Warner: Need Williamson for anchoring the game
Hyderabad end losing streak with nine-wicket win over Punjab Kings
Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Kane Williamson, who played his first Indian Premier League match of the season yesterday, after missing the earlier games due to injury, said he is feeling good and fit.
“Bit of a minor injury on my elbow. It’s feeling pretty good. Nice to be out there and get my first opportunity,” said the batsman, who batted at No 3 and made an unbeaten 16 off 19 deliveries as Hyderabad powered to a nine-wicket win over Punjab Kings.
His team skipper David Warner said that Williamson’s ability to play spin well makes him an integral part of the lineup. “The game plan of having Williamson there is obviously to anchor the game. He rotates strike so well. It’s handy having him in the middle,” said Warner after the match.
Warner praised his bowlers, who restricted Punjab to 120. Pacer Khaleel Ahmed took three wickets for 21 while leftarm spinner Abhishek Sharma took two wickets for 24.
“Our bowlers did a fantastic job and reduced them to a low score. They executed well and we won batting second. I am really pleased we got across the line,” he said. This was Sunrisers’s first win of the season and they have played all their matches in Chennai.
Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 63 off 56 balls ensured Hyderabad didn’t face any more hiccups in run-chasing this season as they cruised to 1211 in 18.4 overs. “It’s been really close in most of the games, and haven’t got through. Probably through carelessness, to be honest,’’ Bairstow said as his team failed to capitalise on good starts in the previous three unsuccessful chases.
Earlier, Punjab’s top-order batsmen continued to struggle — especially West Indies duo Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran.
“A few batsmen got set and couldn’t get those 30s-40s that could get us through,” Rahul said. “Every game from now is important for us and we’ve always been in that situation, where we get in a place where we have to win every game.”