Notching up his 14th IPL half-century, Kane Williamson guided SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) to a comprehensive six-wicket victory over Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Hunting down a partly 131-run total at Abu Dhabi, SRH's batting unit, led by Williamson's brilliance, achieved the victory with a delivery to spare and booked a place in the second Qualifier of the on-going tournament.
Williamson (50* off 44) and Jason Holder (24* off 20) stuck until the end to keep SRH's title hopes alive. In the first innings, it was the SRH bowling unit who delivered an impressive performance to curb RCB's fun-flow. While Holder scalped three wickets, T Natarajan added two under his belt.
Following their victory, Williamson heaped praise on the bowling unit for restricting a 'class' side like RCB in the first innings.
"It was a tough game. It was always going to be so against a class side like RCB. The quality of their batting, restricting them to 131. It was never going to be easy against a class side like RCB. It was a challenge to restrict them. We had time, but with two world-class legspinners, it was never going to be easy," Williamson said after the match.
"We had to try and get through their spells and they did not give us much at all. It was just nice that we could get through their overs without losing too many wickets," he added.
Williamson also lauded Holder's recent form and reflected on their match-winning partnership. In pursuit of their second IPL title, SRH will now face Delhi Capitals (DC) in the second Qualifier on Sunday. The winner of that match will play against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in the summit clash.
"You try and do your role as well as you can. Batting at 4, it can vary a lot, and surface dependent. It was nice to spend time and make a contribution, put some partnerships together," Williamson further said.
"It's been an interesting last two weeks for us. [Holder] is cooler than me! He's playing beautifully," he added.