The ace New Zealand batsman and franchise captain Kane Williamson anchored the chase for Hyderabad against Gujarat with a fluent 57 at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday night, propelling his team to a comfortable 8-wicket win in the Match No 21.
Hyderabad’s victory on Monday night by a massive margin of 8 wickets follows their maiden win in the tournament over Chennai last weekend which was by a similar margin, as the Kane Williamson-led team finally seem to have started to make amends in the way they play and their overall improvement in all departments has yielded desired results.
After restricting Gujarat to a moderate total of 162/7 in their 20 overs, Kane Williamson’s 57, Abhishek Sharma’s 42 and a fine unbeaten 34 from Nicholas Pooran helped Hyderabad knock off their target in 19.1 overs.
Despite their big victory on Monday night, Hyderabad remained at the 8th spot in the points table for the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 season with 4 points in 4 matches and a Net Run Rate of -0.501.
Hyderabad are now placed above former champions Mumbai and Chennai who share a total of 9 titles between them but have made a horrific start to the 15th edition of the world’s biggest tournament, losing all 4 matches so far.
Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya scored an unbeaten half-century after the failure of the top order, which included that of their run machine Shubman Gill who was dismissed for 7 on Monday. Matthew Wade scored a run-a-ball 19 with 3 fours whereas the young Sai Sudharsan made 11 from 9 balls.
Hardik Pandya, who continues to feature in the middle-order for Gujarat, has been displaying his coming-of-age moment in this Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 tournament with valuable contributions with the bat in all matches so far and he has been among wickets too.
Even on Monday night as his team suffered a resounding defeat following their ordinary show with the ball, Hardik Pandya managed to get the key wicket of his opposition captain Kane Williamson.
The right-handed all-rounder Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten on 50 from 42 balls, having hit 4 fours and a six in the process. His knock was crucial for Gujarat on Monday night against Hyderabad as they had lost wickets in a cluster at the top, and were placed at a precarious 64/3 in the 8th over when Hardik Pandya found a strong partner in David Miller.
Hardik Pandya was involved in two crucial partnerships for Gujarat against Hyderabad. He added 40 runs for the fourth wicket with David Miller from 33 balls, and improved his numbers with Abhinav Manohar as the two added 50 runs from 32 balls for the fifth wicket.
The right-handed India opener Shubman Gill was coming into this game on the back of two superlative knocks — 84 and 96 — but he could not play a big innings against Hyderabad courtesy an excellent catch at cover by Rahul Tripathi, who took a one-handed stunner off Bhuvneshwar Kumar after Gujarat were off the blocks in a jiffy.
But Hyderabad were also guilty of giving multiple lifelines through dropped catches in the deep when Gujarat aggressive batsman Abhinav Manohar was going all guns blazing towards the end of their innings.
The right-handed Gujarat batsman was dropped once each by Rahul Tripathi and Aiden Markram and after riding his luck for long, Abhinav Manohar finished with 35 from 21 balls with 5 fours and 1 six.
Bhiuvneshwar Kumar returned with 4-0-37-2 whereas the left-arm India Test bowler T Natarajan was once again among wickets, returning with 4-0-34-2.
In their reply, Hyderabad were bolstered with a strong opening stand of 64 runs from 8.5 overs between Abhishek Sharma and Kane Williamson, who provided their side with a robust start for the second game on the trot.
Abhishek Sharma, who scored a match-winning 75 against Chennai, followed his superb knock with a fluent 42 from 32 balls which included 6 hits to the fence. On his part, Kane Williamson reached 57 from 46 balls with 2 fours and 4 sixes.
Hyderabad batsmen continued to forge partnerships along the way to their second win in the tournament. After a 64-run stand for the first wicket, Kane Williamson teamed up with Rahul Tripathi to add 40 for the second wicket, and was also involved in a short 25-run association with Nicholas Pooran.
Following the dismissal of Kane Williamson in the 17th over and Rahul Tripathi retiring hurt for 17, the pair of Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram took Hyderabad over the finish line with 5 balls and 8 wickets to spare. Apart from Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan also got a wicket in the form of Abhishek Sharma to return with 4-0-28-1.
Hyderabad will next take on a wobbly Kolkata on April 15 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai whereas Gujarat will face a formidable Rajasthan on April 14 at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.