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Shikhar Dhawan’s dominance made it easier for Kane Williamson to score

The Sunrisers Hyderabad have maintained their position at no.3 in the standings.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad finally bagged their first away win of the season as they defeated the Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. The Sunrisers were powered to yet another score of 207, replicating their scorecard of the IPL curtain raiser this year.

Openers David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan smashed a century partnership to set up a big total for SRH. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson also chipped in with a blitz at one down. Although the Kings XI Punjab were somewhat in the hunt with one-man army Shaun Marsh at the crease, his dismissal was the final nail in the coffin.

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The Sunrisers went on to win by a good 26 runs margin. Following a washout in Bengaluru, SRH bagged two important points to stay in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs.

Williamson was all praises for the openers, who provided the Sunrisers with a blistering start. “The openers got off to a great start; that partnership set a platform to get a good first innings total, which we were fortunate to be able to get,” he told iplt20.com.

“I suppose with the batting depth that we have it was important to try and get in and increase the run rate as best as we could. (With) The likes of Yuvraj, Moises (Henriques) coming in as well, it was important that we looked to do that,” he added.

Dhawan top scored for SRH with a 48-ball 77. He smashed 9 boundaries and a six in his well-crafted innings. He was well supported by his skipper Warner who himself got to yet another fifty in the IPL. Striking at just under 190, the Australian clobbered the KXIP bowlers for 4 sixes and 4 fours. Williamson also looked in dazzling form as he remained unbeaten on 54 off just 27.

“After the last time-out, we wanted to get above 200 runs if we could. There were some tough overs and we had to suck it up a little. But to form those partnerships throughout was really important to get to that score,” the Kiwi batsman said.

“There are times when you need to soak it up a little bit, but with the openers batting for about ten overs with a run rate of over ten runs per over meant that we needed to see how many we could get and play the situation the best we could. After such a good start from the openers, it was important that we do that,”

“We were fortunate today to get such a good first innings total, which to be fair, we needed all of them because on a very good batting surface Punjab came very close,” Williamson said.

Chasing 208, Punjab had debutant Martin Guptill teeing off at the start. However, he was dismissed just as he began to impose a threat on the Sunrisers. It was Shaun Marsh’s innings though which gave the Mohali crowd a ray of hope as well as their side. Marsh’s innings was perhaps the best in the match. He creamed as many as 14 boundaries and hammered two 6s to get to 84 off just 50 deliveries.

Williamson admitted that Dhawan at the crease made batting easier. The Indian left-hander carried the innings forward as momentum was already on their side. In spite of Warner’s dismissal, Dhawan stuck to the crease and stitched a valuable partnership with Williamson.

“He is a great player. And today he showed all class,” Williamson said about Dhawan. “Today he came out really aggressively as you need to do in this format; he was very dominant today and was batting so beautifully, which I suppose made my job easier when I was to come out and get myself in. Hopefully we can continue that.”

“From a batting unit (perspective), our bowlers have been brilliant for this whole competition so far and very good at closing out games. It would be nice to keep this momentum,” he concluded.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad have maintained their position at no.3 in the standings. They next take on table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in their own backyard on Sunday.

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