Visakhapatnam, April 22: Skipper David Warner led from the front with a blistering 91 as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) defeated defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 16 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-truncated match of the Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8) tournament, here today.
Courtesy Warner's 55-ball knock, SRH scored a decent 176 for four in 20 overs but due to an hour long rain delay, the revised target for KKR turned out to be 118 from 12 overs.
The Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise could only manage 101 for four in 12 overs. Credit should be given to the 'Two Kumars from Meerut' - Praveen (1/18 from 2 overs) and Bhuvneshwar (1/24), who gave away just 5 and 7 runs respectively in the 10th and 11th over as KKR were left to score 25 off the last over.
Bhuvneshwar again bowled a decent last over giving away 8 runs as Warner and company logged home two more points by virtue of their second win from five games.
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir couldn't repeat his performance of the previous game as he was dismissed while trying to whack a Praveen Kumar delivery over mid-wicket.
Robin Uthappa hit a few audacious shots en route his 21-ball-34 before flicking one from Moises Henriques to Praveen, who was placed at short fine leg.
Andre Russell (19 from 10 balls) again showed his big hitting prowess with a couple of huge sixes with one off left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma that went into the top tier.
However he was gone trying another big hit off Ravi Bopara being caught by Dale Steyn at long-off boundary.
Once Russell was gone, it was left to Manish Pandey (33 not out) and Yusuf Pathan (6). Much depended on Pathan, who since long time has not won a match single-handedly for his franchise with only a few second fiddles to show. He again failed to provide the winning push.
SRH 176/4 in 20 overs
Earlier, skipper Warner powered his side to a formidable 176 for four. Warner was merciless in his treatment of the Knight's bowling attack smashing his way to 91 off 55 balls studded with nine boundaries and four huge sixes.
The skipper was ably supported by his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan who made 54 off 46 balls and stitched a 130-run partnership with the Australian.
KKR fought their way back into the contest by picking three quick wickets and restricted them to a chaseable total.
Sunrisers' opening duo of Dhawan and Warner were made to work hard for their runs initially, with the first three overs only producing a single boundary.
But thereafter Warner broke the shackles. He switch-hitted South African spinner Johan Botha for four to mark the beginning of his aggressiveness.
The openers then started scoring runs freely. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir introduced his leading spinner including West Indian Sunil Narine in the fourth over.
But his plan to deploy spinners upfront backfired as they could not check the flow of runs or pick up early wickets. At the half way stage, Sunrisers were 80 for no loss.
Warner finally fell to a Morne Morkel delivery in the 14th over - a short-of-length ball from the South African was top edged by Warner and wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa did not make any mistake in gathering the offering.
Narine proved expensive and remained wicketless giving away 38 runs of his four overs.
Dhawan carried on the show and changed gears rapidly after playing second fiddle to Warner for much of the innings. After a few trademark hits of his, he perished in the 19th over.
The home side ended on a high as the last over of the innings, bowled by pacer Umesh Yadav, yielded 13 runs.