IPL 2016: How gritty Dhawan and mediocre Sangwan won the match for Sunrisers Hyderabad

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Image Courtesy: © IPL

IPL 2016: How gritty Dhawan and mediocre Sangwan won the match for Sunrisers Hyderabad

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Amlan Majumdar


After a long break, Sunrisers Hyderabad returned to action against the Gujarat Lions as Yuvraj Singh made his debut for the home side. Hyderabad followed up their impressive win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last game, with another convincing 5-wicket win over Gujarat tonight. Shikhar Dhawan turned out to be the watch winner for Hyderabad, with an unbeaten knock of 47, in a low-scoring game at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

Inexplicable poor start for Gujarat

The visitors scored 8 runs in the first four overs of their innings, and that left them behind the eight ball throughout the match. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum, who have career T20 strike rate of 127.37 and 137.35 respectively, ended up with strike rates of 11.11 and 36.84 in this game. The duo could not deal with the swing Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumarwere generating in the game as Hyderabad managed to bowl 24 dot balls in the powerplay.

In contrast, the home side got off to a flying start.

Gujarat's short bowling

The conditions at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium was assisting the swing bowlers, yet inexplicably, the Gujarat Lions bowlers resorted to bowling short at the start of the innings. That length only played into the hands of the in-form David Warner, who got his team off to a flying start. Hyderabad scored 23 runs in the opening two overs and in a low scoring match like this, it turned out to be the difference – especially considering Gujarat Lions failure to get off the mark in their first two overs in the first innings.

(Data Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo)

Praveen Kumar eventually learned from his mistake and changed his length, however, Sangwan did not. The left-arm pacer was brought back into the attack in the 12th over, just when Dwayne Bravo and the spinners had taken the required run rate up to 7.25, and Sangwan conceded two boundaries in his first two balls. 12 runs came off that over, and it released the pressure for the Hyderabad batsmen. Sangwan ended up being the most expensive bowler in the match. In a game where both the teams struggled to score runs, Sangwan conceded at 14 runs per over.

Shikhar Dhawan took cue from Aaron Finch

Shikhar Dhawan has recently shown signs of getting back to his form in the IPL, although he is still far from his belligerent self. The southpaw has scored 228 runs so far, second highest scorer for Hyderabad after Warner, but these runs have come at a painstaking strike rate of 109.09—lowest strike rate for players who have scored more than 200 runs so far. However, thankfully for Hyderabad grit and determination was the need of the hour tonight, rather than aggression.

The blue print to play on this pitch was laid bare by Aaron Finch in the first innings. The Australian had to subdue his aggressive nature when he came out to bat with his team tottering at 25/3 in the 5.4 overs. He kept rotating the strike, hit the occasional boundaries and guided his team to the total of 126.

(Data Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo)

Unlike Finch, Dhawan was there from the start of his team's innings, however, the southpaw did not have really had a chance to impact the game in the first 10 overs. In fact, Dhawan had faced only 10 balls in the first half of their innings, as he watched his teammates huff and puff against Gujarat's bowlers at the other end.

However, Dhawan took control of the match in the last 10 overs as he upped his strike rate and scored 38 runs off last 25 balls he faced, guiding his team to a five-wicket win.

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