Gujarat Lions v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016, Qualifier 2, Delhi May 27, 2016

Warner 93* leads Sunrisers into final


Sunrisers Hyderabad 163 for 6 (Warner 93*, Kaushik 2-22, Bravo 2-32) beat Gujarat Lions 162 for 7 (Finch 50, McCullum 32, Cutting 2-20, Bhuvneshwar 2-27) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

David Warner hit 11 fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 58-ball 93 © BCCI

An unbeaten 58-ball 93 from David Warner, his eighth half-century of the season, steered Sunrisers Hyderabad into their maiden IPL final. Warner batted through a tense chase of 163 even as Lions chipped away at the wickets, and found a calm lower-order ally in Bipul Sharma at a critical juncture when Sunrisers needed 46 from 25 balls. They won with four wickets in hand.

Bipul has excellent first-class numbers for an allrounder - a batting average of 43.45, a bowling average of 28.98 - and is perhaps more of a batsman than a bowler at that level: he has six hundreds and nine half-centuries in 38 matches, but only 76 wickets and two five-fors. He has had more opportunity to bowl his left-arm spin rather than bat in his IPL career, though he showed his ball-striking ability in the Eliminator, hitting two clean sixes off Morne Morkel in the final over of Sunrisers' innings.

Warner wasn't in a good mood when Bipul came to the crease. He had addressed angry words to Tom Moody, the Sunrisers coach, who had come out with drinks and instructions at the fall of the sixth wicket. Warner was ostensibly displeased with the way Naman Ojha had got out, taking on Dwayne Bravo and picking out the fielder at deep midwicket.

Bipul quickly gave Warner reason to trust him, taking the safe but clever option against Praveen Kumar's yorker, shuffling across to clip into the deep-set leg side field, picking up two twos in three balls in this manner. In between, Praveen bowled a half-volley, and Bipul lofted it for a straight six. Dhawal Kulkarni began the next over with four wide yorkers, conceding only one run from them. But then, with Sunrisers needing 32 from 14, Bipul walked across his stumps, and scooped a full-toss over the square leg boundary.

Bravo began his final over with figures of 3-0-13-2. He and the left-arm wristspinner Shivil Kaushik had been responsible for a mid-innings slump that had seen Sunrisers go from 61 for 2 in eight overs to 91 for 5 in 13. But now the momentum was with Sunrisers, and Warner confirmed it in the classic T20 manner - an attempted extra-cover loft that ended up streaking to the third man boundary. Another four from Warner - a surgically placed slap past point that was better representative of his innings - and another big six from Bipul down the ground left Sunrisers needing only five to win off the last over. Warner only needed two balls.

Lions probably knew even before the match that Warner would be their biggest obstacle, and he reinforced that feeling with a boundary off the very first ball of the chase, a sweetly timed clip to the square-leg boundary off Praveen. But Lions soon discovered they didn't necessarily have to go through Warner to win; they could go around him. The first two wickets were gifts - Shikhar Dhawan went for a silly run in the second over and paid the price; Moises Henriques slapped a short, wide ball straight to cover. Yuvraj Singh tried to hit his way out of the pressure of seven dots in 12 balls, and holed out to long-off.

Bravo, mixing up his pace expertly, and Kaushik, not turning the ball all that much but turning it both ways from a length just beyond the reach of a safe front-foot hit, intensified the pressure on Sunrisers, consuming Deepak Hooda and Ben Cutting in the process. When Ojha came to the crease, Sunrisers needed 79 from 45.

Warner kept Sunrisers in the hunt, swinging the last ball of Kaushik's spell for a leg-side six and taking heavy toll of the 15th over, bowled by Dwayne Smith, flat-batting a short ball for a six over long-off and squeezing a wide yorker past point for four. Ojha joined in with a pulled six off the last ball, taking the tally from that over to 19, and bringing the equation down to 47 from 30. A sensational 16th over from Bravo, conceding only two and picking up Ojha's wicket, seemed to swing it back Lions' way, but Warner and Bipul had the final word.

Sunrisers suffered a blow even before a ball had been bowled, with Mustafizur Rahman ruled out with a hamstring injury. Trent Boult came into the side and made an immediate impact, catching Eklavya Dwivedi at third man to leave Lions 7 for 1 at the end of the first over. Changing Brendon McCullum's opening partner had not made any difference to Lions, whose last four opening partnerships had yielded 9, 0, 0 and 2.

Boult then dismissed Suresh Raina in the fourth over, lbw playing across the line, and Lions were 19 for 2. There was little in the pitch to really bother the batsmen, but Lions' progress was slow, with McCullum playing a strange innings, with a few fierce boundary hits, a number of dots arising from shots hit straight to fielders in the ring, and a general struggle for rhythm. Dinesh Karthik looked in good touch, piercing the gap between extra cover and mid-off with a sweet drive off Boult and shuffling across to sweep an off-stump ball from Bipul wide of short fine leg. But he was run out immediately after hitting Bipul for six in the ninth over, a Boult direct hit finding him short after a mix-up with McCullum.

