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Although he insists that he did not need any extra motivation, David Warner's unbeaten knock of 92 not out against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) must have been particularly sweet for the Delhi Capital's batter.
He was, after all, playing against the franchise he had represented with distinction until last year when it all went sour. The Australian, twice the winner of the Orange Cap, captained SRH to their only IPL success in 2016 when they beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final in Bengaluru.
That was when he was replaced as captain of SRH by Kane Williamson and then dropped from the team altogether after two matches of the second leg of the tournament for non-cricketing reasons.
When SRH decided not to retain him, he entered the IPL 2022 auction where DC snapped him up. If revenge is a dish best served cold, then he can be forgiven for wanting to get one over his old employers.
Whilst he denies this was in his mind, he would have enjoyed every one of the 92 undefeated runs that he scored in the match, with his innings coming off 58 balls, including 3 sixes and 12 fours.
His efforts help DC post 207/3 from their 20 overs at the Brabourne Stadium, with his partnership with Rovman Powell worth an unbeaten 122 for the fourth wicket.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Blow To Their Hopes Of Reaching The Play-Offs
With SRH only able to muster 186/8 in reply, DC claimed a 21-run victory, that enabled them to leapfrog their opponent in the IPL standings – something which will not have been lost on Warner either.
It was the third consecutive loss for SRH and a blow to their hopes of reaching the playoffs.
Warner's innings also saw him set another milestone. It was his 89th half-century in the shortest form of the game, and that is a new world record because it passes him beyond the mark previously held by Chris Gayle.
Next on the list is Virat Kohli with 77, Aaron Finch with 70, and Rohit Sharma with 69. During the course of his innings, he also passed Sharma's aggregate of IPL runs and he is now on 5,805 in his career in the tournament. Both could still join the exclusive 6,000 clubs before the end of the season, which currently has just two members, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan.
He is already the most prolific overseas batter on the all-time leave, with the now-retired AB de Villiers the only other “foreigner” to have scored more than 5,000 runs in the tournament's history.
In fact, Warner's statistics would certainly have been even better had not been forced to miss the entirety of the 2018 season after he was banned, along with international teammate Steve Smith. That was because of their role in the infamous Australian ball-tampering scandal (Sandpapergate) during the third test against South Africa at Newlands, in Cape Town, in March of that year.
When he looks back to the events of Thursday night, Warner can be forgiven for having a sense of schadenfreude after his innings against the Sunrisers.
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