Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner did everything right at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday evening. Called it right at the toss, chose to field on a two-paced pitch, shuffled his bowlers well, spoilt Ravindra Jadeja’s after-marriage party and ended the unbeaten run of Gujarat Lions by making a mockery of the 136-run target.
So much so, that his form rubbed off on Shikhar Dhawan, who managed to shake off the rust with a composed 53 not out (41b, 5x4) after three single-digit returns. The result: a commanding 10-wicket win achieved with 31 deliveries to spare. The cornerstone of which, of course, was the Aussie’s unbeaten 74 (48b, 9x4).
Warner deserved most of the credit for Hyderabad’s second straight win, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the disciplined performance put up by its bowlers. Hyderabad had Mustafizur Rahman (4-0-19-1) to thank for applying the brakes in the death overs even as Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped himself to a four-wicket haul, including three in the final over.
Batting like a prince
In the midst of all that, Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina (75, 51b, 9x4) batted like a prince by accounting for 55.55 per cent of the runs, but his side could only huff and puff its way to 135 for eight.
Raina, who walked in at the fall of Aaron Finch in the first over, unleashed those trademark drives, but a gallant fightback from Hyderabad stifled his cause.
The wicket, which had a decent covering of grass on the tramlines, didn’t play true. And, Bhuvneshwar made the most of it by getting the fourth ball of the evening to find the yawning gap between Finch’s bat and pad. With three back-to-back fifties under his belt, Finch lent credence to the law of averages by falling for a duck.
An unperturbed Raina caressed the first delivery through extra cover for four. And, within no time, he found himself on 21 off 11 balls. He repeatedly punished Bhuvneshwar and Barinder Sran as Lions raced to 50 in the PowerPlay.
However, wickets fell frequently at the other end, with Brendon McCullum, Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Bravo all perishing owing to the huge dimensions of the ground.
A focused Warner, who began with two fours off Dale Steyn’s first over, blasted three more off Praveen Kumar in the fourth. He raced to his fifty off just 29 deliveries, taking Hyderabad to 70 in seven overs. The highlight of his power-packed knock was a back-foot punch off the bowling of Raina.
Not to be left behind, Dhawan played some good-looking shots himself, like his flick off Bravo and a paddle sweep off the same bowler in the space of six overs. A cute late cut from Warner, in the 15th over bowled by Jadeja, sealed the deal.
GL 135/8 (20.0 Ovs)
SRH 137/0 (14.5 Ovs)
Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 10 wkts
PLAYER OF THE MATCH:- Bhuvneshwar Kumar