Wickets fell in each of the first three overs of Delhi Daredevils innings, but David Warner batted on some other island to score the second century of this year's IPL, his first in Twenty20s. Neither did the Kolkata Knight Riders attack elicit respect from Warner, nor did the situation result in apprehension: he just cleared the front leg and hit his way to 107 off 69. Out of their 128-run stand with Paul Collingwood in 16.2 overs, Warner scored 74 off 54.
On a slow, turning pitch, Warner's technique was simple: clear the front leg, don't commit to any shot, and decide based on what kind of delivery it is. Throughout his innings, right from his first boundary slashed over point in the second over to his last six hit over long-off in the last over, he displayed this wonderful ability to hit to any part of the field from the same position. Between those two shots, he hit eight other fours and four other sixes. Anything full headed towards cow corner and midwicket, width had wide mid-off and point peppered. He also got a few generous long hops on the pads.
A returning Charl Langeveldt saw the flames right up, and the returning Ishant Sharma was charred in his first over. Still both of them managed a wicket each, and it was a desirable start to have Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Dinesh Karthik back in three overs. However, they had another think coming.
Warner's four fours and a six off 12 balls had taken Delhi to 38 in those three overs already. Langeveldt came back in the fifth over, and was smashed for a four and a six. Hussey bowled a tight over to end the Powerplay, but at 62 for 3 Delhi could afford to consolidate. By the time Ajit Agarkar was introduced in the 12th over, Warner had paced his way to 66 off 42.
Warner smacked the loose deliveries from Agarkar, and moved closer to a century. Drama ensued before he reached it, though. Murali Kartik claimed a tough return catch. A disappointed Warner walked back on 96, but the third umpire, who didn't find the catch clean, had him back. Warner finished the innings with a flat six in the last over, setting up an eminently defendable target.