Rajkot: David Warner's power-packed performance complemented by excellent death bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar enabled Sunrisers Hyderbad record an emphatic 10-wicket victory over Gujarat Lions in a lopsided Indian Premier League encounter on Thursday night.
While Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/29) helped Sunrisers restrict Gujarat Lions to 135/8 in 20 overs, skipper Warner continued his dream form as he plundered an unbeaten 74 off 48 balls with Sunrisers winning by a canter in only 14.5 overs. Warner had nine fours in his innings.
Shikhar Dhawan also showed signs of returning to form with an unbeaten 53 off 41 balls with five boundaries.
While Sunrisers won their second outing in four games, it was the first loss for the Suresh Raina-led outfit.
The match was as good as lost for the Lions after they failed to notch up a decent total. But whatever dreams they harboured of early breakthroughs turned into nightmare as Warner creamed the bowling with utter disdain notching up his third half-century in four matches.
His sequence of scores in the IPL read as: 58, 13, 90 no and 74 no. With 235 runs, Warner crossed KKR captain Gautam Gambhir as the current 'Orange Cap' holder in the league.
The 50 came off 29 balls with seven boundaries and he completely eased the pressure on a struggling Dhawan giving him ample time to get a few valuable runs under his belt.
Warner started with two boundaries off Dale Steyn's bowling in the very first over. The first through third man and the next a slash over point.
He upped the ante in Praveen Kumar's second over with successive cover drives and a straight hit past the bowler.
When a desperate Raina introduced himself into the attack, Warner also hit him for a couple of boundaries as runs flowed through his bat with ease. Dhawan at the other end was sensible enough to nudge around for the singles and give the skipper bulk of the strike.
The win came when Warner played a deft late cut off Ravindra Jadeja to finish the match in style.
As of today, save one game, all teams chasing have won their respective matches.
Earlier, skipper Raina hit a stroke-filled 75 but Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers showed a lot of discipline to restrict Gujarat Lions to a modest 135 for eight after putting the home team in to make first use of the wicket.
Courtesy Raina's 51-ball knock that comprised nine fours, Lions' score got some sort of respectability as the other batsmen failed to get going on a two-paced wicket where stroke-making proved to difficult.
The second best score after Raina was Brendon McCullum's 18, which pretty much tells the sorry state of Lions' batting on the night.
Bhuvneshwar (4/29) returned with best figures as he got three wickets in the final over of the Gujarat innings.
Bangladesh's seam bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahaman once again bowled a miserly spell giving away only 19 runs in 4 overs, while getting the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja (14) wicket with a well disguised off-cutter.
The last five overs of the innings produced a mere 31 runs with the loss of four wickets.
While Bhuvneshwar should be lauded for his three-wicket burst in the final over, the pressure increased because Sunrisers skipper David Warner carefully kept three overs of the Bangladeshi pacer at the death as he bowled the 15th, 17th and 19th over without letting Gujarat off the hook.
With no support from the other end, it became difficult for a seasoned pro like Raina, as he started in style with cover drives, shots on the on-side.
But at the other end, wickets fell at regular intervals with McCullum trying a slog sweep off Bipul Sharma and the in-form Aaron Finch was bowled by Bhuvneshwar in the innings' first over itself.
The only six of the innings came off McCullum's blade, even as Sunrisers bowlers bowled an unprecedented 38 dot balls, which is equivalent to 6.2 overs without any run.