David Warner blasted his way to an unbeaten 54-ball 109 as he steered Delhi Daredevils to a crushing nine-wicket win over laggards Deccan Chargers in a one-sided match here today.
Playing only in his second match this season, Warner smashed 10 fours and seven sixes in his explosive knock to help Delhi chase down a stiff target of 188 with 20 balls to spare at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal here.
The Australian dynamo shared a massive 189-run partnership for the unbroken second wicket with Naman Ojha (64 not out) as the duo sent the Deccan bowlers on a leatherhunt. Ojha turned out to be the ideal ally for Warner as he rotated the strike with his partner initially by scoring in singles before hitting some lusty blows later in his 46-ball knock, which was studded with two fours and five sixes.
With the win today, Delhi once again jumped to the top of the table and are virtually assured of a play-off berth with 18 points from 12 matches.
Warner was on song from the beginning and he was the one who took on the bowlers initially. He hit TP Sudhindra for a four and a six in the fourth over and followed that up with two sixes and as many fours off Ashish Reddy in the sixth to take Delhi to 64 for one at the end of first powerplay. He completed his sixth IPL half century with a single to the off side off Manpreet Gony.
The run riot continued with Ojha joining in with two consecutive sixes off Shikhar Dhawan.
Delhi were well-placed at the halfway stage at 112 for one, with the asking rate below eight an over.
There was no stopping the Warner-Ojha duo as they rained in fours and sixes and by the 14th over, the asking rate was down to below six an over. Warner brought up his century in style -- his second in the IPL -- by lifting Ankit Sharma for a six off the 52nd ball he faced.
Delhi though did not have a good start as their skipper and dangerman Virender Sehwag was out for just four in the second ball of the innings of the bowling of Shikhar Dhawan. Sehwag was in his belligerent mood as he greeted Dhawan with a four in the first ball of the innings but this was not to be his day as he perished next ball while attempting for another big hit, with Cameron White effecting a fine diving catch at long-on region.
The first over was nonethless expensive as Warner milked two fours as Dhawan conceded 16 runs though scalping a big wicket.
Earlier, in-form Shikhar Dhawan notched up a scintillating 49-ball 84 to guide Deccan Chargers to a challenging 187 for four.
Dhawan blasted nine fours and five sixes in his innings and racked up 126 runs in 70 balls alongwith Cameron White (65) to take the home team across the 150-mark.
Openers Dhawan and Daniel Harris (19) gave Deccan a good start as the duo dealt in fours right from the start after skipper Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat. However, Morne Morkel struck in his second over, removing Harris as the home team slipped to 28 for one in 4.5 overs. Looking to drive a short of length delivery, Harris ended up giving a catch to Mahela Jayawardene at short cover.
First down Kumar Sangakkara was also back into the hut quickly after his miscued pull off Varon Aaron ended up in the safe hands of Shahbaz Nadeem at short mid-wicket.
Dhawan and in-form Cameron White then joined hands and brought up the fifty in eight overs. White took little time to get going and blasted consecutive fours in the seventh over off Irfan Pathan, before paddle-sweeping Nadeem for another boundary in the next over.
Dhawan then took charge and smashed Andrew Russell over the mid-wicket, before sending him across the square-leg boundary in his next over. The left-hander then treated Nadeem with equal disdain, blasting him for consecutive six to accumulate 15 runs off the 12th over.
Dhawan then picked up Pathan for special treatment and plundered two fours and a six to amass 16 runs of the over to not only bring up his personal fifty but also take the Chargers across the 100-mark.
White and Dhawan kept their foot on the accelerator and raised another 11 runs in the next over with the help of a couple of fours.
White then clubbed a couple of boundaries off Russel, sending him through point first and then smashing him over the point. Dhawan then pulled one more for the third boundary of the over which fetched 15 runs.
Experienced pacer Morkel was brought back into the attack to break the partnership but Dhawan once again went berserk and blasted two fours and a six to bring up the 150 in the 17th over for the Chargers.
Finally, a good piece of fielding by Nadeem ended Dhawan's brilliant innings, who was found well shot of the wicket while trying to steal a second run.
White, however, continued the carnage and picked up a four and six in the last two deliveries off Pathan to pile up 13 runs of the over. The Australian was dismissed in the last over when he tried to force Aaron out of the park. He hit seven fours and a couple of sixes in his 40-ball innings.