IPL 2019: Record-setting David Warner, Jonny Bairstow help Sunrisers Hyderabad crush KKR

Ajit Vijaykumar 18:22 21/04/2019
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David Warner and Jonny Bairstow (l) added 131 for the opening wicket against KKR. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Sunrisers Hyderabad openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow pulverised Kolkata Knight Riders with yet another century to set up a comprehensive nine-wicket on Sunday.

Kolkata scored 159-8 and were hoping to get into the untested Sunrisers middle order. But poor fielding and and merciless batting by Hyderabad put paid to that plan as Warner and Bairstow added 131 for the first wicket – their fourth century stand of this campaign – as the hosts eased to 161-1 with five overs to spare.

Bairstow and Warner thus became the most prolific opening pair in an IPL season, going past Warner and Shikhar Dhawan’s tally of 731 set in 2016.

Bairstow remained unbeaten on 80 off just 43 balls, while Warner made 67 off 38.

Opening salvo

Kolkata really needed to make a statement at the top of the order falling to four-successive defeats. And they did get that from Sunil Narine who blasted 25 off eight balls, departing after losing his stumps to seamer Khaleed Ahmed.

Chris Lynn played the role of anchor as he stitched together a near run-a-ball fifty. But as has been seen time and again, such innings rarely set up winning totals on decent batting wickets.

Russell held back

For some reason, KKR insist on giving the least possible overs to Andre Russell to bat, which might have something to do with his wrist injury.

While he talked about batting at No4 position, the Knight Riders pushed Russell down to No7 on Sunday.

When the Jamaican marauder came to the crease, KKR were going nowhere at 126-5 after 16 overs. With Robin Uthappa dropped from the team following his excruciating 9 off 20 balls against RCB, there was even lesser experience in the batting line-up but Kolkata didn’t change their tactics.

They only got 15 off nine balls from Russell as the total reached 159-8.

Open-and-shut case

Warner and Bairstow have stitched together a remarkable partnership at the top of the order for Sunrisers.

While batting has generally been difficult in the 12th edition of the tournament, the Aussie-English pair have formed the an enthralling opening partnership.

The fourth century stand of the season between Warner and Bairstow took their season tally past the all-time record of 731 runs by Warner and Shikhar Dhawan in 2016. What’s incredible is the two breached the mark in just nine innings while Warner and Dhawan took 17 to reach there.

Luck played its part in the record-setting day for Sunrisers as Bairstow was dropped three times, first on one at deep point by KC Cariappa, on 55 by Harry Gurney at deep fine leg and on 58 by Piyush Chawla at deep mid-wicket.

Which such a disjointed effort and dependence on an unfit and under-utilised Andre Russell, Knight Riders stood no chance.

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