Sunrisers Hyderabad's David Warner showed no signs of rust as he turned the heat on Kolkata Knight Riders on a sultry afternoon in Kolkata.
Warner, who was banned for a year for his role in the ball-tampering scandal by Cricket Australia and then by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), returned to IPL after a gap of 12 months and showed why he is such a dangerous player.
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The Australian looked at ease as he scored his 37th fifty in the Indian Premier League on Sunday. This was also the first fifty of IPL 2019.
Opening the batting along with Jonny Bairstow, Warner looked a man, who has not missed a step. From driving the pacers through covers to reverse sweeping the spinners, Warner took the game on Kolkata and put them on to the mat.
The southpaw brought up his fifty in the ninth over with six over third man off Andre Russell and then went on from strength to strength.
Bairstow fell in the 13th over as he looked to up the ante but Piyush Chawla's wronun' disturbed the timber and KKR had their first wicket but that didn't slow the Australian down.
The 33-year-old continued to attack the bowlers and didn't allow the bowlers to settle in and sit on the Hyderabad batsmen. Joined in the crease by Vijay Shankar, Warner took the singles when available and put the bad balls away as SRH cruised along in Kolkata.
The former Hyderabad captain finally fell for 85 in the 16th over to Andre Russell, when he handed a catch to Robin Uthappa at covers. Warner took 53 balls for his 85 and smashed nine fours and three sixes in his innings.