IPL 2016: Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Gujarat Lions by 4 wickets at Delhi, Stars and Flops

Some captains are hailed for their instincts, some are tactically geniuses but the best are those who lead by examples. David Warner is an astute leader, who primarily belongs to the third category. On Friday, in the Second Qualifier, Warner produced one of the greatest Twenty20 (T20) knocks to ensure Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) their first Indian Premier League (IPL) final spot. Deccan Chargers, another IPL side from Hyderabad, won the title in 2009, but for SRH, it is their first. Gujarat Lions (GL) may have ended the league stages at the top position but will have to content with the third position in IPL 9.

SRH suffered a blow prior to the match, when a hamstring niggle ruled Mustafizur Rahman out of the game. The young left-armer was one of the pillars of their success and his absence meant Trent Boult playing the game. Not a bad choice considering the fact that Boult is world-class cricketer but the Kiwi pacer had not played competitive cricket in last three months, mostly warming benches. He went for 39 from his four overs but in most part of the first innings, SRH bowlers held the upper hand in the contest. Also Read: IPL 2016, Qualifier 2, Pick of the tweets: Gujarat Lions vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

Warner called it right at the toss and elected to bowl. Everything went right for SRH and at one point; they had GL reeling at 83 for 5 in the 13th over. An inspired 50 from Aaron Finch and a quick 20 not out from Dwayne Bravo, ensured the score was in excess of 160. Chasing over eight an over in a knockout clash does give you a psychological advantage and GL did have bowlers to pose serious threat.

A special mention must go to Ben Cutting for his incredible reflexes at deep mid-wicket to stop an Finch’s six in the 14th over. In what was one of the best fielding displays, the game has seen, Cutting saved five runs. Also Read: When Ben Cutting’s exceptional athleticism saved 5 runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad

SRH did not start well. Opener Shikhar Dhawan fell in the second over for a duck and it was solely a Warner show. While Warner held the fort at one end, wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end. Moises Henriques departed in the fifth over and the in-form Yuvraj Singh followed him in the ninth after struggling with a 13-ball 8. Deepak Hooda went back in the first ball of 12th over. While Cutting fell to an umpiring blunder, Naman Ojha too fell without contributing much.

Warner not only held the fort but also accelerated at key junctures. When 66 was need from six overs, Warner belted Dwayne Smith for 19 to bring the equation to 47 from five overs.

Turning Point: Warner received apt support from all-rounder Bipul Sharma, who ended up with an unbeaten 27 from 11 balls. At one stage, the equation rested at 32 required from 14 balls, Dhawal Kulkarni’s final over had cost two runs off the first four. Bipul smacked a humungous six off the fifth ball and clinched two of the final to make it 24 from 12 ball with Warner on strike. Eight more balls and the game was over.

Warner finished with 93 not out from 58 balls, a knock which he will value more than many of the hundreds that he has scored in his career. Warner now has 779 runs in this IPL and is only behind Virat Kohli. Now off to Bengaluru, for the much-awaited final. It is Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Warner’s SRH.



Brief Scores:

Gujarat Lions 162 in 20 overs [Brendon McCullum 32 (29), Aaron Finch 50 (32); Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-27-2, Ben Cutting 3-0-20-2] lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 163 for 6 in 19.2 overs [David Warner 93 (58)*, Bipul Sharma 27 (11); Shivil Kaushik 4-0-22-2] by four wickets