IPL: Sunrisers restrict Lions to 126 for 6

Hyderabad, May 6 (IANS) Riding on some brilliant bowling, Sunrisers Hyderabad restricted a struggling Gujarat Lions to a paltry 126 for 6 in a league game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

Faced with some immaculate bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra, the Lions were off to a poor start losing the key wicket of West Indian power-hitter Dwayne Smith early after being sent in to bat.

Both Bhuvneshwar and Nehra started brilliantly with maiden overs from either end to stifle Gujarat’s opening duo of Smith and Brendon McCullum (7).

Feeling the heat in the third over, Smith’s attempt of a flash outside off only resulted in an outside edge to Mustafizur Rahman at short third man.

Coming in at No 3, skipper Suresh Raina played some exquisite strokes off Kumar, including a six and a four off consecutive deliveries but succumbed on the last ball of the same over giving the pacer his second wicket. The left-hander’s 10-ball 20 was laced with one four and two sixes.

Next in, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik looked vulnerable from the start and Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur did not lose any time to pack him back for a golden duck.

Finding no support from the other end, McCullum perished after facing 19 balls to leave the visitors reeling at 34 for 4 in the eighth over.

Australian Aaron Finch and West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo (20) then rescued the innings with a 45-run stand for the fifth wicket. But just when things started falling in line for the visitors, left-arm seamer Barinder Sran struck by removing Bravo.

Ravindra Jadeja (18) then joined Finch, who after being dropped on 31 by Warner at long off, went on to make an unbeaten 51. The left-right combo managed to take the Lions past the 100-run mark by the 18th over before Mustafizur broke the 27-run sixth wicket stand.

With the visitors tottering at 106 for 6 in the 19th over, Praveen Kumar (6) and Finch took the Lions to 126 for 6 in their stipulated 20 overs. Finch’s 42-ball knock was laced with three four and a six.

All the home bowlers maintained a tight line to restrict the flow of runs and pick wickets at regular intervals. Mustafizur and Bhuvneshwar were the pick of the bowlers taking two wickets each while Sran and Henriques chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Brief Scores: Gujarat Lions 126 for 6 (Aaron Finch 51, Suresh Raina 20, Ravindra Jadeja 18, Mustafizur 2 for 17, Bhuvneshwar 2 for 28) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

–IANS

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