Sunrisers Hyderabad have been the most consistent team of IPL 9 and it was certain that this team will be one of the title contenders in the deciding phase of the tournament. And here they are, in the finals of the Indian Premier League, just one match away from their maiden title.
Gujarat Lions missed their second and the last bus for the decider. They lost both the qualifiers to bid adieu to this season of the IPL. Sunrisers and Lions both were very strong teams and could not be called favourites or underdogs either. It was a well fought match between two well matched teams. Lions looked to have control of the match for a long time but they could not take it through one man – David Warner.
Sunrisers won the toss and elected to field. This is what they have done throughout the season and have won most.
Gujarat Lions opened with Brendon McCullum and UP batsman Eklavya Dwivedi but the move backfired as Dwivedi walked back for just 5 in the very first over if the innings. New man Suresh Raina looked in a hurry of sorts trying to swing the bat at everything but failed to connect to get out for just 1 in the 4th over, leaving Gujarat Lions at 19 for 2.
Karthik came in next and looked in good touch whereas Brendon McCullum was sedate at the other end.
They got a partnership of 44 runs to get the innings back on track but a misunderstanding sent Karthik back run out for 26 runs off just 19 balls. Aaron Finch came with a bit of a momentum infused it in the Lions innings soon.
Finch began positively and started hitting boundaries at will. The run rate began to move upwards of 7 and things were looking good just as McCullum and Dwayne Smith fell in quick succession to leave their side tottering at 83 for 5 in the 13th over. Finch changed the gears upwards and started getting the big shots to stitch together a partnership for 51 with Ravindra Jadeja. Finch was finally dismissed for 50 off 32 balls. Some late blows Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo propelled their score to 162 for 7 in 20 overs.
163 was a fighting score and Sunrisers dependability on Warner could be tested if the Lions got Warner early.
Sunrisers did not have the best of the starts as Shikhar got out for a duck. Warner kept scoring from one end, as he has been doing the whole tournamentand. He kept taking on the bowlers and finding boundaries to be in the hunt for the target. Wickets kept faliing at the other other end as Henriques, Yuvraj, Hooda, Cutting and OJha all failed to score any substantial runs and fell in quick time.
Sunrisers were reduced to 117 for 6 in the 16th over with Warner stranded at one end on 74 runs off 48 balls. At that moment, they needed 45 runs off the last 4 overs. It looked that Warner will fall short of partners but the help came from unexpected corners.
No. 8 batsmen Bipul Sharma proved more than useful as he smashed unbeaten 27 runs off just 11 balls with 3 sixes to turn the match on its head.
Warner gave the final touches to their win with consecutive boundaries off the last over. Warner finished with unbeaten 93 runs off just 58 balls to lead his side through.
Sunrisers now have the final hurdle in their way to the IPL trophy in the Royal Challengers of Bangalore. RCB are looking invincible while Sunrisers have reached here slaying the best. This is going to be one hell of a contest with the Tournament`s two leading run scorers leading their sides for a title both have not won till date.