David Warner rose to the occasion when it mattered the most. On Thursday, he slammed 90 off 45 balls against Chennai Super Kings to help Sunrisers Hyderabad to a six-wicket win and keep hopes of a play-off berth alive.
Chasing 186 in a must-win match, Warner lashed out from the very beginning. He 'hogged' the strike but opening partner Shikhar Dhawan seemed content in witnessing the carnage from the other end. Such was the intensity of the knock that when Warner reached his fifty - 16th in IPL, Dhawan had only scored seven!
Warner in fact also benefited from some ordinary bowling from Chennai. Assured of a place in the playoffs, Chennai bowlers looked rather jaded against Warner as the batsman made each of his shots look effortless. John Hastings for instance was clobbered for four fours on the trot by compatriot Warner who targeted every bowler and came out on top. (Standings | Fixtures)
While his fifty took him just 25 deliveries, Warner marched on with no intention of slowing his pace - eventually scoring 90 off 45 before being bowled by Hastings. The tall bowler may have had his revenge but it was a night which belonged to the batsman who became the fourth batsman to go past 500 runs - 524 - in IPL 7.
It was an innings of substance - peppered with singles but largely dominated with 12 fours and three sixes. Hyderabad with 12 points, will now have to hope for results of other matches to know their fate. Warner's form though would be one of the most outstanding positives for the team regardless of the eventual outcome of IPL 7.