Shikhar Dhawan roared back to form while Kane Williamson began his 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) journey in style as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) beat Delhi Daredevils (DD) by 15 runs. (SRH vs DD: T20 MATCH BLOG)
In reply to SRH’s 191/4 in 20 overs, DD finished at 176/5. With this win Sunrisers have maintained their unbeaten run intact at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal this season. SRH are second in the table with eight points from six matches. DD are fourth with four points from five games. (SRH vs DD: SCORECARD)
Dhawan, who has seen the worst of times in the last one year, was dropped from the national team and demoted to Grade C in BCCI’s central contract list. The left-handed opener has taken all of it in his stride and is using the IPL 2017 platform to return to the spotlight. On Wednesday, against Delhi Daredevils, he reached his 26th half-century in the T20 extravaganza in just 40 balls.
Dhawan’s innings was, however, not brutal. The fact he took 26 singles in reaching the mark, shows his maturity. He had a marauding Williamson at the other end (89, 51b) and was happy playing the second fiddle.
Williamson, who is playing his first match of the season and was never considered as good a player in T20s as he is in Test cricket, proved his doubters wrong. The Kiwi hit six fours and five sixes en route to scoring 89.
Dhawan, although slower, did not waste any ball. He kept the scoreboard ticking, letting Williamson go for the big shots. The two put on 136-run stand for the second wicket.
After reaching his fifty-mark, Dhawan freed his arms and hit two fours and a six. He ultimately fell for 70 (50 balls) to Chris Morris, but he had made a big impact by then.
This half-century comes after Dhawan scored 40 and 48 in two matches of this IPL. He had also scored a ton and half-century in the Deodhar Trophy. He had said before the 2017 IPL that he would be taking the tournament as a way to return to the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy.
In reply, DD tried hard through Shreyas Iyer’s 50 off 31 balls and Angelo Mathews’ 31 off 23 but it didn’t prove enough. Sanju Samson (42) and Karun Nair (33) had added 71 for the second wicket to set a platform.
The duo’s dismissal along with that of Rishabh Pant’s (0) poor show pegged them back.