Warner signs off in style as Sunrisers put Kings XI in the shade

By Sports Desk April 29, 2019

David Warner starred in his final appearance in this year's Indian Premier League, helping Sunrisers Hyderabad record a clinical 45-run win over Kings XI Punjab.

The Australia batsman, who will miss the closing stages of the campaign to prepare for the Cricket World Cup, made a top score of 81 in Hyderabad's imposing total of 212-6.

Opening partner Wriddhiman Saha contributed 28 - hitting three fours and a six during his brief 13-ball innings - while Manish Pandey added 36 to the cause, putting on 82 with Warner for the second wicket.

KL Rahul made 79 in reply, but Kings XI never threatened to succeed in pursuit of such a sizeable score, particularly once the dangerous Chris Gayle departed for just four at the start of the third over.

Mayank Agarwal (27) and Nicholas Pooran (21) contributed to the cause, yet Kings XI's chase was curtailed by losing three wickets to leg-spinner Rashid Khan, including skipper Ravichandran Ashwin for a first-ball duck.

Khaleel Ahmed claimed 3-40 as the innings subsided following Rahul's departure, eventually ending on 167-8.

Victory helps Hyderabad consolidate fourth place in the table, while Kings XI six two points behind them in what looks set to be a hotly contested race to reach the play-offs.

 

YOU'VE BEEN WARNER-ED

Warner rounded out a hugely impressive IPL campaign with a ninth score of 50 or more in 12 innings.

The left-hander hit a pair of sixes and seven fours in his 56-ball knock on Monday, taking his tally for the year to 692 runs. He sits comfortably clear on the top-scorers list, with Rahul his nearest challenger on 520.

A second century of the season appeared on the cards for Warner until he sliced Ashwin to backward point at the end of the 16th over.

Still, his departure from India - following on from former opening partner Jonny Bairstow's return to England - leaves a sizeable void at the top of the Sunrisers' batting order.


A BEAUTY FROM BHUVI!

Bhuvneshwar Kumar actually caught Pooran twice in the 13th over. 

The India seamer held on to a pull shot at deep fine leg when the batsman went after a short ball from Khaleel, only to step over the boundary rope as he failed to halt his momentum in time.

However, Kumar judged his second attempt four balls later perfectly, moving in from his position in the deep to claim a top edge from the same batsman with the aid of a dive, snatching the ball just prior to it reaching the turf.

Rahul battled on bravely after the fall of the third wicket, but his lone hand could not save Kings XI from a third straight defeat. They have just two games remaining to break into the top four and extend their season.

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    Australia captain Aaron Finch was relieved his side survived a Pakistan revival at Taunton.

    A gripping match saw Australia put 307 on the board before bowling Pakistan out for 266, but until the late stages the contest was firmly in the balance.

    And that was reflected in Finch's verdict as he acknowledged some big hitting down the order from Pakistan had given his bowlers a headache.

    Pakistan looked to be sinking at 160-6 but it was a different story at 264-7 after Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and captain Sarfraz Ahmed led a big-hitting rearguard action.

    Mitchell Starc made a key double breakthrough at that stage though, firstly when Australia used a DRS review to show Riaz nicked a delivery through to Alex Carey, and then when bowling Mohammad Amir for a duck.

    Glenn Maxwell threw down the stumps to run out Sarfraz and win the match, with Australia thankful they avoided another defeat after losing to India last time out.

    Finch agreed Pakistan had put his players under pressure, saying: "They certainly did. It's always tough when you've got guys like Hasan and Wahab coming out and swinging.

    "When they start to get on a roll it can be tough to stop. We just had to bowl our best ball, whether that was a length ball or whether it was a yorker. You had to commit to that ball 100 per cent. We saw that if your execution is slightly off on a small ground like this you go for six.

    "We didn't bat out 50 overs, which was really disappointing. When you go in with the extra batter you stack the batters to do that job.

    "We probably tried to go a little bit too hard too early and ended up probably 20-30 runs short."

    Sarfraz said his bowlers came back well after disappointing opening spells allowed Australia to start well, with David Warner going on to make 107 and Finch 82.

    "We conceded too many runs in the first 20 overs. Except for Amir the other bowlers did not bowl really well," Sarfraz said at the post-match presentation.

    Amir took 5-30 but had little support, while Pakistan were left to lament a number of batsmen failing to convert reasonable starts into big innings.

    "If we want to win, the top four have to make runs," Sarfraz said.

    Pakistan face India next, and already face a battle to stay in semi-final contention.

    A win over India would lift spirits and Sarfraz said: "We will try our level best."

    Man of the match Warner admitted Australia should have gone on to reach 340 or 350 after their strong start.

    "Credit to the way Pakistan bowled," Warner said. "Their second spells were fantastic. They hit their lines and lengths and made it hard for us. They bowled very straight lines to me and gave me no width."

