Kane Williamson’s quality as batsman came to the fore when Sunrisers Hyderabad scripted a 15-run win against Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League match in Hyderabad on Wednesday night. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)
Kane Williamson is not a power hitter. The New Zealand captain, among the top three batsmen in the world, scores his runs with sheer timing and his amazing ability to pierce the field with a vision that is only embedded in the mind of a top-notch batsman.
“Nice to get a game. The guys have been doing a fantastic job, so fortunate to get a game,” said Williamson who scored a Man of the Match 51-ball 89 in Hyderabad’s 191 for 4.
On Thursday, Williamson virtually opened the Sunrisers Hyderabad batting after skipper David Warner was out for 4 in the second over. The 136-run second wicket stand between Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan finally made the difference between win and defeat.
Kane Williamson raced to a breezy 89 off 51 balls, laced with six fours and five sixes. Before Wednesday, Williamson had just one six in eight IPL innings.
IPL is so full of power hitters like Warner, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith, graceful batsmen like Williamson often get overshadowed. Williamson proved that he can also be an ‘impact’ player very much like a Gayle or a Brendon McCullum.
Interestingly, Williamson was adjudged New Zealand’s T20 international player of the year last month and only made it to the SRH team in its sixth match.
Kane Williamson replaced Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi. The Kiwi was quick to grab his chance and made his intentions clear from the very beginning.
With two back-to-back sixes of Angelo Mathews, Williamson gave the Sunrisers Hyderabad innings the inertia it needed during powerplay.
Mathews, who is clever with pace variation and length, is not an easy bowler to get away but when you have the class, temperament and the paintbrush stroke of a master at work, even sixes come easy.
Kane Williamson’s ability to judge the length of a ball gives him the time to script his strokes. So when he bends his knees to clip the ball past square leg or flick it past mid-wicket, he has already seen the scoring areas.
Williamson smashed 77 runs off 37 balls after the powerplay, putting into shade an equally valuable 70 from Shikhar Dhawan, the quintessential opener who thrives on power of his shoulder and arms.
The Kiwi master reminded of a classy unbeaten century that Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene scored for Kings XI Punjab against Kolkata Knight Riders on a slow turner at Eden Gardens in April IPL 2010. Jayawardene 110 not out came off 59 balls.
Williamson remained modest after his innings helped Sunrisers Hyderabad score their fourth straight win at home.
“It was a very good surface, it was important to get a good score batting first. Once again, just those partnerships throughout were important and I think the icing on the cake were the couple of boundaries that took us past 180.
“Our fielding has improved, which is something we have focused on. I just got a little niggle, probably was not going to do the team too much of a service being out with the niggle,” said Williamson.
It’s a long way to go in the IPL and if David Warner has found a man who will stand in him good stead, it has to be Kane Williamson.