for the second wicket and Sunrisers looked on course to post a 200 plus score. But they lost the power hitters one after another in quick succession as Henriques, Eoin Morgan, and Warner were all dismissed before they were able to go for that final surge.

Though 185 was still a daunting score, with the kind of platform they had laid, Sunrisers should have got more. Warner's 81 off 52 balls, consisting of 6 fours and 5 sixes, formed the backbone of the innings. Warner also went past Ajinkya Rahane to become the leading run-getter for this year's IPL. He has scored 504 runs so far.

With this win, their fifth in the last six matches, Sunrisers have risen to third spot in the points table and, with two matches to go, will be looking to qualify. As for Punjab, they are left to reflect on another dismal performance from their top order, which has failed to deliver throughout the season.