Swashbuckling opener David Warner smashed a whirlwind century to guide Sunrisers Hyderabad to a comfortable 48-run win over table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL encounter, here today. Warner butchered the KKR bowlers with a 59-ball 126-run innings, studded with 10 fours and 8 sixes to power defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad to an imposing 209-3 after captain Gautam Gambhir decided to bowl.
Chasing the target, KKR were reduced to 12-2 in 2.3 overs with both their openers — Gambhir (11) and Sunil Narine (1) back to the pavillion. Robin Uthappa (53) and Manish Pandey (39) then shared a 78-run partnership off 51 balls for the 3rd wicket to keep KKR in the hunt. After their dismissal, Yusuf Pathan (12), Sheldon Jackson (16) and Colin de Grandhomme (18) tried their hands but it was not enough in the end as KKR were restricted to 161-7 in stipulated 20 overs. For Sunrisers, Mohammed Siraj (2/26), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/29) and Siddharth Kaul (2/26) took two wickets each, while Rashid Khan (1/38) also contributed with one wicket.
There was also a rain-interruption of 42 minutes when KKR were 52-2 in 7 overs with Uthappa and Pandey at the crease but it didn’t affect the match as no overs were lost. This was Sunrisers’ sixth win in 10 matches. They now have 13 points and are placed at the third spot in the table. For two-time champions and table-toppers KKR, it is only their third loss in 10 matches. With this win, Sunrisers also avenged their 17-run loss to KKR in their previous outing.
Earlier, Warner and Shikhar Dhawan (29), who had forged a 107-run opening partnership in their last match against KXIP, produced yet another scintillating 139-run opening stand in 76 balls to set up the foundation for a huge total. Once they were back into the hut, Kane Williamson (40) blasted five fours in his 25-ball innings and alongwith Yuvraj Singh (6 not out) took Sunrisers across the 200-mark. This was the highest total in this season and also the third time that Sunrisers have scored a 200-plus total. They had scored 207-3 against Kings XI Punjab in their last match, besides scoring 207-4 against RCB early in the season.
For KKR, who are sitting pretty at the top of the table, none of the bowlers could make any impression as they were taken to the cleaners by Warner. Opening the innings, Warner put KKR bowlers to the sword as he alongwith Dhawan amassed 79-0 in the Powerplay overs. Warner made his intention clear from the start by dealing in boundaries. He picked up Chris Woakes for special treatment in the 3rd over when he blasted him for a four and a couple of sixes to amass 17 runs. Yusuf Pathan then came in his firing line as he smashed two fours and a six to once again pile on 17 runs and bring up the team fifty in just 23 balls.
The Australian then switch-hit Sunil Narine over short third man to score his 50 in 20 balls. He then punching him through cover for a four. He continued his rampage and brought up the team 100 in the ninth over by hammering Nathan Coulter-Nile for a maximum over midwicket in the fourth ball. Kuldeep Yadav then bled 18 runs as Warner clobbered one boundary and two sixes in the 10th over. In the 11th over, Warner picked up a couple of runs by sending Umesh Yadav to the deep midwicket area to score the third century of this season. He took just 43 balls for his hundred.
In the 13th over, Dhawan (29), who was playing the second fiddle, was run out as KKR finally broke the opening partnership. It was Kuldeep Yadav, who produced a brilliant fielding where he picked up the ball and threw the stumps down at the bowler’s end after Dhawan failed to make the ground. Warner’s sensational innings came to an end in the 17th over when once again looking for a six off Woakes he was holed out by Gambhir. Kane Williamson (40) and Yuvraj Singh (6) then took Sunrisers across the 200-mark.