IPL 2022: Unstoppable Warner rubs salt into SRH wounds

IPL 2022: Unstoppable Warner rubs salt into SRH wounds

Warner’s will, Powell’s power An indication of just how determined David Warner was against the side for which he’d made 4,000 runs came in his watchfulness against Bhuvneshwar Kumar early on. Into his second over, Bhuvneshwar was yet to concede a run. Big swing both ways and a line constantly threatening either the stumps or the outside edge; even without the deceptive changes of pace and length, he is a hard bowler to go after. He’d already toyed with Mandeep Singh in the game’s opening over. Warner was beaten too on the outside edge, and gave that spell the respect it deserved – he left alone a couple of deliveries and quietly defended two more.

The fun began in the fourth over when Umran Malik came on. The young tearway has got the country excited with his extreme pace, and there was a group of fans with a poster that read, ‘we came to see you Umran Malik’. It didn’t matter to them that his first ball was a wide down the leg side, what mattered was it sped away enough to beat the wicketkeeper’s dive. Raw pace didn’t just get the fans going, it also kickstarted Warner’s assault.

Malik was trying to bowl short into the veteran Australian, the shorter boundary was on the leg side, and Warner slammed a four and six with the most matter-of-fact looking pulls. Malik, and then Kartik Tyagi, went wider outside off in an attempt to force Warner to hit to the longer side, and he readily obliged.

The media seating at the Cricket Club of India may not offer the best view of the action, situated as it is from wide long-on to cow corner, but when the bowling is from the pavilion end, it does afford a good look at the left-hander’s extra-cover drives. From right behind Warner’s legs, the cold brutality of those shots was quite something to witness. A couple of times, he would just smack it into the gap between extra cover and mid-off and not even bother with what the ball did thereafter.

No holding the pose and admiring the stroke, no jogging across to the other side for a mock single, no need for such niceties. To Sean Abbott’s straighter lines, he’d get the front leg out of the way and hit through mid-off or down the ground. As soon as he walloped Umran over midwicket to reach his fifty, Warner raised his bat to his dugout, handle-side up and held just beneath the shoulder, as if it were a baton or a torch.

david warner For David Warner, this was a grudge game. (Source: iplt20.com)

He’d celebrate Rovman Powell’s fifty with a lot more passion. We’ll never know how much emotion Warner would have released if he’d got to the century, as he remained off strike for the entire 20th over, in which Rovman Powell took 19 off Umran. “I wanted him to get to a hundred, but he asked me to hit as hard as I could, and wasn’t bothered about his own hundred,” Powell said during the innings break. Warner ended on 92 off 58, Powell, meanwhile, blitzed six sixes in his 67 off 35. The ball was coming on, especially from the quicker bowlers, and Powell pulverized the arc from wide long-on to wide long-off with powerful, soaring blows.

Pooran does a Powell

New West Indies white-ball skipper Nicholas Pooran (62 off 34) began Sunrisers’ comeback along with Aiden Markram (42 off 25). When he is in flow, Pooran’s clean, fully-committed bat-swing is a delight as the ball disappears over deep midwicket and long-on. But this time, Capitals were at the right end of a tight no-ball call, and Pooran had to walk back after being caught at long-on off a high full toss from Shardul Thakur. Sunrisers needed 43 from 14 then, and the last two overs were to be bowled by Mitchell Marsh and Kuldeep Yadav. But the asking rate was beyond the lower-order.

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