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Match Report: M37 - SRH vs KKR

Scintillating Warner ton helps SRH outclass table-toppers KKR

Match Report SRH vs KKR.jpg

David Warner lit up the night skies over the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad as he slayed the Kolkata Knight Riders attack, bulldozed his way to a sensational hundred, and laid the platform for Sunrisers Hyderabad’s highest total in the IPL – 209-3. In the second half, the SRH bowlers stuck to their plans, their fielders took the opportunities that came their way, and restricted the table-toppers to 161-7.

In the evening, the KKR captain Gautam Gambhir won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first. But that was about all that went right for KKR for the next 90 minutes as David Warner murdered the KKR bowlers. The SRH captain made his aggressive intent clear first ball when he walked down the track to Nathan Coulter-Nile. For the younger generation, that first ball statement by Warner was reminiscent of Viv Richards from the bygone era. Swagger, attitude and making presence felt.

After a quiet start – the first three deliveries only saw two runs being scored – the carnage unfolded in spectacular fashion. There was brute power, muscle, timing, daring hits and improvisation, and the ball just disappeared to all parts. Warner was in demolition mode; he had no respect for any of the bowlers.

You could sense purpose in Warner’s batting from his first two boundaries; in the first over, he played a lofted off-drive off Nathan Coulter-Nile, and in the following over, he pummeled Umesh Yadav for a monstrous hit over long-off. Chris Woakes was welcomed into the attack with a four and a six – the four through point and the six a scoop over fine-leg.

Yusuf Pathan came on to bowl in the fourth over, but even his lack of pace didn’t slow Warner down, who hit him for 4, 4 and 6. The Australian then pulled out the switch-hit from his repertoire and sent Sunil Narine over the thirdman boundary; that stroke took the SRH skipper to his half-century – he got there in only 20 balls and became the first-ever player in the IPL to get a fifty in the first 4.1 overs of an innings.

By the time the powerplay overs had been bowled, SRH had raced to 79-0 – their best-ever powerplay score. Though the frequency of big hits dropped a tad over the next couple of overs, Warner continued to be busy, before he broke the shackles in the tenth over when he hit Kuldeep Yadav for 4, 6 & 6 to race from 82 to 98 in the space of three deliveries.

The hundred moment arrived off the last ball of the eleventh over; Warner worked the ball into the midwicket and hared across the turf for a brace. The left-hander needed only 44 deliveries to get to his third three-figure score in the IPL. Just to put things in context, when Warner had reached three figures, SRH were 126, and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan was 20 from 23 balls.

The openers extended their association to 139 – SRH’s highest partnership – before Kuldeep Yadav (fielding at short fine-leg) scored a direct hit at the non-striker’s end and caught Dhawan short of his ground.

Warner was tiring and the wicket certainly slowed things down. But in the sixteenth over, Warner cut loose once again, hitting Narine for three successive boundaries. In the following over the SRH captain top-edged an attempted pull and his opposite number settled under the ball and completed the catch; Warner’s belligerent innings ended at 126 runs (made from 59 balls, studded with 10 fours & 8 sixes).

Kane Williamson (40 from 25 balls) provided the innings the finishing touches. SRH, 123-0 at the half-way stage, added only 31 runs in the next five overs, before scoring a further 55 runs in the final five.

KKR had their chances, but didn’t convert those chances into wickets. Woakes didn’t react quickly to a Warner mishit in the second over. The English all-rounder then grassed another Warner hit in the tenth over. Robin Uthappa too fluffed an opportunity to stump Dhawan in the sixth over.

In the run-chase, KKR lost the openers cheaply before Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey put the innings back on track with a 78-run partnership on either side of a rain interruption. While Uthappa continued his fine form and timed the ball sweetly, Pandey kept himself busy at the crease. However, the dismissal of the duo in the eleventh and thirteenth over knocked the sails off the chase; Uthappa made 53 from 28 balls (4 fours & 4 sixes), while Pandey made 39 from 29 balls. KKR eventually finished at 161-7.

For the hosts, the wickets were shared by the three frontline quicks – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj and Siddarth Kaul. Rashid Khan picked up the wicket of Yusuf Pathan.

Brief Scores

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 209-3 (David Warner 126, Kane Williamson 40) beat Kolkata Knight Riders: 161-7 (Robin Uthappa 53, Manish Pandey 39, Mohammed Siraj 2-26, Siddarth Kaul 2-26, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-29) by 48 runs.

Man of the Match: David Warner