Opener David Warner smashed a century as the Delhi Daredevils returned to the top of the Indian Premier League with a nine-wicket win over the Deccan Chargers, while the Chennai Super Kings defeated the Rajasthan Royals by four wickets on Thursday.
Warner bludgeoned 109 not out off 54 deliveries, with seven sixes and 10 boundaries. He featured in a 189-run unbroken stand for the second wicket with Naman Ojha (64 not out) to lead Delhi to 193-1 in 16.4 overs after Deccan scored 187-4 after electing to bat at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
Warner hit a variety of strokes in only his second game for Delhi, which lost Kevin Pietersen when he returned to England for the home series against West Indies.
Playing pace and spin with ease, the Australia left-hander smashed 20 off an over from pace bowler Ashish Reddy.
He registered his second IPL century, after hitting 107 not out against the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2010.
“It’s a great feeling to be at the top of the points table and credit to the bowlers for the way they’ve bowled in this tournament,” Warner said. “We knew that it [ball] was going to move around and we tried to take that away from them, by going after the bowling very early.”
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan (84) and Cameron White (65) boosted Deccan’s innings.
Dhawan clobbered five sixes and nine fours during his 49-ball knock, which included two consecutive sixes off left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.
Dhawan added 126 for the third wicket with White, but was run out to a direct throw by Nadeem from the square-leg boundary when he took two runs.
White, who smashed two sixes and seven fours off 40 deliveries, followed a little later when he skied a lofted shot and wicketkeeper Naman Ojha took a fine catch running toward square-leg.
Delhi has nine wins and three losses from 12 games. Kolkata was second with eight wins, three losses and a no-result.
Deccan was last in the nine-team league with two wins, 10 losses and one no-result from 13, to be out of the playoff reckoning.
At Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur, Rajasthan was restricted to 126-6 as Australia pace bowler Ben Hilfenhaus produced an impressive spell of 2-8 in four overs which comprised the prize wickets of captain Rahul Dravid and allrounder Shane Watson.
Two-time defending champion Chennai failed to get a big contribution from any of its main batsmen and was tottering on 88-6 in the 17th over before South Africa allrounder Albie Morkel and Anirudh Srikkanth struck 18 apiece off six balls each, both scoring one six and two fours to lead the team home with 11 balls to spare.
Chennai moved up to fourth place with six wins, six losses and one no-result from 13 games. Rajasthan was sixth with a 6-7 record.
SRI LANKA LEAGUE
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will host a Twenty20 tournament in August in an attempt to emulate the success of the highly popular IPL, the island’s cricket authorities announced on Thursday.
The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) will be played in Colombo and Pallekele from Aug. 10 to 31 and will feature yet-to-be named world players, the board said in a statement.
“Twenty20’s massive popularity and status as the most exciting and entertaining format of cricket will be further enhanced by this newest tournament to the world of cricket,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said.
“International players will be playing in the SLPL alongside Sri Lankan national cricketers and young Sri Lankan hopefuls,” it added.