Hyderabad, May 1: A cracking century by David Warner lit up Sunday night at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium as Kolkata Knight Riders lost their sheen after being brutally belted by the Hitman. The left-hander capitalised on dropped chances as he jabbed, cut, smashed and drove to wallop 126 that lifted the hosts to a mammoth 209/3. The vanquished visitors managed just 161/7 via a vigorous 53 from Robin Uthappa and became the fifth team that failed to breach the Sunrisers citadel.
Warner’s whirlwind 59-ball knock contained 10 boundaries and eight sixes before he was caught by rival captain Gautam Gambhir at covers following a mistimed shot off Chris Woakes in the 17th over.
Fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan played perfect partner as the duo put on 139, their sixth century stand for the first wicket, before he was run out after making 29. The difference in individual scores was evidence of Warner’s dominance. In fact, when the host captain reached his hundred, Dhawan was on 20 with the team total reading 126 in 11 overs.
It was Warner’s third ton in IPL, the first for Sunrisers and his personal fastest in the tournament.
Warner lived on the edge initially, getting away with some shots in the air. First, an uppish drive off Nathan Coulter-Nile did not quite carry to fielder Umesh Yadav at mid-off in the very first over. Then, Chris Woakes misjudged a skier at mid-on off Umesh Yadav in the next over. Much later, Woakes again let a catch slip through his fingers and over the boundary line to add insult to injury.
Dhawan too was let off on a lucky 13 when Robin Uthappa failed to collect the ball after the opener was beaten all ends up by Kuldeep Yadav in the sixth over. The team total read 71 then. Yuvraj Singh also was dropped by Sheldon Jackson in the final over bowled by Nathan Coulter-Nile. KKR had themselves to blame for the butter-fingered display.
Gambhir shuffled his bowlers, using six different ones in the six-over power play period that played to its name.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: D. Warner c Gambhir b Woakes 126, S. Dhawan (run out) 29, K. Williamson (run out) 40, Yuvraj Singh (not out) 6.
Extras: (lb 2, w 6) 8. Total: (for 3 wkts, in 20 overs) 209.
FoW: 1-139, 2-171, 3-209
Bowling: Coulter-Nile 4-0-34-0 (1w), Umesh 4-0-30-0, Woakes 4-0-46-1 (1w), Pathan 1-0-17-0, Narine 3-0-37-0 (1w), Kuldeep 4-0-43-0 (2w)
Kolkata Knight Riders: S. Narine c Warner b Mohammed Siraj 1, G. Gambhir c Rashid b Kaul 11, R. Uthappa c Warner b Mohammed Siraj 53, M. Pandey c & b Kumar 39, Y. Pathan c Kaul b Rashid Khan 12, S. Jackson c Rashid b Kumar 16, C. de Grandhomme c Rashid Khan b Kaul 18, C. Woakes (not out) 6.
Extras: (lb1, w4) 5. Total: (for 7 wkts, in 20 overs) 161
FoW: 1-9, 2-12, 3-90, 4-109, 5-130, 6-154, 7-161
Bowling: Kumar 4-0-29-2, Siraj 4-0-26-2, Kaul 4-0-26-2, Henriques 3-0-31-0, Rashid Khan 4-0-38-1 (1w), Bipul Sharma 1-0-10-0 (1w).(AA)