David Warner has continued his magnificent Indian Premier League form, blasting a superb 91 as his Sunrisers Hyderabad to a 16-run victory in a rain-affected game over Kolkata Knight Riders.
Warner’s match-winning fireworks may have formed the backbone of Hyderabad’s 4-176, but Test coach Darren Lehmann would likely have been more encouraged by the successful return from injury of strike bowler Mitchell Starc in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 27-run loss to Chennai Super Kings in Wednesday’s other match.
Starc has been sidelined since March with a knee injury sustained during Australia’s World Cup triumph, in which he confirmed his status as one of the world’s premier limited overs fast bowlers and finished as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 22.
On his return, Starc bowled four overs, taking 1-24 in an economical spell as the Super Kings posted an intimidating 8-181, to which Bangalore could only muster 8-154 in reply.
Starc, who is working his way back to full fitness ahead of next month’s two-Test tour of the West Indies, should’ve also had a runout, but he missed a chance to throw the stumps down from point-blank range.
The giant left-armer managed to see the funny side of his embarrassing miss, cracking a smile despite conceding an overthrow.
The miss was reminiscent of fellow Australian Kane Richardson, who was similarly off target with a runout chance from a short distance while playing for South Australia two years ago.
“I think I need to do some bowling practice, underarm,” Starc joked.
“I hope Kane Richardson was watching that one.”
Earlier, Warner clubbed nine fours and four sixes in a brutal 55-ball display of power hitting for Hyderabad, falling just short of a sixth Twenty20 century.
His efforts proved enough, however, as the Knight Riders never truly looked like chasing the reduced target of 118 from 12 overs following a lengthy rain delay and ultimately fell short.