David Warner and Naman Ojha's 60-run stand for the fourth wicket proved decisive in defending champions, Hyderabad's, narrow five-wicket win against Punjab, on a pitch with inconsistent pace and bounce at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Monday.
Given the nature of the surface, the normally aggressive Warner adopted a cautious approach against Punjab's seamers, Ishant and Mohit Sharma. Barring a lone boundary and the dismissal of opener Shikhar Dhawan, Hyderabad's first five overs were relatively uneventful. Warner took 17 balls to hit his first four, which came against spinner, KC Carippa in the seventh over. In his next over, he switch-hit Carippa for six. All but two of Warner's nine boundaries in the innings came behind the wicket. He found an able partner in Ojha, after Moises Henriques and Yuvraj departed off successive deliveries in the 10th over.
The duo ensured that Hyderabad posted a competitive total. Warner who scored just 6 off his first 16 balls, went at a strike rate of 168.42 thereafter to finish unbeaten on 70 off 54, while Ojha managed 34 off 20 ballls. Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred with the ball for Hyderabad and helped them clinch victory with figures of 5 for 19. Hyderabad now stands third in the points table, behind Mumbai and group leaders, Kolkata.