After David Warner had called correctly at the toss, Bhuvneshwar Kumar justified his captain’s decision to bowl first when he produced a ripper that breached past the defenses of the man-in-form Aaron Finch.
Brendon McCullum and skipper Suresh Raina added 56 in quick time and appeared to be in control of proceedings. But Bipul Sharma, introduced into the attack in the eighth over, separated the pair when McCullum (18) attempted to hit through the leg-side, but found the fielder on the fence. Dinesh Karthik (8) and Dwayne Bravo (8) perished in similar manner – failing to clear the big boundaries on the leg-side.
Between overs seven and fifteen, SRH only managed to score at a run-a-ball, losing their three specialist batsmen in the period.
Raina’s 75 – made from 51 balls – was the only stand out performance in the hosts’ innings. The left-hander, who went past the 6000-T20-runs milestone on the day, hit nine boundaries, which included the caressed drive that got him off the mark. He also drove through covers, down the ground and converted deliveries on his pads to boundaries. He walked out to bat in the first over, applied himself well on a pitch where stroke-making wasn’t easy and played some eye-candy strokes before being dismissed in the final over of the innings.
SRH finished their twenty overs at 135-8; there were only two overs in which SRH scored 10 runs or more and the 56-run partnership between McCullum and Raina was the biggest of the innings.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a field day with the ball and took home the Purple Cap after climbing to the top of the wicket-taker’s charts. The 26-year old set the ball rolling for his team with a peach to dismiss the in-form Finch, and returned to pick up three wickets in the final over. Mustafizur Rahman was impressive yet again, though he only picked up one wicket in his four overs.
SRH coasted to the target in the second-half of the match. David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan scored half-centuries – albeit in contrasting fashions, but ensured they got the job done. Possibly wanting to make the hard new ball count, Warner started aggressively, picking up boundaries early on, while Dhawan was content with playing second fiddle. By the time the field restrictions were eased, SRH had raced to 63 for no loss; at that stage Warner had 45 against his name, while Dhawan had crawled to a run-a-ball 11.
The SRH captain brought up his second-consecutive half-century in the seventh over, getting to the milestone in 29 balls. Thereafter, he and Dhawan kept picking up the singles regularly, apart from hitting the occasional boundary, and never gave the hosts any sniff of a chance. The pair ran up 100 on the board in the 11th over, and thereafter it was only a matter of how long before they’d cross the finish line.
Dhawan worked hard for his runs, but most importantly got some much need match time, and ended up scoring his first half-century of the season; he remained unbeaten on 53, while Warner, who took home the Orange Cap for climbing to the top of the run-scorers list, remained unconquered on 74 (48 balls). SRH got past the finish line with 5.1 overs to spare.
Gujarat Lions 135-8 in 20.0 Overs (Suresh Raina 75, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-29) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 137-0 in 14.5 overs (David Warner 74*, Shikhar Dhawan 53*)
Man of the Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for his bowling spell of 4-0-29-4.