Australia’s David Warner hit a blistering half-century for Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday to consolidate his top position in the Indian Premier League batting charts with over 500 runs.
Warner made 67 off 38 balls during his 131-run opening stand with England’s Jonny Bairstow, who scored an unbeaten 80, to help Hyderabad thrash Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets.
The left-handed opener has amassed 517 runs on his comeback to the Twenty20 tournament after missing the previous edition along with compatriot Steve Smith over a ball-tampering row.
Warner registered his sixth fifty in this IPL as he went past 500 runs for the fifth successive time in the world’s most popular T20 league. His season best has been an unbeaten 100.
“The two at the top have been doing it all season, hopefully they can continue, they were outstanding,” skipper Kane Williamson said of the opening duo after the win.
Both Warner and Bairstow, who also took apart the bowling during his 43-ball knock, combined to make short work of their team’s target of 160 as they completed the win with five overs to spare.
Warner was cleaned up by debutant paceman Prithvi Raj in the 13th over. Bairstow finished off the chase in style with a boundary and two sixes.
“He’s (Warner) a great bloke to bat with, we run well between wickets, which helps,” Bairstow, who stands behind Warner in the batting list with 445 runs in nine games, said of his partner.
“Loving every bit of my first IPL,” added the wicketkeeper-batsman, who was picked by Hyderabad for $311,982 in the December auctions.
But the prolific run-scorers will be among a host of foreign players to leave IPL at the business end and join their national teams ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales.
Williamson admitted the departure of the two openers would amount to “big losses” for Hyderabad who are in line to make the play-offs.
“Without a doubt Warner and Bairstow will be big losses, they are world class players,” said Williamson, who will captain New Zealand in the 50-over showpiece event starting May 30.
“We knew at the start of the tournament that we will lose them at the back end of the tournament and new guys will come in then,” he added.
Hyderabad bowlers set up the win with paceman Khaleel Ahmed claiming three wickets to keep down Kolkata to 159 for eight in their 20 overs.
Indian seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar chipped in with two wickets including the prized scalp of West Indian big-hitter Andre Russell for 15.