Shikhar Dhawan struck an unbeaten 47 after a clinical display by his bowling team-mates as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Gujarat Lions by five wickets in their IPL match today. Chasing 127 for a win, opener Dhawan dropped anchor as he carried his bat through the innings as the Sunrisers chased down the target with six balls to spare at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Dhawan played second fiddle to his batting partners initially before opening up later on to take his side home. He hit six fours in his solid 40-ball unbeaten innings, including the winning shot which was also a boundary as the Sunrisers reached 129 for 5 in 19 overs.
This was after Sunrisers’ bowlers produced a clinical display to restrict the Lions to a meagre 126 for 6 after being put into bat.
Pacers Mustafizur Rahman (2/17) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/28) led an impressive bowling show while Barinder Sran and Moises Henriques took a wicket apiece as the Sunrisers bowlers bowled a disciplined line and length. Senior pacer Ashish Nehra (0/23) and Bhuvneshwar bowled a maiden over each as the Lions took 14 balls to score their first run, the most in IPL history.
Sunrisers though made a heavy weather of a small chase as they lost wickets in regular intervals but Dhawan ensured that the home side notched up their fifth win in eight matches and jumped to the fourth spot in the league table with 10 points.
The Lions suffered their third loss on the trot—and fourth so far overall—and they remained on the second spot with 12 points from 10 matches. The Sunrisers had beaten the Lions in the first leg also.
Captain and opener David Warner (24) gave the Sunrisers a rollicking start as he took 16 runs from the second over bowled by Pradeep Sangwan, hitting the bowler for two sixes.
But Warner, who hit a magnificent 92 off 50 balls in Sunrisers’ 15-run win over RCB in their last match, did not last long today as he was out in the fourth over off the bowling of Dhawal Kulkarni. Warner mistimed his hit and Praveen Kumar took an easy catch at mid-on. The Sunrisers captain hit one four and two sixes in his 17-ball knock.
Kane Williamson (6) hit a four off Kulkarni as soon as he came in but fell to Praveen Kumar in the fifth over. The home side reached 38 for 2 after the powerplay overs and Moises Henriques (14) fell in the 10th over with Bravo getting the wicket with his second ball.
Yuvraj Singh came out to play his first match this season but disappointed as he could score just five runs off 14 balls. He fell to Kulkarni with Sangwan taking the catch.
Meanwhile, Dhawan was getting stronger after keeping quiet initially. He began to open up and took his side’s score nearer to the target. Deepak Hooda was out in the 18th over but Dhawan remained till the end to take his side home.
Earlier, the Sunrisers produced a clinical bowling show as they restricted Gujarat Lions to a meagre 126 for 6.
Put into bat, all the Lions batsmen, except for Aaron Finch (51 not out) struggled as the visitors posted a small total at the stadium which was full of insects flying all around after a morning rain.
Finch was the only Lions batsman who gave a fight against a disciplined Gujarat bowlers and the Australian, who was dropped on 30 by home side captain David Warner, remained not out on 51 off 42 balls with the help of three fours and a six.
Captain Suresh Raina contributed 20 off 10 balls while Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra scored 18 each.
For Hyderabad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman grabbed two wickets apiece while Barinder Sran and Moises Henriques took a wicket each.
The Lions began with one of the slowest starts ever in the IPL and then slumped to 25 for 3 inside powerplay overs. Openers Dwayne Smith (1) and Brendon McCullum (7) struggled to get off the blocks as the first Lions’ run came after 13 dot balls with Bhuvneshwar and Nehra bowling a maiden over each.
Dwayne Smith’s miserable nine-ball innings ended in the third over with Bhuvneshwar inducing an outside edge to short third man Mustafiz who took a chest-high catch.
Raina came out and in complete contrast to his openers, hit a quickfire 20 off just 10 balls before perishing in the fifth over. He struck two exquisite sixes, one each off Nehra and Bhuvneshwar and it briefly looked like the Lions would recover from early jolt and slow scoring rate.
After hitting a six and a four off Bhuvneshwar, the Lions captain fell to a return catch to the same bowler, leaving his side at 24 for 2 in five overs.
Mustafizur was introduced in the sixth over and he could have have got a wicket in his first ball but Shikhar Dhawan dropped McCullum who was on three then. The Bangladeshi pacer got his man in the same over in the form of Dinesh Karthik (0) with Kane Williamson taking a brilliant catch at backward point. The fielder was, however, not sure whether he took it cleanly or not. But, the TV Umpire ruled it was a catch.
McCullum fell in the eighth over off Henriques to add misery to the Lions innings. Warner took the catch at long-off as the New Zealander played a lofted shot and was out after playing an uncharacteristically slow 19-ball innings.
It was left to Dwayne Bravo and Finch to take the Lions to a respectable total and the duo did some repair by stitching 45 runs together before the West Indian all-rounder fell in 15th over off the bowling of Sran.