David Warner v Steve Smith IPL: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals score
David Warner has continued his sizzling start to the Indian Premier League, bludgeoning 69 from 37 balls to outgun Steve Smith and help Sunrisers Hyderabad defeat Rajasthan Royals in a high-scoring contest.
Warner’s march to the World Cup has not been halted by a week full of headlines that harked back to the Cape Town cheating scandal.
The sacked vice-captain, painted as the architect of the ball-tampering ploy at Newlands by Cricket Australia, was in devastating touch as he top-scored for Sunrisers and clobbered a half-century in 26 deliveries.
Warner and Smith, both taking the field for the first time since their year-long suspensions from international cricket ended, squared off in Hyderabad on Friday.
Smith, demoted below Ben Stokes in the order, didn’t get to bat as the Royals posted an imposing 2-198 thanks to a century from Sanju Samson. Warner helped Hyderabad make light work of the target, bullying the Royals’ attack as the home side reached 5-201 in 19 overs.
Warner rocketed his team to 0-61 in the sixth over, at which point he was on 52.
The hard-hitting opener hammered nine fours, including three in Stokes’ first over, and two sixes.
The English allrounder later returned to the attack to dismiss Warner, whose mistimed pull shot resulted in a catch for Dhawal Kulkarni.
“We tried to put on a show, we had to come out and get a good start,” Warner said afterwards.
“From the get go me and Jonny have partnered well. There were a few hiccups but we got there.
“It’s been a long time coming and it was great to have the free flowing adrenaline.”
The innings, likely to have left as big an impression on Australia coach Justin Langer as the overwhelmed opposition, cameafter Warner scored 85 in Hyderabad’s IPL opener.
Langer, selectors and Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts had considered during the home summer whether Warner and Smith should return for the final two ODIs against Pakistan.
The disgraced duo’s elbow injuries in January ensured it wouldn’t happen. Smith and Warner did however mingle with the ODI squad during a one-day stopover in Dubai en route to India for the Twenty20 competition.
“It was good to get them in and for the boys to just go to the bar and have a beer with them the night before, to sort ofbreak the ice,” captain Aaron Finch said.
“They were probably as nervous as anyone.”
Originally published as Warner wallops 69 to get one over on Smith