When McCullum picked out sweeper cover in the 12th over and fell for a 29-ball 32, Lions were 81 for 4. It became 83 for 5 when Smith slapped Ben Cutting straight to deep point in the next over. Lions were tottering.

But Aaron Finch, demoted to No. 5, was already flowing, having hit Barinder Sran for a four and a massive six over long-off. He plundered two sixes and a four off Moises Henriques in the 14th over to take Lions to 100, and uppercut and drove Boult for successive fours in the 15th. He fell in the 18th, for 50 off 32, but Bravo carried the momentum forward, beating deep point - first to his right and then to his left - off successive Boult deliveries in the 19th. Lions finished on 162. Sunrisers had defended the same total, on the same ground, in their Eliminator. Lions couldn't quite give them a taste of their own medicine.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • s on May 28, 2016, 14:34 GMT

    I can't believe people's double standards in judging players here particularly yuvi and boult. Just 2 days ago yuvi hit a rampaging kuldeep yadav out of attack just after he castled warner. even in this match both warner and yuvi were struggling against shivil and yuvi tried to hit him out, had it been a 6 kaushik would have been out of attack. infact, this ipl is yuvi's best after 2009 maybe on par with 2014. Boult showed his worth in fielding which fizz is poor in. last match fizz had figures of 4-1-32, i cant see how that is much better than 4-1-39, cut the guy some slack he hasnt played for 2 months.

  • Thomas on May 28, 2016, 13:30 GMT

    I think it is time to continue with Jadeja, Rohit, Dhawan etc. They are given enough chances. Rohit plays one good inning after many matches. This has been the trend over the past many years except the last one year. There are much better players than Jadeja in India. Even Krunal Pandya, Bipul are playing much better than Jadeja. Dhawan except the first year has been regularly failing. Rahane, Uthappa, Gambir, Manish Pandey are more consistent.

  • karank6834320 on May 28, 2016, 11:05 GMT


  • cguy653048422 on May 28, 2016, 10:18 GMT

    Everyone are suggesting too many changes in the lineup for srh i dont think any sensible think tank would do that dont change the winning xi maybe one change is reasonable not more than that i would say may be get in morgon but donno exactly whom he should replace but he is an impact player

  • Clicketer on May 28, 2016, 10:13 GMT

    well done SRH. do it again and the trophy is yours.

  • Hrishikesh on May 28, 2016, 10:03 GMT

    @Dunger.bob you need to look at in the proper context. Coming into the WC, Warner was not in form. He had a poor tour of NZ. Meanwhile Khawaja was racking them up in all formats, Watson had just scored a hundred against India. Also Warner himself scored a 70 odd against SA at no.4. Yeah now in hindsight it looks strange but back then it seemed like a sensible thing to do. Pick the guys who are in form especially in a tournament so short like the t20 wc.

  • kotireddy on May 28, 2016, 9:21 GMT

    Oh boy!, these Aussies love the knock-outs don't they, after the GL slumped to 5 for 80 odd Finch played a stunner then Warner played a blinder of an innings to seal the final spot for SRH. This innings by Davey is the second best to Chris Morris spell bounding thing in this season's IPL. But the game changer is probably the innings by Bipul Sharma. He had done for SRH in the past two innings what the Great Sir Jaddu, and 8 crore boy Negi couldn't done for their respective sides.

  •   Cricinfouser on May 28, 2016, 8:55 GMT

    Dunger.bob, Boof played for Rajasthan in the inaugural IPL of 2008. He then coached in the IPL for five years straight from 2009-13, coaching first Deccan Chargers and then KXIP. He coached Deccan Chargers to their only IPL title in 2009. He also coached Queensland in the Big Bash in 2010/11. So he's not quite the stranger to T20 that you think.

  • Danish on May 28, 2016, 8:42 GMT

    SRH XI: 1 WARNER 2 Dhawan 3 Tare (wk) 4 Yuvi 5 HENRIQUES 6 Ashish Reddy 7 CUTTING 8 Bipul 9 Bhuvi 10 Sran 11 MUSTAFIZ.

    * If Fizz isn't fit, Boult should play but give him 3 overs up front with new ball. Fizz is a yorker cutter bowler and Boult is swing and seam. Don't bowl him in the death, Bhuvi can do that.

    * Ojha and Hooda must be dropped, Hooda has just 1 signifcant innings and Ojha has taken few good catches but nothing with the bat. Reddy and Tare to replace them.

  • Gnaneshwar Raju on May 28, 2016, 8:38 GMT

    Warner kept a cool head over his shoulder throughout the match and for that reason for entire tournament. Virat is different and mostly over expressive. Bipul Sharma was brilliant in last two matches and his ability to clear fence off good length balls over long off is outstanding. No need to promote him up the order as there are too many letfties on top 4.