If you have not noticed, the 2017 Indian Premier League cricket competition kicked off earlier this week, and Sunrisers Hyderabad are already setting the early pace. Sunrisers are the current IPL champions. They finished the 2016 IPL season in third place after finishing the season with eight wins and four losses but went on to beat Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the play-off final to win their first IPL title. As the current IPL champions, the Sunrisers are the team that everyone wants to beat during the 2017 IPL competition. It doesn’t look like the Sunrisers are going to be easy to beat.
On Wednesday April 5, Sunrisers opened the 2017 IPL with a thumping win over last year’s final opponents, the injury-hit Royal Challengers Bangalore. As reported in the Times of India, RCB has lost some of the world’s biggest cricket stars as a result of an injury. Virat Kohli, arguably the best cricketer in the world, has a shoulder injury, while overseas star AB de Villiers has a back problem.
Sunrisers have no such problems. Of their overseas stars, captain David Warner is in fine form, and South African star, Moises Henriques, took the RCB bowling attack to task in the season opener, scoring 52 runs from just 37 balls. Henriques followed up his batting display by taking a couple of great catches as the Sunrisers romped to a straightforward win.
Today saw the Sunrisers return to Hyderabad to face the Gujarat Lion’s. The Lions topped the IPL table at the end of the 2016 regular season, and they were expected to do well again in 2017. The Lions were soundly thrashed by the Kolkata Knight Riders in their opening match on Friday. The Lions managed to post a decent total with 183 runs from their 20 overs, but they failed to take a single wicket as KKR knocked off the required runs with over five overs to spare. The Lions needed to improve on that bowling performance if they were to have any hope of overturning the rampaging Sunrisers.
David Warner And Moises Henriques Destroy Lions Bowling To Score A Big Win For Sunrisers Hyderabad
If David Warner has been in fine form on the run up to this match, then he really showed his class today. Warner won the coin toss and asked the Gujarat Lions to bat first. Bowler Rashid Khan tore apart the Lions top batsmen, dismissing Suresh Raina and overseas stars Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch for a combined total of 13 runs. The Lions lost wickets at key times, and the innings failed to gain any real momentum. The Lions managed just 135 runs from their 20 overs.
A total that low is unlikely to win many Twenty-Twenty cricket matches, especially in an Indian Premier league that attracts the world’s best players. As the official Indian Premier League website reveals Sunrisers Hyderabad won the match at a canter. Captain David Warner opened the batting with Shikhar Dhawan. While Dhawan was dismissed for just nine runs, Warner was still at the crease to cream Tejas Baroka for six runs as he finished the match off in style.
Warner hit the Lions bowling for four sixes and six fours on his way to 76 runs from just 45 balls. Warner was joined at the crease by Moises Henriques who scored 52 runs from 39 balls faced. It was Henriques second half-century of the 2017 Indian Premier League season. Sunrisers overseas stars are all performing well whilst the Lions overseas stars are struggling.
As reported by Cricketnext, injuries to Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo have left the Lions with a lack of leadership. The Lions bowlers have toiled in their opening two matches, and the manner of those defeats will be causing concern in Gujarat. The Lions are simply not taking wickets. They have conceded 324 runs for just a single wicket in their opening two matches. By comparison, Sunrisers have conceded 307 runs, but they have taken 17 wickets for those runs.
If the Gujarat Lions are to have any success in the 2017 Indian Premier League, their bowlers need to find a way to take wickets. Sunrisers Hyderabad have started the 2017 season in the manner they finished the last campaign. On this form, Sunrisers look set for a great season. It looks like the Gujarat Lions are in for a long hard season.
[Featured Image by IPLT20]