Warner leads SRH into maiden IPL final

David Warner’s tactical handling of the chase, pacing his innings and marking the bowlers, snatched the match away from Gujarat Lions. At one stage, Lions was sitting pretty, having the opposition at 75 for four and then at 117 for six.

With wickets falling regularly, David Warner stood firm to put his team in the final of IPL 9.   -  PTI

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) found a finisher in Bipul Sharma, better known for his spin. The left-hander supported his Australian partner, David Warner, and eliminated Gujarat Lions (GL) from the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a stunning four-wicket victory at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Friday.

Warner’s tactical handling of the chase, pacing his innings and marking the bowlers, snatched the match away from Lions. At one stage GL was sitting pretty having the opposition at 75 for four and then at 117 for six. SRH, eying a spot in the final, rallied around Warner, the lone bright spot as the team fumbled. Warner’s 93 off 58 balls and Sharma’s 27 from 11 was a fitting end to an intense match.

>SCORECARD AND BALL-BY-BALL DETAILS

Shikhar Dhawan ran himself out, Moises Henriques drove to cover and Yuvraj Singh to long off. Sunrisers stood ravaged when Ben Cutting fell to Shivil Kaushik in the bowler’s fourth over.

>QUALIFIER TWO IN PICTURES

The stands filled up slowly and GL too took time to come to terms with the occasion. Eklavya Dwivedi made no impact and Suresh Raina went cheaply. SRH, opting to field, showed no signs of missing Mustafizur Rahman, who's out with a hamstring injury.

GL batsmen swung wildly, looking to dominate early, but did not connect much. Aaron Finch, however, took the fight to the opposition. He was on 13 when Barinder Sran dropped a sitter at short fine-leg off left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma as the batsman attempted a slog sweep. Finch gladly accepted the reprieve and took off with some muscular shots, especially on the onside.

READ: >JUSTICE MUDGAL FINISHES SUPERVISING DUTIES AT KOTLA

Dwayne Bravo gave the Lions’ innings a late surge as Sunrisers’ bowling, known for its parsimony in the death overs, suffered at the hands of Finch and Bravo and conceded 53 runs in five overs. Sunrisers also fared poorly in ground fielding with Sran being the main culprit.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as usual, commanded respect while Ben Cutting held his own. Trent Boult, however, playing his first match of the tournament, was evidently rusty, going for 39 in four overs. Cutting also was the central character in an astonishing act at the deep midwicket, when he acrobatically punched the ball back on to the field to save a six even as he took a tumble over the boundary.

Bipul deserved a pat for his brave show. He gave away just 21 runs in three overs and accounted for the wicket of Brendon McCullum at a stage when the New Zealander was threatening to savage the Sunrisers’ attack. A target of 162 was competitive until Warner, the man of the match, decided to alter the trend.