Bengaluru, April 13: Skipper David Warner blasted a 27-ball 57 (6x4, 4x6) to help Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) notch their first success in two outings with an 8-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League T20 (IPL 8) tournament here on Monday.
Warner and fellow-opener Shikhar Dhawan (50 not out, 42b, 4x6, 2x4) put on 82 runs in 7.2 overs as Sunrisers hunted down RCB's total of 166 all out, posting 172 for two in 17.2 overs.
Dhawan played a mature innings as he along with KL Rahul (44, 28b, 4x4, 1x6) added 78 runs for the unfinished third wicket to carry SRH over the finish line in style.
Warner thus justified his decision of opting to field on winning the toss on a damp night following heavy rains in the evening. Fortunately, the rains stayed away, but the large partisan crowd was left disappointed by RCB's limp performance.
Warner's power-packed innings took much the pressure off the chase as the visitors took control while Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers turned increasingly disheartened as Sunrisers made light of the target.
The closest that RCB came to checking the chase was when leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal removed Warner, who was trapped leg-before and Kane Williamson (5), stumped by Dinesh Karthik, but Dhawan dropped anchor to guide Sunrisers home.
RCB bowled out for 166
Trent Boult picked up three wickets in one over after AB de Villiers' enterprising 28-ball 46 as RCB were all out for 166.
Asked to bat, RCB were helped by de Villiers' knock that contained two sixes and five fours. Captain Virat Kohli was the next best scorer with a 37-ball 41.
But pace spearhead Boult pegged back RCB by taking the wickets of de Villiers, Sean Abbott and Harshal Patel in the innings' penultimate over.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar then grabbed two wickets in the final over as RCB's innings ended with a ball to spare. The Royal Challengers Bangalore were off to a brisk start with Chris Gayle and Kohli going great guns at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
200th six for Gayle
Gayle started the onslaught by lofting Boult straight over his head for a massive six (his 200th in IPL) in only the third ball of the innings. Kohli then majestically drove Kumar past mid-off, bringing the packed home crowd on its feet with his strokeplay.
Gayle followed it up with three more boundaries before medium pacer Praveen Kumar had him caught at deep square leg while going for a wild flick. The Jamaican hit three fours and a six during his 16-ball 21.
The big-signing Dinesh Karthik looked out of sorts during his 11-ball nine, his stay in the middle ending with a top-edge off a Karn Sharma ball. Captain Kohli kept the spectators excited with two sixes.
Bopara takes two in two
However, it was SRH who had more to cheer about as Ravi Bopara, with his military medium pace bowling, sent back the dangerous Kohli (41) and Mandeep Singh off successive deliveries in the 12th over.
Warner pulled off a stunning one-handed catch at cover to send back Mandeep, leaping to right with both his feet off the ground. But RCB still had De Villiers to bank on and the big-hitting South African tried to deliver before falling to Boult.
Prior to that, Shikhar Dhawan was successful in holding a de Villiers biggie off Bopara but the momentum took the fielder over the long-on boundary, resulting in a six. Before that, de Villiers smashed Bopara for three successive boundaries.