David Warner hit his 50th Indian Premier League half century on Thursday as he plundered runs with Jonny Bairstow off a hapless Punjab Kings XI attack to give Sunrisers Hyderabad a key win.
Even the fastest IPL 50 of the year by Nicholas Pooran — from 17 balls — failed to inspire Punjab who were beaten by 69 runs.
The victory boosted Hyderabad to third in the eight-team table while Punjab are stuck at the bottom with just one success from six games.
Bairstow came agonisingly close to his first century of the season, smashing 97 off 55 balls with six sixes and seven fours.
He put on 160 for the first wicket with Warner who made 52. His ninth straight half century against Punjab took him past the landmark in the 13 year old tournament.
Rising Indian spinner Ravi Bishnoi claimed both openers in his second over as he impressed with three wickets in three overs. And Hyderabad then struggled to reach 201 for six off their 20 overs.
Punjab lost early wickets. Captain K.L. Rahul said it was a “disaster” when opening partner Mayank Agarwal was run out after facing just nine balls.
The struggling side maintained hopes while Pooran was still firing.
The West Indies star hit four sixes and a four off Abdul Samad’s only over. But Pooran ran out of reliable partners and was out for 77 off 37 balls. Punjab were finished off for 132.
“I was getting a bit nervous when Nicholas was hitting them over the stands,” said Hyderabad skipper Warner. “When he is hitting them that clean you have always got to worry.”
But the Australian also praised his latest blitz with his English fellow opener.
“I don’t know why people think there’s so much hatred between the two countries,” he joked. “We love batting with each other. We pride ourselves on running hard between the wickets.”
“It was just one of those days when everything you hit went into the fielder’s hands”, said dejected Punjab captain Rahul. “Everyone knows what is going wrong and we have just got to keep going.”