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Warner’s stock rises with IPL show

David Warner has enhanced his leadership qualities with some stellar captain’s displays to keep his Sunrisers Hyderabad side on course for a second successive Indian Premier League (IPL) triumph.

Warner’s stock rises with IPL show
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Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner

Hyderabad

The Australian vice-captain struggled in the four-Test series in India preceding the IPL but has been at his attacking best in the Twenty20 tournament, where he has registered back-to-back 600-plus run seasons. 

The explosive opener was the league’s second-highest run-scorer during the franchise’s maiden triumph last year and Warner’s consistency helped Hyderabad finish third in the eight-team standings by the end of the regular season on Sunday. 

Hyderabad will be hoping Warner continues his rich vein of form when the side face Kolkata Knight Riders, who were fourth in the standings and are one of the IPL’s most consistent teams, in an elimination showdown on Wednesday. 

The winners of the contest will meet the losers of Tuesday’s Qualifier 1 match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant, who finished first and second respectively, for a place in the final. 

Australia captain Steve Smith has been Pune’s leading scorer and will be hoping he can lead the franchise to title in their second season in IPL.

Pune and the Gujarat Lions were drafted into the IPL as short-term replacements for the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who were banned for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. 

Smith’s side will, however, be without their talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has to report for national duty with England ahead of next month’s Champions Trophy. “We have got a couple of options that we can talk about. It is going to be a big loss,” Smith told reporters on Sunday. 

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