Record-breaker Warner leads by example as Delhi Capitals boost playoff hopes

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David Warner was in inspirational form as he spearheaded the Delhi Capitals to a 21-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad to boost their playoff hopes in the Indian Premier League.

Warner issued a rallying cry to the Capitals' top order on Wednesday with the franchise in danger of missing out on a spot in the next round.

And it was as if he felt the need to lead by example as he produced a stellar showing, hitting 92 not out to break the record for most T20 half-centuries in history as the Capitals set a significant target of 207-3.

It was just as well Warner was so sharp as the Capitals endured a difficult start when fellow opener Mandeep Singh was removed for a duck by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-25) on the fifth ball – Mitchell Marsh (10) did not last much longer.

Captain Rishabh Pant proved a reasonable partner to Warner with 26 off 16 balls before falling to Shreyas Gopal (1-34), but that would prove to be the final Capitals wicket to tumble.

Rovman Powell (67 not out) and Warner put on a stand of 122 as the Capitals surpassed 200, with Umran Malik (0-52) and Kartik Tyagi (0-37) in particular toiled with the ball.

Sunrisers' chase did not start especially well as Abhishek Sharma and Kane Williamson put on just 11 between them – Rahul Tripathi at least managed double that figure, but they needed more.

Aiden Markram (42) and Nicholas Pooran (62) at least offered some resistance with their 60-run stand, but hope dissolved after the former skied a delivery from the excellent Khaleel Ahmed (3-30) into the hands of Kuldeep Yadav.

Although Pooran managed to reach his half-century, no one else added more than 10 as Sunrisers fell well short at 186-8.

Warner makes history

This was Warner's fourth half-century of the season and comfortably his biggest total (by 26 runs), but the focus was on his new record as he surpassed Chris Gayle (88) for the most 50s in T20 cricket.

After managing a disappointing three last time out, Warner's display here was a timely response against his former team. His haul came from just 58 balls and included 15 boundaries, three of which were maximums. Warner certainly did not do it all himself, as Powell's contribution was significant, but it was some showing.

All pace no precision?

Malik recorded the second-fastest ball in IPL history in the 20th over of the Capitals' innings, the delivery clocking 157 kilometres per hour. But, in general, he did not enjoy a great day.

The Capitals totalled 52 runs against him, more than any other bowler, and he did not claim a single wicket.

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