IPL 2019 | Khaleel Ahmed’s ability to pick up wickets has been outstanding, says Kane Williamson

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IPL 2019 | Khaleel Ahmed’s ability to pick up wickets has been outstanding, says Kane Williamson

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SportsCafe Desk

05/09/2019

Kane Williamson has heaped praise on SRH pacer Khaleel Ahmed and has said that his ability to pick up wickets has been outstanding. Khaleel Ahmed missed the first few games for SRH due to injury, but his return to the side has been a fruitful one and has picked wickets on a consistent basis.

SRH were knocked out of the tournament after losing to Delhi Capitals in the nail-biting Eliminator at Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. After SRH posted a decent total with the bat, Khaleel Ahmed bowled well to keep things under control while defending a modest total and almost scripted history with an eventful 20th over. 

Khaleel’s return to SRH has been outstanding and his tally of 19 wickets in nine games corroborates the belief. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had an ordinary season which has affected SRH massively, but Khaleel’s consistency has impressed many. SRH skipper Kane Williamson has spoken highly about Khaleel’s ability to take wickets and how he has grabbed the opportunities coming his way. 

"Khaleel has been outstanding in his ability to pick up wickets in the powerplay and through the middle, when we have brought him back. He's been a real threat for us this season when he's had his opportunities. And he showed that again today, picking up two wickets in that (11th) over which changed momentum quickly,” Williamson said, reported Cricbuzz. 

"I guess on that surface, we knew that if are able to get the breakthroughs, which often happen outside the powerplay, when you can move your field around a bit more, then you are able to apply that pressure. Starting out there outside the powerplay is very difficult, which we saw in both innings. It was nice that we were able to pick those wickets and Khaleel was a big part of that."

SRH were a part of many close encounters, but things didn’t go their way this season as it happened last time. Those close calls saw SRH garnering just 12 points from the league stages and making it to the playoffs on the back of a better net run-rate. Williamson also threw light on the fact that how it’s not a great view to qualify with just six wins and how the team failed to capitalise on few opportunities. 

“To qualify with six wins, it doesn't look pretty. But it is what it is and we were the fourth team in eight teams and is what we were able to achieve. It is a little bit frustrating when the margin is so small. We were on the losing side of so many of those margins.

"I suppose it in contrast to the last season. We might have had 4-5 very, very close games when we were on the right side of the result. This year we have been in very similar positions but with Super Over and times like today, we haven't been on the right side on any of those matches. I guess if you reflect back, there were frustrating moments, also some positives with every game we were in a with a chance to win. Unfortunately, there were times when we were not able to capitalise," the Kiwi cricketer signed off.

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