SRH vs RR: Kane and his waiting, winning vigil; end of Warner; Tewatia’s paroxysms

Emotional Rollercoaster: Captain Kane Williamson's unbeaten 51 takes Sunrisers Hyderabad home against Rajasthan Royals, winning by seven wickets.

Waiting, Kane style

Mahipal Lomror perhaps thought he had cracked the code to pick wickets. Go slow, like Ramesh Powar. The left arm spinner got rid of a rampaging Wriddhiman Saha with one such delivery. Saha had charged down like a runaway express but the ball hadn’t yet arrived. He tried a desperate across-the-line swipe hoping for some leather on the ball but instead was stumped. Lomror repeated it next ball to the new batsman Kane Williamson. It almost worked, too. Williamson was on the front-foot stretch, shaping for a drive but ball wasn’t there. He adjusted and waited, somehow managing to hold his balance, and then carved it through cover point for a four. A touch of class. Lomror again tried it next over, and this time Kane knew it was better not to lunge too early, and off he pushed back to punch it wide of cover for couple of runs. Behind the stumps, Sanju Samson had seen enough and asked his spinner to bowl in the line of the stumps so that Williamson tries to go across the line. “Yahan sey marne do use (let him hit through here)”, he said pointing towards legside region.

Lomror tried to follow the advise next over with a ball on the stumps but Williamson was ready. He pressed back, waited and punched an extraordinary six over wide long off.

Shaking in anger

Rahul Tewatia thought he had Jason Roy when he looped one outside off and there were cries of ‘catch it’ too when Roy’s drive had the ball flying straight to Yashasvi Jaiswal at extra cover. Unfortunately, Jaiswal couldn’t hold on. Tewatia took a couple of steps towards him, shrieked in agony, and his limbs started to shake in unison. An emoji of anger, more a gif. We have seen it before from Tewatia. Last year when a catch was dropped off his bowling, the limb-shaker Tewatia had reacted similarly. To add salt to the wound, Roy unfurled a reverse-swept four next ball.

End of a WarnEra?

And quiet flowed the cap. Jason Roy was all smiles to get his Sunrisers Hyderabad cap, at the expense of the team’s erstwhile talisman and captain David Warner. After losing captaincy mid-tournament to Kane Williamson, Warner was out of the team, nowhere near the SRH huddle even. The rumour mill went full throttle about a dressing-room discord, when the Australian opener was relieved of his captaincy duty. And after the axe today, Graeme Swann mentioned on air that he didn’t see a way back for the 34-year-old. If that is the case, then it’s the end of an era at the Deccan. Over 12 seasons in the IPL and 5,449 runs, the left-hander has had been a titan. He led SRH to their only IPL title yet. But this season has been average, just 195 runs from eight matches and in the ruthless world of franchise cricket, that was that for the woodenspooners. Spare a thought for Roy though. He didn’t get a game in the first phase. But a T20 career strike-rate of 143 holds the explosive English opener in good stead and he proved it with a game-changing 42-ball 60.

Deadpan Bayliss

“The plan was not to give them width,” Trevor Bayliss, the Sunrisers Hyderabad coach, said at the end of the 7th over. Before adding, “Unfortunately, we gave them some”. Full marks for the deadpan delivery, Bayliss. Much like him, the captain Kane Williamson showed immense poise not to stand on the middle of the pitch and tear his hair out. It was such a low-quality performance that they were lucky to have given away just 49 runs in the six overs of power play. Probably, a more confident batting unit could have gone at 10 per over. Nearly every bowler from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, and Siddarth Kaul were guilty of bowling on both sides of the wicket. And generous with their lengths too. Luckily, for them Jason Holder held his nerves and bowled a parsimonious fifth, giving just four runs. And the seamers bounced back in the end to restrict Rajasthan Royals to a gettable score.

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