Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad cruised to their second successive victory of this year’s IPL after defeating Gujarat Lions by seven wickets at Hyderabad, thus continuing their unbeaten streak against the franchise. The Gujarat Lions, on the other hand, slumped to their second successive defeat, having been defeated by the Kolkata Knight Riders in their tournament opener.
The Sunrisers had won the toss and opted to bowl first. Jason Roy looked in good touch at the beginning, scoring 31 off 21 deliveries before being dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, McCullum, Finch, and Raina were dismissed quickly and the Gujarat Lions were reeling at 57/4.
A 56-run partnership between Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Smith, who scored 30 and 37 respectively, and helped by a little cameo of 13 from Basil Thampi took the Gujarat Lions to a total of 135/7 in their 20 overs. The Sunrisers’ bowling was brilliant, with 18-year old Rashid Khan picking up three wickets and conceding only 19 runs in his four overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled an economical spell of 2/21 from his four overs while Ashish Nehra gave away only 27 runs in his four overs and picked up Dinesh Karthik’s wicket.
In reply, SRH lost opener, Shikhar Dhawan, early, but skipper David Warner and his compatriot Moises Henriques smashed the Gujarat bowlers and chased down the target in 15.3 overs. Warner scored 76 off 45 deliveries while Henriques scored his second successive fifty of the tournament, remaining unbeaten on 52 from 39 deliveries. Rashid Khan was adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant spell.
The Sunrisers now take on the Mumbai Indians at Mumbai in their first away game of the tournament while Gujarat Lions will take on Rising Pune Supergiants at Rajkot. Here are five talking points of the match.
#5 Moises Henriques continues to impress with the bat
A 74-ball partnership of 108 runs between David Warner and Moises Henriques was enough to seal the match for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. While David Warner top scored with 76, Moises Henriques continued his good form with the bat, scoring 52 from 39 deliveries, and his second successive fifty of the tournament, having scored the same amount of runs in the opening match of the tournament against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Against RCB, Henriques began steadily by hitting a couple of boundaries but gradually cranked up his game and hit a couple of sixes as well en route to his fifty. In Sunday’s match, he was dealing only in boundaries and assisted Warner in keeping the scoreboard ticking.
Provided Henriques improves his performances with the ball, he would well be a crucial player in SRH’s attempt to retain the IPL.
#4 Gujarat Lions’ bowling department fails again
One of the biggest reasons behind Gujarat Lions’ defeat was their dismal bowling performance. All of their bowlers went for more than 7 runs an over with Shivil Kaushik being the most economical with an economy of 7.25. The Lions’ bowling was even more dismal during their defeat to KKR as all but one of their bowlers went for more than 10 runs an over.
The Lions made two changes in Sunday’s match by playing Tejas Baroka and Basil Thampi ahead of Shadab Jakati and Manpreet Gony, but both were pretty expensive with Baroka conceding 33 runs in 3.3 overs and Thampi conceding 21 runs from the two overs he bowled.
#3 Preferring overseas batsmen ahead of overseas bowlers is costing the Gujarat Lions
The absence of Ravindra Jadeja is a huge blow for the Gujarat Lions’ bowling department which has been nothing but poor. They have a few quality Indian pacers in Praveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni, who have a lot of IPL experience, but the Lions have two quality overseas bowlers in Andrew Tye and James Faulkner who should be given an opportunity.
Both Faulkner and Tye are capable of bowling well in the death with the former having a lot of experience in the IPL. However, the Gujarat Lions have opted to play four batsmen as their overseas players.
Instead, they could opt for Faulkner and Tye or, at least Faulkner, ahead of one batsman; with Faulkner, the Lions not only get a seasoned bowler but also someone who can chip in with a few quick runs in the death overs.
#2 The Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers excel again
Bowling has always been Sunrisers Hyderabad’s biggest strength and this was evident during last year’s IPL as the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Barinder Sran, Ashish Nehra, and Mustafizur Rahman were instrumental in their victorious campaign.
This year, the bowling department has undergone a few changes but has still been delivering for the Sunrisers. In their previous match, we saw the bowlers finishing the job in the end with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, and Rashid Khan bagging two wickets apiece.
Against Gujarat, the bowling was even better with Rashid Khan bowling a sensational spell of 3/19. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, and Bipul Sharma were also quite economical as they all conceded 21, 27, and 24 runs in their four overs respectively, with Bhuvi and Nehra picking up three wickets between them.
Provided the Sunrisers’ bowlers maintain their consistency, they could well be a nightmare for opposition batsmen.
#1 Rashid Khan’s sensational spell
Afghanistan’s 18-year old spinner Rashid Khan was one of the surprise picks in the IPL auction after being bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping 4 crores. Khan was included in the playing XI for SRH’s opening match and got the key wickets of Mandeep Singh and Travis Head and ended the match with figures of 2/36.
Against Gujarat Lions, he bowled the best spell of the tournament so far. In his first over, he took the prized wicket of Brendon McCullum and followed it with another crucial wicket of Aaron Finch in his second over. In his third over, Khan got the wicket of Gujarat Lions’ skipper Suresh Raina and ended his spell at 3/19 from his four overs.
All his three scalps were big players and all were dismissed by lbw. His bowling put a lot of pressure on the Gujarat Lions’ batsmen and restricted them to 135/7 on a wicket where 379 runs were amassed in total in the previous game. The Sunrisers won the match, and Khan, rightfully, received the Man of the Match for his spell.