David Warner could erase those bad memories now.
In the second half of the last IPL, he had posted on social media a photo from his hotel room while his franchise since 2014, Sunrisers Hyderabad, was playing Rajasthan Royals in Dubai. It was baffling why someone who had led the side to a title triumph wasn’t even in the dugout.
On Thursday night at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, he was back on the field for a match featuring SRH. This time, though, he was in the rival team, Delhi Capitals.
His determined 92 not out (58b, 12×4, 3×6) powered the Capitals to a 21- run victory. But for a stunning innings from Nicholas Pooran (62, 34b, 2×4, 6×6), the margin would have been much bigger.
As long as Pooran was at the wicket, SRH was in the game, chasing 208. But once he was caught at long-on off a full toss from Shardul Thakur in the 18th over, it was curtains.
SRH had been reduced to 37 for three in the seventh over, but first Aiden Markram (42, 25b) and then Pooran brought their side back into the contest.
DC now has 10 points, the same as SRH and Punjab Kings. The race for the playoffs spots is getting exciting.
Earlier, Warner was unlucky to have missed out on what would have been a remarkable hundred. But as his fourth-wicket partner Rovman Powell would reveal at the end of the innings, he had replied in the negative when the West Indian asked him if he needed a single at the beginning of the final over.
Warner still reached a couple of milestones: he overtook Chris Gayle’s record for most fifties in T20 cricket. This was his 89th. He also hit his 400th six in the format.
He was only second-best though in the six-hitting competition in the innings. Powell smashed six of them in his brutal knock of 67 not out off just 35 balls (3×4). The unfinished fourth-wicket stand was 122 off only 66 balls.
If Powell’s batting was an exhibition of Caribbean power-hitting, Warner anchored the innings sensibly even as he came up with some big hits himself. The duo – and skipper Rishabh Pant during a cameo (26, 16b) – took the SRH bowling apart.
The innings also saw Umran Malik beating his own record for the season’s fastest ball, clocking 157 kmph. He bowled really fast right through, but the balls disappeared faster.