BRIEF SCORES: Sunrisers Hyderabad 212 for 6 (Warner 81, Pandey 36) beat Kings XI Punjab 167 for 8 (Rahul 79, Rashid 3-21, Khaleel 3-40) by 45 runs
TODAY’S FIXTURE: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals (Bangalore, 5.30pm)
Hyderabad: Australia’s David Warner yesterday hit a scintillating 81 to seal his comeback from scandal in his last Indian Premier League game before heading to the World Cup.
Warner’s knock off 56 balls powered Hyderabad to a 45-run win over Kings XI Punjab after posting a mammoth 212 for six and improve their chances of making the playoffs.
The left-handed opener ended the Twenty20 tournament on top of the batting chart with 692 runs including eight fifties and a century in 12 innings.
Warner and Smith served a 12-month ban for cheating in a Cape Town Test in March last year along with teammate Cameron Bancroft, who was banned for nine months.
But the disgraced duo have brought back the focus to their game ahead of Australia’s World Cup training camp in Brisbane starting Thursday.
Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan also played a hand in giving a perfect send off to Hyderabad teammate Warner after returning figures of 3-21 and restrict Punjab to 167-8.
Indian batsman Lokesh Rahul top-scored with 79 off 56 deliveries but stood alone among the batting ruins of a side that will now find it difficult to make the playoffs.
For Hyderabad it was the opening pair of Warner and England batsman Jonny Bairstow, who also left home for World Cup preparations last week, that formed the bulk of their success so far.
The Aussie-English duo gave the team many blazing starts including IPL’s best ever opening stand of 185 last month and skipper Kane Williamson praised their efforts.