David Warner scored 126 off 59    BCCI
David Warner scored 126 off 59 BCCI

From Sunil Narine to Umesh Yadav, David Warner smashed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to pulp and became the only centurion for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) during match 37 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Warner blasted 126 off 59 and registered the highest score by an IPL captain, surpassing Virender Sehwag’s 119. After the Knight Riders stopped the Warner juggernaut, Kane Williamson went bonkers and scored 40 off 25, taking the reigning champions to a colossal 209 for 3. Full cricket scorecard: SRH vs KKR, Match 37 at Hyderabad

In the previous contest, the Sunrisers had scored 155 in the pursuit of 173 against the Knight Riders. However, that was at Eden Gardens, a track slower than the one at Hyderabad. That said, they anyway have a poor record against the Knight Riders. They have won only 3 of 10 matches. That did not matter to Warner when he came to bat. He started with a blank slate, as if there was no yesterday. He launched a lofted shot in the first over. The intention was clear: see the ball, hit the ball. In that case, he has enough experience batting with Sehwag.

Warner then leaned forward and eased one over long-off with utmost ease and comfort. The Warner who takes quick ones and two was in no mood to run. He accumulated a four and two sixes off Chris Woakes, gradually surpassing Gautam Gambhir and retaining the Orange Cap. Surprisingly, Gambhir did not change his cap and Warner was already wearing an orange-coloured helmet.

Gambhir was forced to take pace off the ball. He passed the ball to Yusuf Pathan in the fourth over, expecting some sigh of relief. Warner did not bother. He picked a couple fours and a six off Yusuf. Gambhir then went to his go-to bowler Sunil Narine. Warner showed no respect to the mystery spinner either. If anything, he got more brutal. He switch-hit the very first ball over third-man. Come to think of it, why did we have boundary lines when Warner had no interest playing along the ground?

Shikhar Dhawan then made his presence felt. He picked up his first boundary. The next delivery Robin Uthappa fluffed a stumping. Dhawan survived and took a single. And that was Knight Riders’ fault. They should have kept Warner off strike. He, however, scored the joint fastest half-century for the Sunrisers. It came off a mere 20 balls.

The carnage continued. Warner executed another switch-hit. He hoicked a few over mid-wicket. He went inside-out and cleared cover region. He shimmied and went down town. He swept past fine-leg. In other words, he peppered boundaries to all parts of the park. (Side note: This is not an article on Warner. This, in fact, is innings report.) Full cricket updates: SRH vs DD, IPL 2017

Dhawan and Warner then scored their sixth 100-plus stand. In that, Dhawan’s contribution was 18 off 18. You get the gist as to what Warner had done to the Knight Riders.

Dhawan was on 20 when Warner became the first centurion for the Sunrisers. He took only 43 deliveries to attain the peerless feat.

A few overs later, Dhawan departed but Warner continued whatever he was doing. The sixes, the fours kept raining. The commentators fell short of words to articulate the mind-boggling brand of cricket. However, the Knight Riders as well as the commentators’ misery came to an end. Warner miscued one off Woakes and perished for 126 off 59 inclusive of 10 fours and 8 sixes. Woakes, who dropped Warner twice, got his wicket.

The scorecard read 171 for 2 in 16.2 overs when the Sunrisers captain took the long walk and showed his bat to acknowledge the crowd.

Williamson and Yuvraj Singh were in the thick of things. It sounds more devastating, doesn’t it? But Yuvraj was reduced to playing second-fiddle when Williamson caught everyone in trance with his class-apart batsmanship. Instead of oozing elegance, he played scoops and whatnot to score 40 off 25.

Brief scores:

Sunrisers Hyderabad 209 for 3 in 20 overs (David Warner 126, Kane Williamson 40; Chris Woakes 1 for 46) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.

Full scorecard