IPL

Warner inspires Sunrisers to highest run chase in victory over Rajasthan

By Sports Desk March 29, 2019

David Warner got the better of Steve Smith as Sunrisers Hyderabad recorded a five-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. 

Friday's match saw the two Australians go head-to-head after the 12-month bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal came to an end. 

Smith's duties were limited to time in the field as the Royals posted 198-2 from their 20 overs, the former Australia captain not getting to the crease as Sanju Samson (102) struck the first hundred of the 2019 IPL season. 

He was ably assisted by Ajinkya Rahane (71), but their efforts were in vain as the Warner-inspired Sunrisers completed their highest IPL run chase. 

Warner and Jonny Bairstow provided a superb start as they shared a 110-run opening stand, the Australian taking the role of aggressor with nine fours and two maximums. 

Ben Stokes (1-40) accounted for Warner but his England team-mate Bairstow (45) continued to impress until he was superbly caught on the boundary by Dhawal Kulkarni. 

It would not halt the Sunrisers' charge, though, as Vijay Shankar (35) and Yusuf Pathan (16 not out) delivered some lusty blows to give Hyderabad renewed momentum. 

Shreyas Gopal took two wickets in as many balls to give Rajasthan hope, but successive boundaries from Rashid Khan (15no) – the latter a clipped six over square leg – sealed Hyderabad's first win of the tournament.

 

SENSATIONAL SAMSON

As Hyderabad celebrated, spare a thought for Samson. He batted beautifully for the Royals, who opted to bat first after winning the toss.

The 24-year-old combined brilliantly with Rahane after Jos Buttler's early exit for 5, helping push Rajasthan to a competitive total with 10 boundaries and four sixes.

He reached three figures in just 54 balls as he slapped Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-55) for four midway through the final over, but ultimately his ton was to be in a losing cause.

BYE BYE BAIRSTOW

Bairstow played second fiddle to Warner in the early stages but once he got motoring the England batsman looked in fine form.

He must have felt it too because when he launched a huge drive over long-off, the 29-year-old could not quite believe Kulkarni had taken a superb catch.

Kulkarni - who had earlier dropped the same batsman - judged his jump to perfection and clung on with his fingertips, sending the right-hander on his way.

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    Former Australia captain Steve Smith said the hostile reception he received at the Ageas Bowl was like "water off a duck's back" after his century set up a 12-run Cricket World Cup warm-up victory over England.

    The in-form Smith was booed when he walked to the crease, then when he reached his half-century and brought up a brilliant hundred on Saturday.

    David Warner was also heckled by fans in their first match against England since returning from a one-year suspension for their part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

    Smith, who made 116 from 102 balls a week before Australia start their World Cup defence against Afghanistan, was unfazed by the abuse he received.

    "I heard a few things as I went out to bat, but it didn't really get to me. I'm kind of just trying to keep my head down and move straight ahead and just do my job," Smith said.

    "Fortunately, I was able to score a few runs for the team and, more importantly, spend some time in the middle before our first game of the World Cup."

    Smith added: "It doesn't bother me, it's just doing my job and I know that I've got the support of my team-mates up on the balcony and that's the most important thing. If I can make them proud out in the middle and make Australians proud as much as I can, well, that's my job.

    "I just blank it out. They call it white noise. When I am out there I pay no attention to the crowd and just move on with playing the game."

    Smith said he had not been on the receiving end of hostility from the public in England prior to the match at the home of Hampshire.

    "No, it's been really good I haven't copped any which is really nice. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion and how they want to treat people, but it is water off a duck's back," he said. 

    "I'll just do my own thing and just keep working hard to play hard."

    England were all out for 285 in the final over in reply to 297-9, with concerns over a foot injury suffered by Mark Wood. Jofra Archer also suffered an injury scare but was able to bat.

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