Kane Williamson’s attacking half-century and an unbeaten 34 by Nicholas Pooran helped the Sunrisers Hyderabad hand newcomers the Gujarat Titans their first loss in this season’s IPL on Monday.
Chasing 163 for victory, Hyderabad were propelled to victory by a 64-run opening stand between Williamson (57) and Abhishek Sharma (42) and reached their target with five balls and eight wickets to spare in Mumbai.
Williamson fell to his opposite number Hardik Pandya in the 17th over but the left-handed Pooran kept up the charge in his 18-ball blitz as he completed the win with a six.
Hardik’s unbeaten 50 went in vain after he steered his side to 162-7 but Gujarat – one of two new franchises in the expanded 10-team IPL – went down to their first loss in four matches.
“Batting wise, I think we were seven to 10 runs short and would’ve made a difference in the end,” said Hardik.
“Bowling wise, we had a good start but had two bad overs. I think they bowled well [in the last five overs]. Our motto has been the same which is to learn from the mistakes.”
Williamson escaped when an lbw shout that was not reviewed and replays suggested the ball would have hit the stumps. The New Zealand skipper was on two.
The star opener raised his fifty with a six off Lockie Ferguson before he mistimed a hit to long-on.
Hyderabad’s bowlers kept the opposition batsmen in check for the first 10 overs despite a few hits from Hardik.
Umran Malik kept the speed guns busy and clocked the fastest delivery of the IPL so far at 153.3km/h as he began his spell by hitting the helmet grill of Hardik but the batsman counter attacked by two boundaries.
Malik, an up-and-coming quick from the Indian-administered Kashmir, finished off his first over with the wicket of Matthew Wade, trapped lbw for 19.
Hardik put on crucial partnerships including a 40-run stand with David Miller and then he and Abhinav Manohar got 50 brisk runs for the fifth wicket.
Manohar smashed a quickfire 35 after being dropped thrice in a poor effort in the field by the Hyderabad players.
Hardik completed his fifty off the penultimate ball of the innings and pace bowler T Natarajan finished with the wicket of Rashid Khan to return figures of 2-34.
© Agence France-Presse