Sunrisers Hyderabad made it two from two in VIVO IPL 2017 after they defeated the Gujarat Lions in their second home match of the season. After putting the opposition in to bat on the same pitch on which the hosts scored 207 in the season opener, SRH did extremely well to restrict the visitors to 135-7. After the break, SRH made lightwork of the run-chase – courtesy half-centuries from David Warner and Moises Henriques, and their unbeaten 108-run partnership. SRH chased down the runs in the 16th over, strolling to a comfortable 9-wicket win.
SRH lost Shikhar Dhawan in the fourth over, but they were not threatened ever again in the run-chase. Warner, short of runs in recent times, was back to being the aggressive batsman he is known to be; he hit six boundaries and four boundaries and never let the Lions bowlers settle down. The SRH captain raced to his half-century in the twelfth over – consuming 31 balls to get to the milestone; with that half-century, he edged ahead of Gautam Gambhir’s record for the most half-centuries scored by a batsman in the IPL. He slowed down a tad bit thereafter, before finishing things off in style; he deposited the debutant TejasBaroka into the stands to take his team past the finish line. During the course of this innings, Warner also reached a significant milestone; he went past 7000 runs in T20 cricket – becoming only one of four batsmen in the world to reach the mark.
At the other end, Henriques helped himself to his second half-century of the season; he didn’t have to construct scoring opportunities, but instead played some very good strokes and then took toll of any loose deliveries which came his way. Henriques finished on 52, scored from 39 balls and decorated with six boundaries.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Lions began positively racing to 35 in 4.4 overs before Rashid Khan struck three big blows to derail the visitors. The leg-spinner from Afghanistan dismissed Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina and Aaron Finch to put the hosts in big trouble.
The Lions then recovered through a 56-run partnership between Dinesh Karthik (30) and Dwayne Smith (37). But the dismissal of both the well-set batsmen in the space of four balls meant the visitors didn’t have any momentum heading to the business end of the innings. The Lions eventually finished their allotted 20 overs at 135-7 – possibly about 40 runs short of what would have been a competitive score on the day.
For the home side, Rashid Khan’s triple strikes earned the Man of the Match award, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-21) and Ashish Nehra (1-27) chipped in with timely strikes.
Gujarat Lions: 135-7 (Dwayne Smith 37, Rashid Khan 3-19 , Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-21) Lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad: 140-1 in 15.3 Overs (David Warner 76*, Moises Henriques 52*)
Man of the Match: Rashid Khan