Warner-led SRH smash MI, storm into IPL 2020 Playoffs

Captain David Warner led from the front as SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) not only handed Mumbai Indians (MI) a reality check as they outclassed the reigning champions by 10 wickets in the last league match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday, but also enter playoffs.

SRH, thus, became the fourth and final team to advance to the playoffs, after MI, Delhi Capitals (DC), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

The SRH win shattered the hopes of the fifth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders to advance to playoffs. KKR finished with 14 points, the same as SRH and RCB, but lost out on net run rate (-0.214).

After the outcome of Tuesday’s contest, MI finished the round-robin stage at the first spot with 18 points and is flowed by DC (16 points), SRH (14, net run rate +0.608) and RCB (14, net run rate -0.172).

Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings, and Rajasthan Royals finished sixth, seventh, and eighth respectively on net run rate, as they had 12 points each.

In a must-win game, SRH first rode a stunning performance by their bowlers who restricted the mighty Mumbai to a modest total (149/8 wickets in 20 overs) and later rode master classes by Warner (85 not out off 58 balls) and Wriddhiman Saha (58 not out off 45) to overhaul the target with 17 balls and 10 wickets to spare.

SRH finished at 151 without loss in 17.1 overs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Chasing the target, the SRH duo swiftly took their side to 56 runs before steadily adding another 33 runs in the next four overs. Warner notched up his fourth half-century and Saha his second of the season, in the 12th over.

The MI bowlers struggled to get breakthroughs and ended up remaining wicketless as the SRH openers comfortably steered their side home without enduring any hiccups.

Warner’s 58-ball knock was laced with 10 boundaries and a six while Saha smashed seven fours and a maximum.

Earlier, SRH restricted MI at 149/8 wickets in 20 overs, thanks to some impressive bowling efforts.

While pacer Sandeep Sharma starred after scalping three wickets for 34 runs, speedster Jason Holder and spinner Shahbaz Nadeem stepped up in the crucial match, picking two wickets each while leg-spinner Rashid Khan settled with one.

Asked to bat, MI were reeled at 82/5 wickets in 12.1 overs as their top-order — Quinton de Kock (25), Suryakumar Yadav (36) and Ishan Kishan (33) — failed to convert their good starts.

Keiron Pollard played a 25-ball 41 run cameo down the order as MI limped to a moderate total.

Brief scores: MI 149/8 wkts in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 41, Suryakumar Yadav 36; Sandeep Sharma 3/34) lost to SRH 151/0 wkt in 17.1 overs (David Warner 85 not out, Wriddhiman Sahah 58 not out; Dhawal Kulkarni 0/22) by 10 wkts

Feels good, after that dreadfull loss to KXIP: SRH captain Warner

SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner on Tuesday said that the team has done well to turn around its fortunes since falling to a 12-run defeat to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) while chasing a target of 128 last month.

SRH went on to dominate their remaining league matches and stormed into Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs on Tuesday with a 10-wicket win over top-ranked Mumbai Indians (MI).

“It feels good now, after that dreadful loss against KXIP. They (MI) rested a few players but to hold them to 150 on this ground was great. A lot of credit goes to the bowlers. Nadeem was superb. We were trying to be as clinical with the bat then, and it feels good,” said Warner, 34, at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem ended his four overs with figures of 2/19, helping restrict the strong MI batting lineup to 149/8 in 20 overs. Warner and his opening partner Wriddhiman Saha then chased down the total and SRH ended the match on 151 without loss in 17.1 overs.

“If we can take this performance and momentum into the next game we’ll be really happy. I pride myself on getting my team to a great start. That is my duty, my job. Fortunately the last few games have been great and we have been able to go in a positive manner,” said Warner.

My hamstring ‘absolutely’ fine, says Rohit after SRH game

Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma on Tuesday said that his hamstring was fine, though he was out for a seven-ball four runs in his team’s 10-wickets defeat to SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) here. Sharma was returning to lead the ream after four matches, owing to the injury that became the centre of controversy.

Sharma, however, stayed on the field for the entire duration of the SRH innings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

“I was happy to be back; it’s been a while. I was going through some tough times, but [it is] good to back,” Rohit said after the match. “I’m looking forward to playing few more games here and then see what happens. Always nice to be on the ground doing what I love to do.

When commentator Mark Nicholas asked him if his hamstring was “completely fine”, Rohit replied: “Ya, absolutely!”

Sharma took the field on Tuesday, despite Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly saying that the MI captain was injured and that his injury was being monitored. The contrasting statements surrounding Sharma’s injury has raised eyebrows.

Apparently, due to the injury, Sharma was not picked in any of the three Indian squads selected for this month’s tour of Australia. There has, however, been no explanation from the selectors.

Cricket activist Sanjeev Gupta on Tuesday shot off an email to the Apex Council member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), questioning Ganguly’s “knowledge” of affairs and appealed the council to immediately “get the matter investigated and take stringent action for the said austere lapse”.

Ganguly had told a section of the media that Sharma was being monitored and once fit, he would be picked for this month’s tour of Australia. He had also insisted that the Mumbai batsman was unfit which was why he was not selected for the tour.

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