IPL 2019: David Warner signs off with superb 81, Sunrisers Hyderabad sink Kings XI Punjab
Cheers were showered and kisses were blown in return as David Warner left the field one last time in Sunrisers Hyderabad colours in this IPL on Monday. Even in his last game of the season, the Australian opener ensured he was the most loved home player.
A trademark 81 off 56 balls from Warner was testament to the adulation he receives in this part of the world, though even till a couple of months back he was a hated figure in cricket for his role in last year’s ball-tampering fiasco.
The stroke-filled innings propelled SRH to 212/6 against Kings XI Punjab. With Chris Gayle in the rival ranks, no total can be safe. But not when he falls in the third over. The Jamaican’s dismissal made it an uphill task for the visitors, who could only manage 167/8 in 20 overs, KL Rahul (79, 56b) waging a lone battle.
With the win, Sunrisers consolidated fourth place in the table with 12 points from 12 matches while the Kings XI remained on 10 points. Both teams have two group games left.
Warner’s eighth half-century of the season came off 38 balls. His new opening partner Wriddhiman Saha (28, 13b) joined him to raise 77/0 after six powerplay overs – most by any team this season.
Sunrisers reached 100 in 9.4 overs and 200 in 18.5 overs. This came after KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and fellow spinner Murugan Ashwin gave just 62 runs in their eight overs, taking three wickets. The other three bowlers, however, went for over nine. Young Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (4-0-66-0) returned the joint most expensive figures this IPL.
With youngsters Mujeeb and left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh opening the bowling, Warner launched the offensive from the word go. There was no risk taken, or cheeky shots played, just clean hitting. The Australian team management will be pleased with how Warner changed gears against the tight bowling of R Ashwin.
Call it nerves or inexperience, Arshdeep and Mujeeb were both guilty of feeding Warner and Saha fuller deliveries outside off-stump. The batsmen happily accepted the offer. The first 50 runs came in four overs and Ashwin didn’t wait.
He introduced himself and Murugan Ashwin and it stemmed the rot. The latter forced Saha to edge his second delivery to give KXIP the first break. But the in-form Manish Pandey (36, 25b) joined Warner as Sunrisers never took the foot off the pedal.
With the run rate well over 10 by then, Warner had the liberty to rely on singles and twos and wait for the odd loose ball. It came in regular intervals. That there were no all-rounders in KXIP meant Ashwin had to hand the ball to inexperienced colleagues at some point. And Warner and Pandey pounced on the opportunity, like in the 14th and 15th overs by Mujeeb and Arshdeep that yielded 25 runs.
Again Ashwin brought himself on in the 16th over and removed Warner and Pandey. The latter was caught attempting a scoop off a delivery that stayed low, while Warner looked tired as he was caught at point going for a heave. That over was followed by a Shami over which yielded three runs as SRH reached 169/3 in 17 overs. A sub-200 total looked likely but Mujeeb’s nightmare was not over. He gave 26 runs in the 18th over as SRH carried Warner’s good work to its logical conclusion.