HYDERABAD, April 30: It was his last outing for Sunrisers Hyderabad before joining national duty and David Warner made it count. The absence of his regular opening partner in Jonny Bairstow didn’t matter much on Monday as the Aussie pummeled 81 (56b, 7×4, 6×2).
Warner’s eighth fifty this season couldn’t have come at a better time for the hosts and set up an ideal platform for Rashid Khan to revel with three for 21 in their 45- run win over Kings XI Punjab.
With plenty at stake for both teams, Warner’s batting was in keeping with the occasion after being put in by R Ashwin. The Australian southpaw has been the scourge of bowling attacks this IPL season and Punjab found themselves at their wit’s end as he toyed with an attack that lacked bite or purpose.
The wicket at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium played an ideal foil, as also Wriddhiman Saha, his new opening partner. It proved a good move by Sunrisers to push Saha up the order with license to express himself and the resultant 77 without loss in the Powerplay turned out to be the best in this edition and SRH’s 212 for six is their highest against this opposition.
KXIP’s 167 for eight paled in contrast as barring KL Rahul (79; 56b, 4×4, 6×5), none of the other batsmen showed the inclination to sustain the fight after Chris Gayle fell to Khaleel Ahmed with Manish Pandey hanging on to the skier at point for dear life. Rashid’s twin strikes in the 13th over set them back further and Kings XI needed 90 from the last five.
The dismissals of Nicholas Pooran, David Miller and Ashwin in quick succession after Rahul and Mayank Agarwal added 60 for the second wicket was unlike the SRH innings, which thrived on two big partnerships.
The first yielded 78 in 38 deliveries and debutant Prabhsimran Singh, who added 53 for the sixth wicket with Rahul, heaved a sigh of relief after a nervy start when he latched on to Saha’s edge off Murugan Ashwin, a verdict which left nearly 32,256 people wondering what happened after umpire Nandan gave a delayed verdict and Kings XI reviewed it! (TNN)