Blistering Warner at his impeccable best guided the Sunrisers Hyderabad in perhaps the most one-sided encounter of IPL 2016, seizing a comfortable 10 wicket victory over a team that had thus far not even lost a single match in the tournament, Gujarat Lions.

Gujarat Lions vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Date 21 Apr 2016
Venue Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium
135/8   137/0
Sunrisers won by 10 wickets

The score card says it all

There really wasn’t any fight put up by the Lions, putting up a mediocre 135 on the board on a pitch that was much better for batting – a score of around 160 was easily achievable had it not been for the poor discipline shown with the bat from the Lions batsmen. Apart from Raina, who is the only Lions player to take some positive from this game; after making a 75 off 51 balls, considering that he’s been terribly out of form over the last couple of months.

Apart from Raina, it really has been a sorry tale for the Lions who didn’t really put up a show expected from an unbeaten side in the tournament, the batsmen failed to put up a defendable total on the board and the bowlers anyways had a very tough task of restricting the opposition under 135, a total which we know takes something really exceptional in this format of the game.

Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bowl first (no surprise in IPL 2016). Both the sides made one change to their squad from their last game, with Hyderabad bringing in Tare for Ashish Reddy and Rajkot Lions giving an opportunity to Dale Steyn and deciding to put James Faulkner on the bench. Yuvraj Singh remains unavailable (due to the injury he suffered during T20 WC) for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and while giving Kane Williamson a chance could be considered but after their clinical performance in today’s game, it’s hard to see them changing their winning line up in their next game.

The Lions couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start as they lost Finch for a duck, the blasting opening duo of McCullum and Finch was unable to start the innings on a strong note for the Lions which increased the pressure; McCullum too didn’t show much application and went for 18.

The Lions innings never really picked up and Raina’s resistance on the pitch was the already positive sign for the Lions from today’s match, at least in their batting department.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was incredible with the ball for Hyderabad, picking up 4 wickets for 29 runs in his 4 overs, a performance worth of an applause in t20 format, going at just over 7 to the over; very much acceptable in t20 cricket. The young Bangladeshi pacer in Mustafizur Rehman was clearly troubling McCullum with his pace variations, particularly his incredibly hard to pick slower ball – these variations from Rehman made it incredibly hard to go after him and he finished with figures of 4 overs-19 runs-1 wicket.

Steyn coming in for Faulkner had high expectations relying on him but he clearly wasn’t looking at his best; unable to provide Rajkot with early inroads, in fact giving away 10 runs in the very first over of the innings. Runs were also flowing from the other end as well, with Praveen Kumar going for 31 in his 2 overs, Bravo 26 in his 3, Tambe 17 in his 2 and Kulkarni 9 in his 1 over. Jadeja was not the only bowler who was going at below 8 to the over, which gives a clear indication that neither did the batting nor the bowling department click for Rajkot today.

The Sunrisers have arrived…

It’s least to say that Rajkot would like to forget this performance and move over to their next match, having a few days gap to analyze their performance will help them tap into the areas of concern. Sunrisers on the other hand have picked up pace, winning 2 in 2 – sitting at the 4th place in the points table.

Pre match predictions were as follows.

Predicted XI

Gujarat Lions

Suresh Raina (Captain), Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Ishan Kishan, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Praveen Kumar, Pravin Tambe, Dhawal Kulkarni.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

David Warner (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha (wk), Deepak Hooda, Eoin Morgan, Ashish Reddy, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, Barinder Sran.
The Gujarat Lions are a temporary franchise cricket team based in the city of Rajkot, Gujarat that will play in the Indian Premier League in 2016 and 2017 seasons. The Sunrisers Hyderabad are a franchise cricket team based in the city of Hyderabad that plays in the Indian Premier League. The team is owned by Kalanithi Maran of the Sun TV channel Network. The two teams will play in the 15th match of IPL 9 on 21st April 2016 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

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