Despite a fighting half-century by Aaron Finch, Sunrisers Hyderabad put themselves in a good position in the IPL Qualifier 2 as they restricted Gujarat Lions to 162 for seven, here on Friday night.
Finch added 51 runs in just 4.5 overs with Ravindra Jadeja (19 not out) when Lions were gasping at 83 for five in 12.5 overs after being invited to bat on a decent batting track at Feroze Shah Kotla ground.
Finch scored runs when Lions found the going tough with Sunrisers bowlers taking wickets intermittently, never allowing Gujarat to get the momentum. Finch, who enjoyed one life, took 32 balls for his 50-run knock that had seven fours and two sixes. Brendon McCullum contributed a 29-ball 32 while Dwayne Bravo played a useful 20-run cameo towards the end.
Sunrisers bowlers did a superb job but they missed Mustafizur Rahman, who sat out due to a niggle, in the death overs. His replacement Trent Boult was clearly rusty, bowling a lot of full tosses. The Kiwi conceded 39 runs in his four overs.
David Warner smartly used his bowlers, who had control over the proceedings for the most part of the contest. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away 27 runs in four overs and took two wickets while Ben Cutting (2-20) also scalped two batsmen.
Eklavya Dwivedi (5), who had hit some lusty blows in Qualifier 1 while batting down the order, was promoted to open on Friday but he could not do much, getting dismissed in the first over off Bhuvneshwar.
Boult, who played in place of Rahman, soon made his presence felt by trapping rival captain Suresh Raina, who played across and was caught in front of the wicket. As expected, the Sunrisers pacers had made an impact in the Powerplay overs, conceding only 38 runs but the good thing for the Lions was that McCullum was still there.
The Kiwi batsman looked in good touch and easily dispatched a few bad balls to the boundary ropes. Dinesh Karthik (26) also looked solid and managed to stabilize the innings. They did not dominate the bowling but ensured that Lions have a platform where they could go for the kill. 1st innings report
Chasing the target Sunrisers Hyderabad were 62/3 in first 9 overs of their innings, requiring another 101 runs with 7 wickets in 11 overs