‘Sun Rises’ at Rajkot to tame the Lions : Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH) applied the brakes on the winning streak of Raina-led Gujarat Lions (GL), when they did ‘short work’ of the home team at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot, and won the game by a huge margin of 10 wickets.
Put into bat, GL, had a very poor start, losing both the openers, Aaron Finch (0) and Brendon McCullum (18) with just 56 runs on the board in 7.2 overs.
GL skipper, Suresh Raina came good with the bat on a day when it really mattered since the middle order and lower middle order were withering away without any significant contribution.
Except for Ravindra Jadeja (14), who made a comeback into the Playing XI after his marriage, no other middle order batmen could get into the double digit.
Raina’s half-century came in 34 deliveries with 6 fours and his was the sixth wicket to fall at the team score of 133 runs in the second delivery of the 20th over. However, this was not before Raina had registered a 51-ball 75 runs studded with 9 fours at 147.05 strike rate.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar literally ripped through the batting line up of GL, and never gave them an opportunity to recover. He accounted for Finch, Raina, Nath (5) and Steyn (1), giving away 29 runs in his four-over spell.
Chasing 136 for a win, SRH openers, skipper David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan held fort and blasted the bowlers all over the park. It was really good to see Dhawan getting amongst the runs after a string of failures through Asia Cup, World T20 and the initial IPL games. Dhawan’s returning to form is absolutely essential for SRH to make an impact in the tournament.
Warner registered his ‘back-to-back’ half-century in 29 deliveries off 7 fours while Dhawan brought up his half-ton in 40 deliveries with the help of 5 fours.
Raina used as many as 7 bowlers (including himself) but none of them could have any impact or whatsoever on the southpaw duo.
Praveen Kumar had a pathetic economy of 15.50 while all other bowlers’ economy was in excess of 7.
SRH reached the target in 14.5 overs and won the game by 10 wickets with 5.1 overs to spare.
Returning with the analysis of 4-0-29-4, Bhuvi was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Bhuvi said, “”It (4/29) was a big boost. He (Finch) was the one who scored runs for them, won all three matches for them. Wanted to get him early on. Heavily dependent on top three, they are. If we could get them out, the team wouldn”t score too many. Just looked to swing the ball, that”s my strength. If I can get two wickets in the first six overs… Sran swings the ball too and Mustafiz, bowling with him is great. I am trying to learn that slower ball of his, but no one can bowl it the way he does. We were under pressure, but its good to be under pressure, it brings out the best in us”.
“Not really, we thought wicket might slow later on. We didn”t score enough. Sunrisers started really well. We lost too many wickets in the middle, I thought 160 would have been good,” Suresh Raina said. “We were playing second game here, didn”t do much initially. Didn”t play well this game. New batter coming, he has to be clear. If he has to go for a long shot or his areas. It”s better to have wickets in hand so we can execute later on. Hitting the ball really well. Today”s knock was crucial for team. Losing side was not good. Credit to Sunrisers. Have to stick to our basics, strength. Might need to work hard with the new ball, definitely going to speak to the players [about that]”.
With back to back victories, a beaming David Waner said, “I have to give credit to the bowlers. Gives us a great opportunity to play the way we want to play with the bowlers restricting the opposition. Felt it would keep low, we knew the ball wouldn”t spin, be a bit two paced. Our bowlers were fantastic. Bhuvi and Fizzy, his change of pace is very different. I faced him in Bangalore and he tried to knock my block off. Its a great art to change the pace as he does. It”s 2 pound 12 ounces. I think the master Sachin Tendulkar used a bat that weighed that much. Helps to be in form, have to ride the roller coaster. Proud of the way the bowlers are bowling and if we keep chasing totals like this, we”ll go a long way in the tournament”