Kane Williamson reflected upon the positives for Sunrisers Hyderabad during what has been an otherwise tough season, after they clinched a hard-fought four-run win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday. It was just the third win from 13 games at IPL 2021 for the 2016 champions.
Jason Roy (44) and Kane Williamson (31) resurrected the SRH innings with a 70-run partnership, after they lost Abhishek Sharma in just the second over of the innings after being put in to bat. Harshal Patel castled Williamson, and Christian’s double-strikes dented SRH further, as they slipped from 84/1 to 107/5 and eventually finished at 141/7.
RCB lost Kohli, Christian and Srikar Bharat early in the chase, but Devdutt Padikkal (41 off 52) held his end, as Glenn Maxwell (40 off 25) unleashed a counter-attack to keep the required rate in check.
Williamson provided the game’s decisive twist, running out Maxwell with an outstanding fielding effort, before Rashid Khan dismissed Padikkal to dent the chase. Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded just eight in the final over, and denied AB de Villiers a last-ball six to seal a four-run win.
The SRH skipper reflected on a hard-fought win, and laid emphasis on the positives in what has been an otherwise tough season.
“It's been a really tough season but it was great to see these small improvements. The conditions are challenging and to see the fight and the heart in the second half was great to see,” said Williamson after being named the Player of the Match.
“It was about trying to maximise the powerplay on this pitch. The ball held on the surface and you had to take a couple of steps back to go forward again. We got to a challenging total. We knew things wouldn't happen quickly with the ball today [but stayed patient].
“Nice to dismiss Maxwell - dismissing him one way or another was the thing to be done. To close it out at the death, to turn up and show the fight when we're not in contention, was great to see."
Williamson was in all praises for young Umran Malik, who clocked 153 kph during an impressive spell of 1/21. The 21-year-old had prompted tones of appreciations from his skipper after his debut game too, having impressed everyone with his out and out fast bowling.
“Umran certainly is special. We've seen him in the nets for a couple of seasons," Williamson said. "Special opportunity for him and it's not surprising to see him come and do well. Been a really valuable addition to the side. I try and keep it really simple with him, and he's got a lot of mates in the team and they share the message and he takes the game on.
“It's been a challenging season and it's been some great opportunities for some youngsters. We've had a lot of last-over finishes and being on the right side of those is clearly helpful. But one thing tonight is, it was satisfying for the group.”