Cricket: Guptill, Williamson find form in IPL

By David Leggat

Black Caps batsmen Martin Guptill
Black Caps batsmen Martin Guptill

All bets are off for next year's Indian Premier League; the playing slate is wiped clean and fresh contracts will be made.

So it's not a bad time for players to produce eye-catching form with 2018 in mind.

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill cleared his throat for the Kings XI Punjab today. He made a late start to the IPL through injury but today slapped an unbeaten 50 off just 27 balls to steer his team to an easy 10-wicket win over the hopeless Delhi Daredevils, who were rolled for just 67.

Guptill's six fours and three sixes helped the Kings XI to the win in 7.5 overs.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson carried on his strong form with 40 off 25 balls as Sunrisers Hyderabad made 209 for three in beating competition leaders the Kolkata Knight Riders by 48 runs.

Australian opener David Warner took Kolkata apart, belting 126 off 59 balls, with 10 fours and eight sixes.

Kolkata and Mumbai Indians have 14 points, Hyderabad 13 and Rising Pune Supergiants 10. Delhi, with four points, and Bangalore on five, prop up the table.

Warner's blast won't be found among the fastest centuries in the IPL.

Here's the five fastest:

1: Chris Gayle 30 balls: The West Indian opener clubbed 175 off just 66 balls in 2013 for Royal Challengers Banglaore against the Pune Warriors

2: Yusuf Pathan 37 balls: The Indian allrounder took Mumbai Indians apart for the Rajasthan Royals in 2010.

3: David Miller 38 balls: The South African lefthanded hitter produced his rapid hand against Bangalore in 2013.

4: Adam Gilchrist 42 balls: The former Australian wicketkeeper scored 109 off 47 balls for Deccan Chargers against Mumbai in the inaugural 2008 competition, swatting 10 sixes.

5: AB de Villiers 42 balls: The world's best allround batsman hit 129 off 52 balls for Bangalore against Gujurat Lions last year. De Villiers and Indian star Virat Kohli were unstoppable in sharing a 229-run stand.

- NZ Herald

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