Sunrisers halt Lions’ charge
April 21 2016 10:15 PM
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner celebrates after winning the IPL match against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot yesterday. (AFP)


Sunrisers Hyderabad ended Gujarat Lions’ three-match winning streak with a 10-wicket thumping win in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here yesterday.
Sunrisers rode on a blistering opening wicket partnership from captain David Warner (74 not out in 48 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (53 not out in 41 deliveries) to overhaul the small target of 135 for eight in 20 overs with 5.1 overs to spare.
The visitors raced to 63 in six overs to set it up, thanks to early asssault from Warner, who hit three fours in the fourth over bowled by Praveen Kumar to launch the charge. The Australian hit nine fours in total.
His side also got the good news of Dhawan’s returning to form as the left-hander took time to settle down before hitting some trademark shots towards the end as the visitors registered an easy win -- their second on the trot.
Rival captain Suresh Raina utilised as many as seven bowlers, even using Dale Steyn and the returning Ravindra Jadeja -- but none of them managed to break the opening stand.
However, the foundation of the big win was laid by bowlers, especially Man-of-the-Match Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4 for 29) and Mustafizur Rahman (1 for 19). Raina cracked 75 but others struggled against the impressive bowling performance from Hyderabad.
After Warner won the toss and elected to bowl first, Gujarat got off to a strong start despite losing Australian opening batsman Aaron Finch early.
Finch, who had scores of 74, 50 and 67 not out respectively in the first three matches, lost his wicket for a duck. The right-hander missed the line as an incoming delivery from Bhuvneshwar disturbed his stumps.
Raina dominated the 56-run second-wicket stand with Brendon McCullum (18). Raina looked in ominous touch from the first ball he faced as his powerful front-foot push sent the ball towards the cover boundary in a flash in the first over. It was followed by a gentle straight drive which also had the same result.
Left-arm medium pacer Barinder Sran struggled with his line, asking for punishment by bowling outside the leg stump and Raina and New Zealander McCullum were in a punishing mood.
Later, against the spinners, the left-hander Raina used his feet to nice effect -- welcoming Deepak Hooda with a slap towards the cover boundary and later a hit to the mid-wicket ropes.
Left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma ended the partnership when McCullum was holed out at mid-wicket by Hooda, as Gujarat reached 56/2 in 7.2 overs.
Gujarat then lost Dinesh Karthik (8) and Dwayne Bravo (8) cheaply. Karthik offered a catch to Bipul at deep square leg off a full toss from off-spinner Hooda, while Bravo failed to negotiate a slower ball from Sran only to be caught by Bhuvneshwar at deep square leg. Following Bravo’s departure, Gujarat were 91 for four in 13.1 overs.
Meanwhile Raina completed his fifty in 34 deliveries as the run rate dropped due to the quick wickets.
All-rounder Jadeja, who returned to the team after missing a game due to his marriage, shared a 26-run stand with Raina until Bangladesh left-arm pacer Mustafizur dismissed the former (14).
Mustafizur continued to be impressive with his death-overs bowling as he conceded only 19 runs in his four overs.
In the final over, Bhuvneshwar conceded only six runs while picking three wickets as the hosts struggled to score 135 for 8.
BRIEF SCORES: Gujarat Lions: 135 for 8 (Suresh Raina 75; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4 for 29) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 137 for no loss in 14.5 overs (David Warner 74 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 53 not out) by 10 wickets

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