HYDERABAD: A blistering 126 off 59 balls from David Warner carried defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad to an emphatic 48-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
The Sunrisers captain hit 10 fours and eight sixes in his team's imposing total of 209-3, after Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir had won the toss and opted to field first.
In reply, Knight Riders could only score 161-7 after rain interrupted their run-chase for nearly 45 minutes. Robin Uthappa top-scored with 53 before he holed out at long off to Warner.
Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-29) took his wickets tally in the tournament to 20, as Knight Riders' chase never got going.
"It was outstanding, we generally look to bat first and set the tone with a positive intent from ball one," Warner said. "We managed to maintain the run rate of 10 an over, which was amazing."
Despite the loss, Knight Riders lead the table with 14 points on better run-rate than Mumbai Indians, who also have 14 points, but have played a game less than Knight Riders' 10.
Sunrisers follow the two with 13 points.
Warner cut loose from the onset, but also profited from three dropped catches — on 13, 86 and 110 — with Chris Woakes missing two of the chances.
Warner was so dominant that he raised his fifty off 20 balls in only the fifth over, smashing Sunil Narine for a reverse sweep six. He brought up his century in the 11th over off 43 balls with seven fours and eight sixes, driving seamer Umesh Yadav to midwicket and scampering for two runs.
Woakes made some amends when he found Warner's leading edge off a slower delivery in the 17th over, but by that time the Australian had done enough damage.
At Mohali, Kings XI Punjab swept to a comfortable a 10-wicket victory over bottom-place Delhi Daredevils in a mere 7.5 overs.
Daredevils' top order batsmen were outfoxed by Sandeep Sharma's 4-20 on a slow wicket to get bowled out for 67 in 17.1 overs — the third-lowest total in the IPL's 10-year history.
Martin Guptill (50) then blazed an unbeaten half century off just 27 deliveries and steered Kings XI to 68-0. Guptill's maiden half-century in IPL included six fours and three towering sixes.
"The last few games have been frustrating," Kings XI captain Glenn Maxwell said. "The pitch played a lot slower than I thought it would."
Kings XI now have eight points from four victories in nine matches and are fifth in the points table.
Sharma grabbed a wicket each in his first three overs, including a brilliant left-handed low return catch to dismiss Shreyas Iyer and leave Daredevils on 22-3 in five overs.
Axar Patel clean bowled stand-in captain Karun Nair off his first delivery and then Chris Morris offered a tame return catch to the left-arm spinner.
Corey Anderson (18) got Daredevils past Royal Challengers Bangalore's lowest ever IPL total of 49 — made against Kolkata Knight Riders last week — before he played on to Varun Aron.
Sharma completed his four-wicket haul at his home ground when Kagiso Rabada holed out at long on and Mohit Sharma completed the rout by dismissing last man Shahbaz Nadeem, caught and bowled.
"I don't think there was anything strange in the wicket, it was maybe a little slow, but definitely not a 67 all-out wicket," said Nair, who captained Daredevils for the first time after Zaheer Khan failed to recover from a hamstring injury sustained last Friday against Knight Riders.
"We lost too many wickets at the start," Nair said. "What's done is done, we need to pull up our socks and move on."