Shikhar Dhawan steers Sunrisers to victory against Gujarat Lions
Having a bowling attack like Sunrisers Hyderabad’s, any captain would take the risk of chasing. Skipper David Warner said at the toss that bowling first, the initial six overs would make a difference.ipl Updated: May 07, 2016 01:04 IST
Having a bowling attack like Sunrisers Hyderabad’s, any captain would take the risk of chasing. Skipper David Warner said at the toss that bowling first, the initial six overs would make a difference.
His decision was vindicated when both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra started with maiden overs and eventually shot out Gujarat Lions for a lowly 126.
The hosts then collected their sixth win with a five-wicket verdict, as Shikhar Dhawan scored a crucial 47.
The maiden overs were possible as Bhuvneshwar, who had heavy cover on the off, foxed Dwayne Smith.
Nehra followed suit and kept it tight against a dangerous Brendon McCullum with the deliveries landing at the right spot. Warner couldn’t believe it and neither could the Lions that the bowlers had managed two maidens, a rarity in this format. Warner knew the time was ripe for a wicket, and in his second over Smith edged an away swinger from Bhuveshwar to Mustafizur Rahman at short third man.
Lions skipper Suresh Raina started with a bang. He flicked Nehra for a six and went after Bhuvneshwar. A lot has been said about Bhuvneshwar gaining speed, but on Friday, he operated in the late 130s and let the ball swing. He further reduced his speed and Raina went for a shot but ended up giving a return catch. The Lions were 2/24 in five overs.
Three balls later, Dinesh Karthik opened up against a Mustafizur cutter, but the ball flew off the edge and Kane Williamson completed a stunning catch, diving low to his left. The Lions were 3/25 and registered one of the lowest Power play scores.
Bhuvneshwar had picked four wickets against the Lions at Rajkot and once again put his team on top. It was Mustafizur who picked up from where Bhuvneshewar left. The Bangladesh player was so accurate that a pre-meditated shot could have landed a batsman in trouble.
His pace variation ranged between 120-145 kph, and it surprised the batsmen.
While Warner knew he had got the upper hand in the first six overs, he made sure the other bowlers weren’t targeted. He used Barinder Sran intelligently and Moises Henriques in spells. Between their overs, cover was provided by the experienced Nehra and Mustafizur. Barring the six Aaron Finch managed off Mustafizur, the left-armer could have finished with an astonishing 10-run spell.
While it looked Sunrisers would make short work of the target, the opponents fought back and picked up five wickets. Yuvraj Singh again had a bad start to his IPL season and scored just 5 off 14 deliveries.