New Delhi: Skipper David Warner produced a majestic 93 as he single-handedly led Sunrisers Hyderabad into the Indian Premier League (IPL) final after securing a four-wicket win over Gujarat Lions in the Qualifier 2, here 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 on Sunday as the two teams will compete for their first ever IPL title.
While maximum 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 had dug his heels and found amazing support in Bipul Sharma, who came up with a sizzling unbeaten 27-run knock under pressure.
Bipul, who had also troubled rival batsmen when Lions batted, took pressure off his captain with his timely 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 today was the day to show his worth as he added 33 runs with Warner in their unfinished partnership for the seventh wicket.
Needing five runs off last over, Warner blasted a four in the first ball off Praveen Kumar 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.
Warner was still there and giving him company was a confident-looking Yuvraj Singh as the Sunrisers managed 46 for 2 in Powerplay overs.
Sensing that spinners would do well, Lions skipper Suresh Raina introduced himself early into the attack and also handed the ball to young Shivil Kaushik.
Warner hammered Raina for a straight six, that broke the glass facade on the first tier, to raise fifty of the team and found another boundary on a mis-field from the substitute fielder Andrew Tye.
Brief scores: Gujarat Lions 162/7 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 50; Ben Cutting 2/20, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/27) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 163/6 in 19.2 overs (David Warner 93 n.o.; S Kaushik 2/22).