Warner powers SRH past KKR
Skipper David Warner led from the front with a blistering 91 as Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated defending champions Kolkata knight Riders by 16 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-truncated match of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, here on Wednesday. Courtesy Warner’s 55-ball knock, Sunrisers scored a decent 176 for four in 20 overs but due to an hour long rain delay, the revised target for KKR turned out to be 118 from 12 overs. The Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise could only manage 101 for four in 12 overs.
Credit should be given to the ‘Two Kumars from Meerut’, Praveen (1/18 from 2 overs) and Bhuvneshwar (1/24), who gave away just 5 and 7 runs respectively in the 10th and 11th over as KKR were left to score 25 off the last over. Bhuvneshwar again bowled a decent last over giving away 8 runs as Warner and company logged home two more points by virtue of their second win from five games. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir couldn’t repeat his performance of the previous game as he was dismissed while trying to whack a Praveen Kumar delivery over mid-wicket.
Robin Uthappa hit a few audacious shots en route his 21-ball-34 before flicking one from Moises Henriques to Praveen, who was placed at short fine leg. Andre Russell (19 from 10 balls) again showed his big hitting prowess with a couple of huge sixes with one off left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma that went into the top tier.
However, he was gone trying another big hit off Ravi Bopara being caught by Dale Steyn at long-off boundary. Once Russell was gone, it was left to Manish Pandey (33 not out) and Yusuf Pathan (6). Much depended on Pathan, who since long time has not won a match singlehandedly for his franchise with only a few second fiddles to show. He again failed to provide the winning push.
Warner’s knock that became the decisive one had nine boundaries and four sixes and it also helped Sunrisers reach a respectable target. Warner’s dismissal put brakes on their scoring rate. While Warner added 130 runs for the opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan (54, 46 balls), the last five overs of the Sunrisers innings yielded only 43 runs. Part of the blame should go to Dhawan, who didn’t look in good touch as he scratched around despite getting to a half-century. Till Warner was at the crease, Dhawan’s sedate approach didn’t hurt Sunrisers but once the skipper was gone, it did hurt them.
Dhawan simply couldn’t force the pace and India’s Test specialist Lokesh Rahul also wasted three deliveries off the final over in which he failed to score a single run.
The hero of the Sunrisers innings undoubtedly was their Australian skipper. He hit a couple of boundaries of Morne Morkel and a switch hit off Johan Botha. By the time he reached his 50 with a slash over deep third-man region, Dhawan was yet to cross 20’s. Warner also hit a couple huge sixes over deep midwicket off Sunil Narine. He was finally out when he tried to hoick Morkel over long-on but the mishit skier was taken by Robin Uthappa.
Ravi Bopara (2) offered a simple catch to Botha at covers to become Morkel’s second victim. Dhawan was finally out in the penultimate over trying to dig out a fuller delivery from Russell to be caught by Botha in the deep.