MUMBAI (Reuters) – David Warner celebrated the end of his year-long ban from international cricket with a match-winning innings of 69 on Friday, helping his Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad overhaul a steep target against the Rajasthan Royals.
Former Australia captain Steve Smith and his deputy Warner were slapped with 12-month suspensions from international cricket last year for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town test against South Africa.
Warner showed he has lost none of his marauding form at the top of the order by smashing 85 in 53 balls in Hyderabad’s opening IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders last Sunday.
He continued in the same vein against Rajasthan, the day after his international ban ended, scoring 69 off 37 deliveries as his team chased down their opponents 198-2, built on Sanju Samson’s unbeaten knock of 102.
Hyderabad needed a fast start to their innings and Warner, who missed the 2018 IPL because of the ban, obliged with a half-century off 26 deliveries.
“We got off to a good start and kept (going) on with that adrenaline,” Warner said after the match. “As a batsman when your adrenaline is running you are in a mood.”
The left-hander hit nine fours, three of them in England all-rounder Ben Stokes’ first over, and two sixes in his knock and by the time he fell to Stokes, his team had already rocketed to 110 in less than 10 overs.
“When a player like David Warner bats like that, there’s very less margin as a bowler,” Rajasthan captain Ajinkya Rahane said.
“I don’t think the bowlers did anything wrong, their batsmen did very well. They didn’t lose any momentum throughout when they were batting.”
Smith did not have an opportunity to bat as his side promoted Stokes ahead of him at number four.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Greg Stutchbury)