Sunrisers skipper David Warner made a 136-run chase seem a no match as he putting on an unbroken opening-wicket stand with Shikhar Dhawan, as Sunrisers Hyderabad thrashed Gujarat Lions by ten wickets to register their second successive win in the Indian Premier League Season 9 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Thursday.
Warner scored his 26th IPL fifty off 29 balls and his second in a row, led from the front as he played an unbeaten knock of 74 off 48 balls that included nine fours. Dhawan, who was struggling for form, also got his lost touch back as he scored a disciplined 40-ball half-century to guide his team. Dhawan hit five boundaries in his 41-ball 53 knock.
Chasing 136, Sunrisers cantered home in emphatic fashion with 31 balls to spare and ten wickets in hand and ended Lions three-match consecutive victory run. For Lions, Praveen Kumar leaked 31 runs in his two overs while Dwyane Bravo gave away 26 runs in his three overs.
Man of the match Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/29) and Mustafizur Rahman (1/19) shared five wickets between them to enable Sunrisers Hyderabad restrict Gujarat Lions to 135/8 despite a fighting half-century by Lions skipper Suresh Raina, who became the first Indian to cross 6000-run mark in T20s, in the 15th match of the IPL 9.
Warner started the chase by hitting Dale Steyn, who was playing his first match of the season, with two fours in the very first over and then clobbered seamer Praveen Kumar with three mouth-watering boundaries in the fourth over. Warner further hit two consecutive fours to Raina as Sunrisers reached 63/0 after six overs of Powerplay in comparison to Lions’ 50/1. Sunrisers raced to 96/0 after 10 overs while Lions were 74/3 at the halfway mark.
For Lions, skipper Raina played a gritty knock of 75 off 51 balls that included nine boundaries and surprisingly not a single hit over the park. Raina and Brendon McCullum added crucial 56 runs for the second wicket to build up the Lions innings before McCullum was dismissed by Bipul Sharma for 18 that came in 17 balls with the help of one four and a lone six.
Paceman Bhuvneshwar gave the home team a dream start after he cleaned up in-form Aaron Finch, who came in to this match on the back of three successive match-winning fifties, off the fourth ball of the first over. Bhuvneshwar unleashed perfect inswingers in his first three deliveries to shake Finch a bit. But Finch, who didn’t move his feet at all, was finally undone by another vicious inswinger that darted in sharply to hit the stumps. Bhuvneshwar said after the innings that he kept that nagging line deliberately because Finch is not comfortable against the inswinging delivery.