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Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner and Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir at the toss © BCCI
Hyderabad: Opening batsman David Warner smashed a marauding 126 runs off 59 deliveries as Sunrisers Hyderabad registered a crucial 48-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday. The Hyderabad captain unleashed mayhem as he milked 10 fours and eight sixes to power his team to 209/3 in 20 overs. Kolkata could only score 161/7, as Hyderabad remained behind them in the points table at the third spot with 13 points. Full cricket scorecard: SRH vs KKR, Match 37 at Hyderabad
Warner and Shikhar Dhawan forged a 139-run partnership for the opening wicket as the former produced an astonishing show of power hitting. He also became the highest run-scorer of the tournament so far with a tally of 459 runs. After winning the toss and opting to bowl, Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir applied a strategy of completing the six overs of Powerplay with six bowlers. But none of them could stop Warner, who completed his 50 in only 20 deliveries. At the end of six overs, Hyderabad rocketted off to 79/0, with Warner at 62 not out off 25 balls.
One delightful stroke that signified Warner’s belligerence was a switch-hit to Sunil Narine as the ball went for six over the short third man. Later, Warner got a life as Chris Woakes dropped an easy catch at long-off off chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the fifth ball of the 10th over. The catch went over the boundary line for a six and the following ball gave Warner another six to take him to 98.
The next over saw Warner complete a double with a flick towards midwicket off a Umesh Yadav delivery as he registered his century in just 43 deliveries. All this while, Dhawan played a perfect foil to Warner, scoring a run-a-ball 29 before being run out, with the hosts at 139/1 in 12.4 overs. Warner followed him to the dug-out soon, as he mistimed a slow delivery from pacer Coulter-Nile to Gambhir at short cover, with Hyderabad at 171/2 in 16.2 overs. Kane Williamson (40 off 25) later ensured that Hyderabad crossed the 200-run mark with smart strokeplay.
Chasing the big target was always going to be an uphill task and Kolkata’s poor start made their challenge even stiffer. Opening batsmen Narine (1) and Gambhir (11) mistimed deliveries from Mohammed Siraj and Siddharth Kaul, as Kolkata were reduced to 12/2 in 2.3 overs. They reached 52/2 in seven overs when rain halted the match for around 45 minutes. After the rain-enforced break, Robbin Uthappa and Manish Pandey (39 off 29) provided resistance, putting up a third-wicket 82-run stand in 8.3 overs. They took the attack to the opposition with some lusty blows.
But seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar cut short Pandey’s stay when the batsman gave a return catch to the bowler, with Kolkata at 90/3 in 11 overs. Uthappa, meanwhile completed his fifty. But he soon was removed by Siraj, with Warner taking a catch at long-off to halt Kolkata’s progress. Yusuf Pathan hardly impressed as he scored a run-a-ball 12 before being caught by Kaul off leg-spinner Rashid Khan, with the visitors at 130/5 in 16 overs. With 80 runs required from four overs, Colin de Grandhomme and Sheldon Jackson (16) tried their best but couldn’t trouble Hyderabad, who won by 48 runs.