Skipper David Warner produced a majestic 93 to single-handedly lead the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) into the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 final with a four-wicket win over the Gujarat Lions (GL) in the Qualifier 2, in New Delhi on Friday.
Chasing a tricky 163, Sunrisers overhauled the target with four balls to spare as Warner anchored the chase with his responsible 58-ball knock, embellished with 11 four and three sixes.
Hyderabad will now challenge Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday as the two teams will compete for their first ever IPL title.
While most of the Sunrisers batsmen cut a sorry figure, Warner showed his class and super cool temperament as he never let the innings fall apart.
Wickets kept tumbling but Warner dug in his heels and found support in Bipul Sharma, who came up with a sizzling unbeaten 27-run knock.
Bipul, who had also troubled Lions batsmen while bowling, took the pressure off his captain with some big shots. His sixes off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni played a crucial role in turning the tide in Sunrisers’ favour.
Bipul, who played for India A in 2010, always had batting credentials but the 33 runs he added with Warner for the seventh wicket played a huge part in SRH’s win.
Needing five runs off last over, Warner blasted a four off the first ball to level the scores and then took a single to finish the match comfortably.
Earlier, Aaron Finch (50) rescued his side with a fighting half-century, leading Gujarat to a competitive 162 for seven with useful contribution from Brendon McCullum (32), Dinesh Karthik (26) and Dwayne Bravo (20).
Losing Shikhar Dhawan (0) and Moises Henriques (11) early was not the ideal start for the Sunrisers. Dhawan was run out while Henriques hit straight to Eklavya Dwivedi in the covers off Dwayne Smith.