David Warner is the toast of India today. Or at least, he's the toast of Hyderabad, India's fourth largest city. Warner just led the Hyderabad Sunrisers to victory in the Indian Premier League T20 competition with a thrilling eight run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Maybe you've taken a mental break from the cricket for a while with all the fooball and whatever else going on. But while you've been dozing, a remarkable IPL season has unfolded. Warner and Indian captain Virat Kohli have dominated the entire tournament, both racking up some almost unthinkable batting numbers.
Let's break those numbers down.
Strike rate: 151.42
Strike rate: 152.04
If you love your cricket, you'd know that these are good stats in any form of the game. But in T20? Wow. You'd also know that Kohli and Warner had an on field blow-up or two in Australia last season. So of course, these guys were always going to meet in the final. Because of course they were.
Both batsmen fired. Warner made 69, Kohli 54. Chris Gayle also scored heavily for Kohli's Royal Challengers, but the Sunrisers' bowlers did the job. Warner, 29, has been playing IPL cricket since 2009. He's finally got the trophy. The scorecard's here.
Turning our attention back home as we wrap up a weekend of sweaty pursuits, and if one man personified the success of the AFL's indigenous round, it was Eddie Betts of the Adelaide Crows. Betts, 29, was in trouble as a youth. He's the classic case of a young indigenous man saved not just by footy but by the hand of an indigenous mentor -- in his case, Phil Krakouer.
On Saturday night, the Crows completed the Sydney double. Having beaten the Sydney Swans at a packed Adelaide Oval, they did the same to the Giants. Betts provided the moment of the match. He gets the ungettable ball, he treads the untreadable sideline and threads the unthreadable goal.
Nice. In other AFL news, the Blues beat the Cats, which no one saw coming, and St Kilda beat Freo, which everyone did. Freo are now 0-10, anchored to the bottom of the ladder (wharfie joke there). Meanwhile, Carlton have a relatively easy two weeks ahead, facing the Lions and Saints next. They could be in the eight. Mad, huh? The ladder's here.
In the NRL, both the Broncos and Cowboys lost, which will add more fuel to the calls for a State of Origin stand-alone period even though the severely depleted Broncos and Cowboys both still looked stronger on paper than their respective opposition, the Tigers and Dragons.
In other NRL and Origin news, there's a good blow-up over player availability. Bulldogs coach Des Hasler is furious he had to rush a lower grade player into his senior team, thereby giving the 19-year-old two games in 24 hours. It happened because champion Bulldogs centre Josh Morris was called up to the NSW Origin team at the last minute to replace the injured Josh Dugan.
The big argument here is over "medical professionalism" but the real issue, as above, hinges on the timing of Origin. Give it a stand-alone period and you wouldn't have these dramas. The problem for the NRL is it fears giving all that free airspace to the AFL.
Oh, the Raiders vs Bulldogs was a great match, by the way. Here are the highlights. Rug up. You'll get cold just watching those hardy Raiders fans.
In football, Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid on penalties in a dramatic Champions League final. The main take home point? Ronaldo (who scored the winning penalty -- who else?) has a hell of a rig.
Sonny Bill Williams will stay in rugby union after his Rio sevens experiment and not return to league. Which won't really displease any league fans here in Australia, who are all kind of over him.
And in America's NBA, the Golden state Warriors levelled their series with Oklahoma City Thunder. They're now 3-3, with the winner to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the big dance. Crucially, Game 7 is on the Warriors' home court. The match is early Tuesday, AET.Suggest a correction