IPL 2016: Warner blitz ends Gujarat Lions’ unbeaten run

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Image Courtesy: © IPL

IPL 2016: Warner blitz ends Gujarat Lions’ unbeaten run

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Arun S Kaimal


David Warner’s magnificent knock of 74 off 48 balls helped Sunrisers Hyderabad defeat Gujarat Lions by ten wickets to end their unbeaten run. After restricting the home side to 135/8 on the back of Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s four-wicket haul, SRH strolled home to record their second win this season.

Brief Scores: GL 135/8 in 20 overs (Raina 75(51), Bhuvneshwar 4/29, Bipul 1/10) lost to SRH 137/0 in 14.5/20 (Warner 74*(48), Dhawan 53*(41)) by ten wickets

With a chaseable target of 136 in front of them, Sunrisers Hyderabad got off to a blistering start scoring 48 runs in the first four overs. David Warner, who singled-handedly won SRH the match against Mumbai Indians with an unbeaten 90 off 59 balls, started from where he left off in the last match and went after Dale Steyn and Praveen Kumar. The southpaw found the boundary five times in the first four overs as he looked unstoppable in the middle.

Raina, brought on Dwayne Bravo, Praveen Tambe and even himself in search of wickets, but there was no stopping Warner as he went past fifty in just 29 balls, in the seventh over, to leave his team needing just 5.07 runs per over in the next 13. The home side were nowhere to be seen and they were in need of a miracle to get back into the match. However, that did not happen.

Seeing Warner going all guns blazing at the other end, Shikhar Dhawan also took inspiration from the Aussie and found the ropes a couple of times to keep his strike rate above the 100-run mark. Bowlers came and went, but Warner continued his merry making in the middle, dispatching the ball to all parts of the ground. With the rest of the runs a mere formality, Warner and Dhawan took the team past the ropes with 5.1 overs to spare and registered their second win of the tournament.

Earlier, after defeating reigning champions Mumbai Indians in the last match to register their first win of the tournament, Sunrisers Hyderabad travelled to Rajkot to take on newcomers Gujarat Lions, who remain the only unbeaten team in the tournament. The home side welcomed Ravindra Jadeja back into the side after he missed the clash against Mumbai Indians due to his wedding, while South African pacer Dale Steyn replaced James Faulkner in the lineup. Sunrisers Hyderabad also made a change to their side and brought in Aditya Tare in place of Ashish Reddy.

Continuing the tradition of teams winning the toss and bowling first, David Warner won the toss and opted to field first on a wicket, which had a lot of green on the top. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave the away side the perfect start as he removed Aaron Finch, who scored 74, 50, and 67 in the last three matches, with a peach of an in-swinger. The pacer, who is known for his swing, zipped one through the gap between the bat and the pad of the Aussie to castle the stumps and silence the home crowd.

Although they started on a bad note, skipper Suresh Raina arrived next and went after the bowling from the word go with an exquisite drive through extra cover. The southpaw looked in a mood to attack and dealt in boundaries by sending Bhuvneshwar and Barinder Sran to the ropes in back-to-back overs. Brendon McCullum, who was a spectator in the first four overs, joined the party in the fifth, first by sending Sran for a maximum over square leg, and then following it up by finding the gap in the same area with a flick.

The run rate was more than 7.5 runs an over, and the home side was looking comfortable at 55/1 in seven overs. However, David Warner opted for spin, and it brought immediate dividend as Bipul Sharma removed the dangerous McCullum in the eighth over. The Kiwi went after the left-arm spinner after Bipul bowled a tossed up delivery outside the off-stump, only to find Deepak Hooda at midwicket. Hooda, who took the catch, turned wicket-taker a few minutes later by removing Dinesh Karthik in a similar fashion.

Dwayne Bravo also came and went in the 14th over without giving the scorers much of a trouble. With the fall of the wickets, the scoring rate also took a nosedive as the home side’s hopes of a 150+score looked unlikely at that point. However, skipper Raina kept going at the other end, and took the team to 135/8 at the end of the innings after scoring 75 off 51 balls. Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred for the away side with the ball by picking four wickets for 29 runs.

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