David Warner went berserk like only he can, and the Sunrisers Hyderabad picked up a pretty impressive victory over the Chennai Super Kings to keep them very much in contention for a place in the IPL 2015 playoffs.
Playing their first game in Hyderabad, with the fans coming out in scores to support their team, the SRH captain played a knock of ridiculous dominance, smashing the much-vaunted CSK opening bowlers with consummate ease and equally good skill.
Warner's 61 from a mere 28 balls (11x4, 1x6) set SRH up for a huge score, and even if they could not quite get beyond that 200-run mark, the 192/7 was always going to be a daunting total to chase down, even for CSK.
Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith were going to be the key in the chase, and it looked like it could be a long day for the SRH bowlers as McCullum (12, 5b, 3x4) smashed his New Zealand compatriot for three straight boundaries in the opening over. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent the CSK slugger packing in the second, before regular wickets and the increasing scoreboard pressure meant the away team falling short by 22 runs, only managing 170/6 in their 20 overs.
McCullum's wicket was the key, with Bhuvneshwar (4-1-32-2) getting one to jag back a little and the Kiwi knocking it down onto his stumps. Suresh Raina came in and looked in tremendous touch, banging a six off just his second ball, with Smith also slowly getting into his groove.
However, that honeymoon for CSK would not last long as Moises Henriques (4-0-20-2) sent Smith (21, 19b, 3x4, 1x6), first, and then Raina (23, 15b, 3x6) back to the dugout in a couple of overs to get SRH back on track again.
Faf Du Plessis (33, 22b, 4x4) and MS Dhoni (20, 16b, 2x4) tried their best to keep the chase on course, but a freak run out, with the ball ricocheting off him and then the umpire before Ashish Reddy broke the stumps, and then the castle of the CSK skipper off the very next ball ended the match as a contest, giving SRH a handsome win.
Earlier, it was the Warner show all the way, with the Aussie opener showing just why he is considered one of the best batsmen in the world. When on song, there are very few batsmen more difficult to stop, and this was a Warner in tune with the world, throwing the CSK bowlers completely off their rhythm.
There weren't too many big sixes in his blazing innings, but there were quite a few fours, and what fours they were. Once Warner fell to Raina, who bowled his full quota of four overs with Ravindra Jadeja not even getting one, CSK looked to pull things back, but Shiikhar Dhawan (37, 32b, 4x4), Henriques (19, 9b, 1x4, 2x6), Naman Ojha (20, 12b, 3x4, 1x6) and Eoin Morgan (32 n.o., 27b, 1x4, 2x6) did just about enough to take them to a defendable total.