After going winless in his first five matches, losing his swift-scoring touch and even losing his bats to a thief, David Warner has at last rediscovered a bit of luck – and form – in a return to winning ways in India’s IPL.
The Australian opener was the picture of relief on Thursday after his struggling Delhi Capitals side finally squeezed to a first victory of the season in front of their home fans after five straight defeats, thanks largely to his own impressive half-century.
The day after being selected for another Ashes tour, it appeared the 36-year-old’s fortunes may have changed as he won the toss, watched his bowlers skittle Kolkata Knight Riders for 127 and then set about single-handedly knocking off the runs himself.
Warner, like some of his team, had three of his bats stolen in transit between Bengaluru and Delhi earlier in the week, but the one he picked out looked a beauty as he launched into his most convincing knock of the season.
Despite the dismissal of Mitch Marsh for just two, Warner reached his quickest 50 of the four he’s made in 2023 – off just 33 balls – and went on plunder 57 from just 41 deliveries, decorated with 11 thumping boundaries.
But once he departed, trapped lbw by Varun Chakravarthy, Delhi’s mid-innings fragility was laid bare once again as they ended up limping over the line on 6-128, winning by just four wickets with four balls remaining.
“Great to get the two points, it’s awesome,” declared Warner, who couldn’t hide his delight alongside coach Ricky Ponting after the pair had cut anxious figures on the Delhi bench during the nervy denouement.
Earlier in Mohali, Glenn Maxwell’s sparkling IPL form was interrupted rudely by a golden duck – but it didn’t stop his Royal Challengers Bangalore side earning a 24-run win over Punjab Kings.
The Kings’ Australian BBL batting ace Matt Short also had a disappointing night, bowled for just eight as they succumbed for 150 in pursuit of RCB’s 4-174.
Bangalore looked as if they would amass even more after being inspired by another champion knock from Faf du Plessis, who brushed aside his rib injury to crack 84 off 56 balls, with opening partner Virat Kohli smacking 59 off 47.
Their opening stand of 137 in 16.1 overs looked the perfect launch pad for No.3 Maxwell, who had crashed 76 off 36 balls in his previous knock against Chennai Super Kings on Monday.
But first ball against Harpreet Brar’s left-arm spin, Maxwell tried to back away and launch the ball into the stratosphere, only to slice it high and not very handsomely to Atharva Taide at point.
RCB’s innings lost its momentum, with the visitors eventually glad that du Plessis had made the inspired decision to play only as an impact substitute and give up the captain’s armband to Kohli.
Du Plessis confirmed after the game that he wouldn’t have played if the new substitution rule hadn’t been in place.
The game’s third Australian, Nathan Ellis, went for 41 off his four overs for Punjab – conceding more runs than anyone – but he did eventually dismiss du Plessis in the 18th over after the South African had cracked five sixes and five fours.
When Punjab replied, pace bowler Mohammed Siraj proved the wrecker, taking 4-21 to move to the top of the season list of wicket-takers with 12 in six games.
Aussies in IPL 2023
Delhi Capitals: Mitch Marsh ($1.2m), David Warner ($1.16m)
Gujarat Titans: Matthew Wade ($446,000)
Lucknow Super Giants: Marcus Stoinis ($1.7m), Daniel Sams ($135,000)
Mumbai Indians: Tim David ($1.53m), Cameron Green ($3.15m), Jason Behrendorff ($135,000)
Punjab Kings: Nathan Ellis ($135,000), Matt Short ($36,000)
Rajasthan Royals: Adam Zampa ($270,000)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Josh Hazlewood ($1.4m), Glenn Maxwell ($2m)
Figures represent auction price in Australian dollars at time of sale
News Source: https://www.cricket.com.au/news/match-report/david-warner-delhi-capitals-win-fifty-captain-kolkata-punjab-faf-rcb-virat/2023-04-21