The Bangladesh Premier League match between Sylhet Sixers and Rangpur Riders in Sylhet on Wednesday saw some crazy batting from David Warner, Australia’s dashing left-handed batsman who has been banned for one year due to the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, South Africa. Captaining the Sylhet Sixers, Warner saw his team get off to a good start Liton Das and Sabbir Rahman sharing a 73-run stand for the opening wicket. Warner, batting at No.3, continued the good work by sharing a solid 56-run stand for the second wicket. The Australian left-hander held the innings together and raced to 45 off 29 balls. However, the left-hander was struggling for timing and in the 19th over, Sylhet Sixers was staring at a below-par score.
Chris Gayle was bowling the penultimate over and he had conceded just two runs off three balls. After missing the slog sweep of Gayle on the third ball, Warner decided to do something dramatic. He decided to change his batting stance and switched from left-handed to right-handed. The switch immediately yielded results. He latched on to a flighted ball from Gayle and blasted it straight down the ground for his second six. Gayle bowled a flatter delivery and Warner paddled it to the fine leg fence for a boundary. Warner continued to capitalise by reverse sweeping Gayle to the deep backward square leg as 14 runs were hit off three balls as a right-hander.
Warner’s unbeaten 61 off 36 balls helped Sylhet Sixers reach 187/5 and in response, Rangpur Riders started off on a disastrous note when they lost Gayle (7) and Alex Hales (0). Despite attacking knocks from Rillee Roussouw (58), Mohammad Mithun (35) and Mashrafe Mortaza (33*), Rangpur Riders fell short by 27 runs with Taskin Ahmed (2/34) and Mehdi Hasan Rana (2/40) the stars.
However, Warner’s stint in the Bangladesh Premier League has been cut short as he will miss the rest of the tournament due to an elbow injury. He joins Steve Smith as the other Australian player to miss the tournament due to the same injury. However, Warner’s injury is not that serious and he is likely to be on track to make his international comeback in the series against Pakistan on March 28.
A CA spokesperson summed up the injury on Warner, stating that the left-hander will return on January 21 to Australia after playing the last two games of the Sylhet Sixers on January 18 and 19. “
David has reported some pain in his right elbow. He is expected to play in the remaining BPL matches until his return. We will have a clearer understanding of the extent of the injury once he has been assessed,” the spokesperson said.
Warner is the second-highest run-getter for the Sylhet Sixers in the Bangladesh Premier League, with 141 runs in five games at an average of 35 and a strike-rate of 133.01. Sylhet Sixers have a slim chance of making it to the top four, having won just two out of five games. Warner could play against Dhaka Gladiators and Rajshahi Kings. Sylhet’s remaining games after this are against Khulna Titans and again against Rajshahi Kings.