IPL 2022: Williamson’s measured fifty seals 8-wicket win for Hyderabad over Gujarat

Navi Mumbai: A measured half-century by captain Kane Williamson, after their bowlers applied brakes in the last five overs, sealed Sunrisers Hyderabads eight-wicket win over Gujarat Titans at the D.Y Patil Stadium to record their second successive win of the tournament.

After the bowlers conceded 44 runs and took three wickets in the last five overs to restrict Gujarat to 162/7, Williamson led the chase with patience and precision while making 57 off 46 balls, laced with two fours and four sixes. He found support from Abhishek Sharma (42) and Nicholas Pooran doing the finishing job with an unbeaten 34.

The chase began with Williamson beaten on the inside edge off Mohammed Shami and was struck on pads. Hardik Pandya consulted keeper Matthew Wade, but eventually didn’t go for review. But replays later showed Williamson would have been out.

Hyderabad’s slow start of 11 runs in the first four overs changed dramatically with Williamson pulling Shami for a four and six off the first two balls of the fifth over. Sharma took on Lockie Ferguson, smashing four glorious boundaries through off-side as Hyderabad took 31 runs off the last two overs of power-play.

Sharma slammed Rashid Khan for boundaries through extra cover and backward point. But the leg-spinner bounced back by breaking the 64-run opening stand as Sharma holed out to deep mid-wicket.

Williamson, who was on 27 off 31 balls till the 12th over, slammed Pandya for pulled back-to-back sixes to take 16 runs off the over. After hitting a six off Rahul Tewatia, Rahul Tripathi had to retire hurt due to muscle cramps in his leg.

But it didn’t deter Hyderabad as Williamson reached his fifty in 42 balls by moving across and using the pace of the ball off Ferguson to scoop over short fine leg. He followed it up with a crisp drive through the gap between cover and mid-off before he skied an off-cutter from Pandya to mid-on.

Ferguson’s horror night went worse as he dropped a tough chance of Nicholas Pooran off his own bowling. He was then punished by the left-handed batter for straying twice in his line, flicked through fine leg for four followed by a picked-up six over fine leg.

Pooran then went for a pull off Shami but the top-edge ‘ailed over Wade’s head for four before Aiden Markram levelled the scores with a crisp drive down the ground. Pooran finished off the chase with a majestic pull off Nalkande over backward square leg fence to end Gujarat’s clean slate in the tournament.

Earlier, Pandya’s unbeaten fifty and a quickfire 35 by Abhinav Manohar took Gujarat to a respectable total. Pandya and Manohar joined forces to stitch a stand of 50 off 32 balls for the fifth wicket while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and T Natarajan took two wickets each.

Kumar had an uncharacteristic opening over, leaking 17 runs, including five wides twice. But he returned in his next over to take out Shubman Gill, who mistimed an uppish drive and was snapped by Tripathi diving to his left at cover and stuck his hand out to complete a one-handed stunning catch.

Wade and Sai Sudharsan hit two boundaries each but Natarajan took out the latter, forcing him to drive off a slower delivery, easily caught by mid-off. Pandya closed the powerplay with a drive past long-off for four as power-play yielded 51/2.

Struck on the helmet by a sharp bouncer from Umran Malik, Pandya shook off the blow by slamming Malik for back-to-back fours. Malik ended the over by trapping Wade plumb lbw from around the wicket, going past the attempted flick. Soon after, David Miller fell, finding mid-wicket off Jansen.

Pandya continued to find boundaries, clobbering Markram over deep mid-wicket followed by timing his flick well past mid-on off Malik. He got support from Manohar, who fetched three boundaries off the outside edge while slamming a six over cow corner and collecting two fours through off-side.

Manohar had luck on his side, being dropped at 21, 32, 33 before running out of luck when he holed out to long-off off Kumar. Natarajan provided an excellent finish by taking out Tewatia and Khan in quick succession. In between the two dismissals, Pandya brought up his fifty to take Gujarat to a respectable total, which wasn’t enough to avoid their first loss in IPL 2022.

Brief scores: Gujarat Titans 162/7 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 50 not out, Abhinav Manohar 35; T Natarajan 2/34, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/37) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad (Kane Williamson 57, Abhishek Sharma 42; Hardik Pandya 1/27, Rashid Khan 1/28)

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