    Assessing the tense finish, he added: "It was probably a lot closer than we expected but I thought it was a great game."

  • Australia cling on to beat Pakistan after Warner century Australia cling on to beat Pakistan after Warner century

    David Warner dazzled with the bat before Australia rode their luck in a gripping match to beat Pakistan at Taunton.

    The opener made a fine 107 from 111 balls to help Australia lay the platform for a 41-run victory, which meant a sparkling 5-30 performance from Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir went unrewarded.

    Warner's dismissal came in the early stages of an Australian collapse, as they slumped from 189-1 to 307 all out, and Pakistan also displayed a self-destructive streak in the Somerset gloom.

    A middle-order collapse saw Pakistan 160-6, but their tail showed plenty of gumption. They had Australia worried until Mitchell Starc took two wickets in three balls and Glenn Maxwell ran out Sarfraz Ahmed to kill the contest, Pakistan all out for 266.

    Australia captain Aaron Finch was dropped on 26 by Asif Ali off Wahab Riaz, and by going on to reach 82 he made Pakistan pay. Finch was eventually caught off Amir, aiming to hoist over midwicket but instead thrashing the ball high into the off side, with Mohammad Hafeez taking the catch.

    Steve Smith and Maxwell went cheaply before Warner perished, mistiming an intended blow straight down the ground to be caught by Imam-ul-Haq, dashing in from the boundary to deep point.

    Australia were still well placed at 242-4 in the 38th over, but a combination of rash lower-order batting and the admirable guile of Amir meant the innings ended with a whimper.

    Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman to a third-ball duck, slashing at Pat Cummins and caught at third man by Kane Richardson.

    They rebuilt well, with Imam sharing in partnerships of 54 for the second wicket with Babar Azam and then 80 for the third wicket with Hafeez.

    A clatter of four wickets in five overs had Pakistan flailing at 160-6, Cummins taking 3-33 in his 10 overs, and at that point it was hard to see past a crushing Australia win.

    Yet Hasan Ali thrashed three sixes in a 15-ball 32 that showed Pakistan were not finished, and Wahab Riaz plundered 45 before a DRS review showed he feathered Starc through to Alex Carey.

    Starc bowled Amir before Maxwell finished off the job, and Australia, rattled just minutes earlier, could enjoy the victory moment.

    What does it mean? 

    If this is all these two teams have, only the most optimistic supporter would predict they will win this tournament. Australia folded as a batting unit after Finch and Warner showed how the Pakistan attack could be unpicked, and with the ball they looked to be lacking ideas in the closing stages. Pakistan came rattling back into a match that looked lost, as they gorged on bowling ripe to be attacked. It made for an entertaining spectacle but both sides left room for improvement.

    This is not a vintage Australia team

    Bowling is a problem for Australia and captain Aaron Finch admitted in a post-match interview his attack needed to back themselves more in the closing stages. This was a match that almost swung out of Australia's grasp and into the hands of Pakistan, and even if Australia reach the semi-finals, as they well may, there look to be stronger sides in this World Cup.

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    ICC chief executive David Richardson said reserve days for weather reasons in the first phase of the Cricket World Cup would be "extremely complex to deliver" after a third match in five days ended without a result.

    Unseasonable rain across the United Kingdom continued to impact the tournament on Tuesday, with Bangladesh's clash against Sri Lanka in Bristol abandoned without a ball being bowled.

    It followed a no result in Monday's clash between South Africa and West Indies, in which just 7.3 overs were played, and another complete washout on Friday for Pakistan's meeting against luckless Sri Lanka.

    Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes argued the case for reserve days during the initial phase of the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday, saying: "We put men on the moon, so why can't we have a reserve day, when actually this tournament is a long tournament."

    With rain and forecasts the talk of the cricket world, outgoing ICC boss Richardson said that Rhodes' suggestion was not plausible for a host of reasons.

    "Factoring in a reserve day for every match at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver," Richardson said in a statement.

    "It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days, accommodation and venue availability, tournament staffing, volunteer and match officials availability, broadcast logistics and very importantly the spectators who in some instances have travelled hours to be at the game.

    "There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either."

    Richardson added reserve days would be in place later in the tournament, before expressing his disappointment with the British weather.

    "We have reserve days factored in for the knock-out stages, knowing that over the course of 45 group games we should play the large majority," he added.

    "This is extremely unseasonable weather. In the last couple of days we have experienced more than twice the average monthly rainfall for June which is usually the third driest month in the UK. In 2018 there was just 2mm of rain in June but the last 24 hours alone has seen around 100mm fall in the south-east of England.  

    "When a match is affected by weather conditions, the venue team work closely with Match Officials and Ground Staff to ensure that we have the best possible opportunity to play cricket, even if it is a reduced-overs game."

    Weather permitting, the Cricket World Cup will continue on Wednesday when Australia face Pakistan in Taunton.

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