A disciplined bowling effort followed by skipper Kane Williamson’s (57, 46b, 2×4, 4×6) masterful planning of a modest chase helped Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Gujarat Titans by eight wickets in the Indian Premier League match at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday.
In a throwback to the Sunrisers’ style of play a few years ago, its bowlers did the heavy lifting by restricting Titans to just 162 for seven.
Chasing 163, Sunrisers’ route to victory depended on not losing early wickets, and openers Abhishek Sharma and Williamson did just that by being watchful for the first four overs.
Williamson first pulled Mohammed Shami for a four and a six in the fifth over before Abhishek (42) went after Lockie Ferguson, hitting the pacer for four fours through the off-side.
The Sunrisers skipper picked his moments to take on the bowlers, first hitting Hardik for two sixes before taking on compatriot Ferguson, scooping him over fine leg to bring his half-century in style with a six.
After Williamson’s dismissal, Nicholas Pooran took control of the innings with a quickfire unbeaten 34 (18b, 2×4, 2×6) and helped Sunrisers to its second consecutive win.
Earlier, asked to bat first, the Titans started well by reaching 51 for two in the PowerPlay but struggled to accelerate in the second half of the innings.
This, despite skipper Hardik (50 not out, 42b, 4×4, 1×6) scoring his first half-century of the season and remaining unbeaten.
The India all-rounder started at a brisk pace but couldn’t land the big shots, especially against T. Natarajan’s accurate yorkers towards the end of the innings. Titans managed just 81 in the last 10 overs after being 80 for three at the halfway stage.
Hardik began with a straight drive off Natarajan and then hit Umran Malik for two consecutive fours — a punch through covers and a pull through midwicket.
When Hardik smashed Aiden Markram for a six over long-on, it looked like he was ready to shift gears. However, he managed just one more boundary in his innings.
Though Washington Sundar went wicketless, the off-spinner and Marco Jansen turned things around for the 2016 champion during the middle overs, drying up the runs.
Abhinav Manohar chipped in with a cameo (35, 21b, 5×4, 1×6) in a fortuitous knock — he was dropped thrice and had three edged fours — to get Titans to 162. But it was not enough to avoid the team’s first defeat of the season.