It is popularly believed that T20 cricket is a format best relished by the muscle men and sloggers. But even in the shortest format, technical batsmen like Kane Williamson have their own minimal improvisations, which does as much as anyone in world cricket.
IPL rules allow only four foreign players in a squad and with Sunrisers Hyderabad wanting to play three all-rounders apart from skipper David Warner, even Williamson had to sit out of the first five matches of the season. However, yesterday he was drafted into the side and he filled all the gaps in the Hyderabad batting line-up.
The Sunrisers had a rare off day as they choose to bat after winning the toss.
An express delivery from Chris Morris got rid of Hyderabad skipper Warner, and that was not the best thing for them. Hyderabad could not have asked for a better no. 3 as Williamson along with Shikhar Dhawan dominated the match. Williamson scored 89 runs off 51 balls (6x5, 4x6) and Dhawan added 70 off 50 balls (6x1, 4x7).
Delhi bowlers were having a hard time at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Morris’ second over fetched 10 runs for the home side; Angelo Matheews first over went for 16. Angelo Mathews conceded 41 runs off his 3 overs spell.
The 136 runs partnership between Dhawan and Williamson put Sunrisers on course for 191/4.
After an entertaining performance Williamson’s hit was caught by Shreyas Iyer off Morris, who was the only successful bowler for Delhi with 4/26. But Hyderabad were already set and added another 56 runs in the last five overs.
Hyderabad’s second change also worked well. With 62 wickets from 21 matches, Mohammed Siraj is one of the top wicket-takers in domestic season and he had Siddarth Kaun, who took 67 wickets in 21 matches.
Sanju Samson’s 42 off 33 balls and Karun Nair’s 33 off 23 added 71 runs, as Delhi cruised 56/1 in the first six overs and hardly looked in trouble till Nair got run out.
Samson’s wicket soon after the strategic timeout meant Delhi needed 65 from the last 30 delivers, but they only mustered 176/5.