IPL 9 qualifer 2: Sunrisers take on Lions to book maiden final spot

Sunrisers Hyderabad face Gujarat in virtual semi-final at Kotla today

New Delhi: Gujarat Lions will look to extend their impressive debut campaign when they face Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are also eyeing their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) final berth, in the Qualifier 2 at Feroz Shah Kotla here today.

Sunrisers Hyderabad players celebrate their win over Kolkata Knight Riders at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Wednesday. Pic/AFP

Gujarat topped the league stage and were pipped by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the first qualifier by six wickets. They will join RCB in the final if they beat Hyderabad at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

Hyderabad, who finished fourth in the league standings, shrugged off two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday here by 22 runs.

The Sunrisers franchise, playing in the IPL since 2013, is yet to reach the final of the IPL. They defeated Gujarat in both the matches in the league phase.

Led superbly by David Warner, Hyderabad are a batting heavy team with the Australian captain (686 runs) and Shikhar Dhawan (473 runs) both featuring in the top-10 run-getters in this edition.

Veteran Yuvraj Singh has contributed in bits and pieces but the 30-ball 44 he scored on Wednesday will give him confidence.
In the bowling department, Mustafizur Rahman (16 wickets) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (21 wickets) have ensured that Hyderabad don’t bemoan the absence of veteran pacer Ashish Nehra, who underwent a right knee surgery in London on Tuesday. Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar and Bangladesh left-armer Mustafizur have not only picked up wickets at crucial times, but have also kept a check on the run flow. Left-armer Barinder Sran has tried his best to fill in for Nehra.

Warner: Bowlers have shown fantastic appetite
“The bowlers have shown fantastic appetite. The experience of injured (Ashish) Nehra was a big miss for us. His experience is second to none. But the guys have stepped up,” Warner told reporters after the win over Kolkata.

“Barinder Sran has been bowling really well. He is still learning and big credit goes to Bhuvneswar Kumar because he has been helping him (Sran) a lot day in and day out. That's the good thing about this team that everyone is willing to learn.”
One feature of Gujarat’s campaign is that the contribution comes from every quarter.

The batting will centre around West Indian Dwayne Smith (323 runs), former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum (322), Australian Aaron Finch (343 runs) and skipper Suresh Raina (398 runs). The bowling department has the likes of medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni (18 wickets), who has been a revelation in this edition, Praveen Kumar (nine wickets) and Bravo (15 wickets). Jadeja has also contributed with eight wickets so far.

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