Young Tamil Nadu batsman Vijay Shanker hit his maiden half-century in the Indian Premier League to help defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad defeat Gujarat Lions, at the Green Park stadium here on Saturday. SRH are now through to the play-offs. (GL vs SRH: T20 MATCH BLOG)
Vijay, whose best was 15 against Mumbai Indians, went on scoring unbeaten 63* off 44 balls with the help of nine fours. He along with skipper David Warner added unbeaten 133-run for the third-wicket in a match, which Sunrisers needed to win to enter play-offs. Warner scored a 52-ball 69, with the help of nine fours. (GL vs SRH: T20 MATCH SCORECARD)
Earlier, openers Dwayne Smith and Ishan Kishan smashed sparkling centuries as Gujarat Lions scored 154 in 19.2 overs. Barring the two none other batsman could show some resistance before the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers Siraj and Khan.
Team’s total left many surprised as after scoring 100 plus runs without losing a wicket in the first 10 overs, they lost all their wickets in just 9.2 overs. A frustrated-looking Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 20, which came off 14 balls with the help of two boundaries.
Medium pacer Mohammed Siraj bagged four for 32, including consecutive wickets in his last over, whereas Rashid Khan finished with three for 34. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar had two for 25.
Smith and Kishan stroked the Sunrisers bowlers like anything on a placid 22-yuard strip, and stitched together 111-run for the opening wicket to lay a solid foundation for the side to build upon. But departures of two in quick succession left the side struggling for runs and the wickets started like nine pins.
Skipper Suresh Raina pulled an easy one for Shikhar Dhawan at deep mid-wicket after scoring just two runs, whereas next man Dinesh Karthik too offered a simple catch to Deepak Hooda off Mohd Siraj on duck.
Caribbean Smith struck 33-ball 54, which contained seven boundaries and two sixes before being trapped leg before wicket by Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, whereas Kishan made 61 in 40 balls with the help of five fours and four sixes. He was caught by keeper Naman Ojha also off Siraj while playing a cross-batted shot.