Rajkot, April 21 (IANS) Suresh Raina cracked 75 but Sunrisers Hyderabad managed to restrict Gujarat Lions to 135 for eight in 20 overs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday.
After Sunrisers captain David Warner won the toss and elected to bowl against, Raina’s 51-ball 75, featuring nine fours, drove Gujarat innings whereas others struggled against the impressive bowling performance from Hyderabad.
Gujarat, coming into the match with three consecutive wins, got off to a strong start despite losing Australian opening batsman Aaron Finch early. Finch, who had scores of 74, 50 and 67 not out respectively in the first three matches, lost his wicket for a duck. The right-hander missed the line as an incoming delivery from Bhuvneshawar Kumar disturbed his stumps.
Raina dominated the 56-run second-wicket stand with Brendon McCullum (18). Raina looked in ominous touch from the first ball he faced as his powerful front-foot push sent the ball towards the cover boundary in a flash in the first over. It was followed by a gentle straight drive which also had the same result.
Left-arm medium pacer Barinder Sran struggled with his line, asking for punishment by bowling outside the leg stump and Raina and New Zealander McCullum were in a punishing mood.
Later, against the spinners, the left-hander Raina used his feet to nice effect — welcoming Deepak Hooda with a slap towards the cover boundary and later a hoick to the mid-wicket ropes.
Left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma ended the partnership when McCullum was holed out at mid-wicket by Hooda, as Gujarat reached 56/2 in 7.2 overs.
Gujarat then lost Dinesh Karthik (8) and Dwayne Bravo (8) fell cheaply. Karthik offered a catch to Bipul at deep square leg off a full toss from off-spinner Hooda, while Bravo failed to negotiate a slower ball from Sran only to be caught by Bhuvneshwar at deep square leg. Following Bravo’s departure, Gujarat were 91 for four in 13.1 overs.
Meanwhile Raina completed his fifty in 34 deliveries as the run rate dropped due to the quick wickets.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who returned to the team after missing a game due to his marriage, shared a 26-run stand with Raina until Bangladesh left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman dismissed the former (14).
Mustafizur continued to be impressive with his death-overs bowling as he conceded only 19 runs in his four overs.
In the final over, Bhuvneshwar conceded only six runs while picking three wickets as the hosts struggled to score 135/8.
Brief scores: Gujarat Lions: 135/8 (Suresh Raina 75; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4/29) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad.