Sunrisers Hyderabad were unstoppable on the day © AFP
Sunrisers Hyderabad were unstoppable on the day © AFP

Aaron Finch scored an invaluable 51 not out from an unfamiliar No. 5 position to help take Gujarat Lions (GL) to a mediovre 126 for 6 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 34 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Hyderabad. It took 14 balls for GL to score their first runs on the day, and things did not get much easier after that. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra started off with maiden overs apiece, which made the GL openers Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum understandably jittery. Bhuvneshwar was probing with his line and managed to get the ball to move enough to make Smith jump to his tunes in the first couple of overs. Having scored a laboured 1 run, Smith edged Bhuvneshwar to Mustafizur Rahman at short third man to leave GL at 2 for 1. Live Cricket Scorecard: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Lions, IPL 2016, Match 34 at Hyderabad

GL skipper Suresh Raina, batting at No. 3, decided to fight fire with fire. He hit Ashish Nehra for a six — GL’s first boundary, which came off the final ball of the fourth over — and later struck Bhuvneshwar for a six and a four off successive balls, but Bhuvneshwar got his revenge when Raina hit one back to him. Raina was out for a 10-ball 20 and GL were now 24 for 2 after 5 oves. Live Cricket Blog: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Lions, IPL 2016, Match 34 at Hyderabad

Mustafizur Rahman ought to have struck with his first ball, but Shikhar Dhawan tumbled while taking the catch of Brendon McCullum and the ball ended up popping out of his hands. However, Mustafizur did not have to wait long, as Dinesh Karthik was soon out edging to Kane Williamson at backward point. It was a sensational catch from Williamson, diving to his left to take a one-handed stunner. Williamson was not sure about the legitimacy of the catch, but the third umpire confirmed that it was indeed a clean grab. GL had slid to 25 for 3 in the sixth over.

McCullum had by now faced a lot of balls without finding the fence once. That frustration came to a head when he tried to step out and heave Moises Henriques over the ropes only to hole out to David Warner. McCullum had scored a mere 7 off 19 balls with no fours or sixes, and GL were now 34 for 4 in the eighth over.

A brief period of stability followed for GL, with Aaron Finch and Dwayne Bravo doing their utmost to keep the runs flowing. However, the SRH bowlers were on another plane. Barinder Sran, Yuvraj Singh, and Henriques did an admirable job of keeping the runs down, and combined to bowl 8 overs for an appreicable 61 runs while taking 2 wickets as well among them.

Aaron Finch scored an excellent half-century — reaching his landmark off the final ball of the innings — but it was again a disappointing batting performance from GL once their openers failed to get going. The standout bowlers for SRH were Bhuvneshwar and Mustafizur, but Nehra had done his bit as well.

Brief scores:

Gujarat Lions 126 for 6 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 51*; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2 for 28, Mustafizur Rahman 2 for 17) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Full Scorecard

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he loves watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)