Hyderabad, April 17 (IANS) Opening batsman David Warner's 70 not out lifted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 159/6 in 20 overs against Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Monday.
Hyderabad batted around their captain Warner (70 not out; 54b; 7x4, 2x6) as the others struggled on a slow wicket. Warner shared a crucial 60-wicket stand for the fourth wicket with Naman Ojha (34 off 20 deliveries.
At the start, medium pacers Mohit Sharma (2/25) Ishant Sharma (0/23) and Sandeep Sharma (1/35) bowled with tight line and length, giving no chance to Hyderabad openers Shikhar Dhawan and Warner to free their arms.
With the frustration of not making the most of the Powerplay overs growing, Dhawan edged a high bouncer from medium pacer Mohit Sharma and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha took a comfortable catch on the final ball of the fifth over, with Hyderabad at 25/1.
New batsman in, Moises Henriques too struggled on a slow track as he played 15 deliveries, scoring nine runs before being stumped by Saha off a delivery from left-arm spinner Axar Patel, with Hyderabad at 50/1 in 9.2 overs.
Axar dealt another blow in his next delivery by forcing an edge of Yuvraj Singh (0) to Saha.
Warner, who was till then grinding out a 24-ball 20, was joined by Naman Ojha in the middle. Ojha decided to take the attack to the opposition and proved to be successful, especially against spinners Axar and K.C. Cariappa.
During his 20-ball 34-run cameo, Ojha hit two fours and six to give some sort of thrust to the Hyderabad innings. The partnership between him and Warner provided 60 runs in just 6.1 overs.
Warner mixed couple of fours with singles and twos to prop up the Hyderabad innings.
But Cariappa got rid of Ojha as the batsman jumped down the track and completely missed the length only to be stumped by Saha.
Warner continued to gather runs as he completed his 50 in 45 deliveries. But others continued to struggle at the other end. New batsman, Deepak Hooda (10) couldn't do much, while Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi scored just two in the three deliveries he faced in his debut.
Nabi's young compatriot, Rashid Khan plundered a six in the final ball of the 20th over to take Hyderabad to 159/6.
Brief scores: Hyderabad: 159/6 in 20 overs (David Warner 70 not out, Naman Ojha 33; Mohit Sharma 2/25, Axar Patel 2/33) vs Punjab.