(Reuters) – David Warner continued to blaze his way through the Indian Premier League with the bat but his misfield helped Kings XI Punjab to a dramatic victory over his Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday.
The aggressive opener scored 70 not out from 62 balls for the Sunrisers, confirming his strong form ahead of his expected return to the Australia team for the 50-overs World Cup in England and Wales.
It was his third half century in six matches and extended his hold at the top of the IPL run-scoring table with 349 runs at an average of 87.25.
He has scored a century in addition to the three half centuries, indicating there is little rust in his game despite the one-year international ban for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
The suspension ended on March 29 and the 32-year-old is all but certain to be included in Australia’s squad for the May 31-July 14 World Cup when it is announced this week.
While Warner batted the entire 20 overs of Hyderabad’s innings, tight bowling and muggy conditions in Mohali meant he was required to work hard as he guided his side 150 for four.
India opener KL Rahul’s 71 not out then led the Kings XI to a six-wicket victory with a ball to spare.
Hyderabad did well to force the game into a final over by taking three quick wickets for eight runs in just 12 balls, leaving Punjab needing 11 runs from the last six.
Rahul and England all-rounder Sam Curran scored nine from Mohammad Nabi’s first four deliveries before Rahul hit the ball to Warner at long on.
Warner fumbled it then slipped over on the dewy surface as he went to retrieve it, allowing Rahul and Curran to scamper through for the victory.
Punjab are third in the IPL standings with four wins from six matches, trailing Kolkata and Chennai, who have both played only five games, on net run rate. Hyderabad are fourth with three wins and three losses.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)