NEW DELHI: Till a point, it was anybody’s game. In the end, Sunrisers Hyderabad left Feroz Shah Kotla smiling, with a ticket to the IPL final. With captain David Warner leading from the front, smashing an unbeaten 93 in 58 balls, the Orange Army braved odds to drub Gujarat Lions by four wickets. They meet Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final on Sunday.
It was a tough climb. When the total was 118-6, things could have gone either way. But a calm and composed Warner ensured that his team chased down 162. Even as Gujarat bowlers, especially Praveen Kumar, tried to engage the Aussie in a war of words, he made it a point not to fall into the trap. That made the difference. All-rounder Bipul Sharma too came in good with late sixes, smashing 27 off 11.
After Aaron Finch hammered a half-century, Sunrisers needed a good start. With Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh failing to impress, the pressure was back on the Australian. Playing a captain’s knock, Warner hit all over the ground to keep the bowlers looking for answers.
Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina said they failed to execute plans. “It was defendable, but Warner changed equations.” Though Warner guided the team to the final, it was heartbreak for compatriot Finch. Coming in at 63-3, he dropped anchor early on, when Brendon McCullum went for big shots.
Brief scores: Gujarat 162/7 in 20 ovs (Finch 50, McCullum 32, Karthik 26, Cutting 2/20, Bhuvneshwar 2/27) lost to Hyderabad 163/6 in 19.2 ovs (Warner 93 no, Bipul 27 no, Shivil 2/22, Bravo 2/32).