Willamson shows there is place for finesse in T20s
When Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to strengthen their batting, they didn't have to test their bench. They had a quality batsman, technically equipped for any format and an international captain. Kane Williamson bats at No. 3 for New Zealand in the longer formats of the game, but opens in T20Is. David Warner was dismissed in the second over, which meant Williamson still had the best part of the Powerplay to utilise.
He looked in good touch, but still laboured to 13 off 16 balls. Williamson, despite knowing he had to look for runs, stuck to his strengths. He saw square leg and mid-off was up, so he hit the ball over them for back-to-back sixes.
As his innings progressed, he struggled to muscle the ball straight. So, he looked at options square of the pitch on both sides. He used the crease - shuffling across and backing away - to open up those areas. Through his 51-ball innings, his timing did not let him down until he miscued one to deep midwicket at the start of the 17th over. He finished with five sixes, the joint most for him in a T20.
The wow moment
Williamson spent five games on the sidelines, but required just four balls to discern the pace of the surface. Off the fifth, he just plain showed off. Chris Morris offered him a touch of width, but Williamson had shuffled across and opened up his stance. He was in no position to drag the ball into the leg side. So, he improvised, changing the angle with which the bat came down, meeting the ball late and slicing a cut. There was a packed off-side infield, and the only gap was behind point. He picked it, and never looked back.
- Before this innings, Williamson scored at a strike rate of 68.57 in the Powerplay in the IPL, managing 24 runs off the 35 balls he faced. Against Daredevils, he scored 12 runs off 14 balls in the Powerplay, with a strike rate of 85.71. After the Powerplay, he hit 77 runs off 37 balls at a strike rate of 208.10.
- He hit five sixes, his joint most in a T20 innings
What they said
"Once again, just those partnerships throughout were important and I think the icing on the cake were the couple of boundaries that took us past 180. With the likes of Yuvi, you try and up the tempo with these guys coming in. Once the platform was set, it was about getting the run rate up."
Kane Williamson on his mindset
"Kane Williamson showing finesse and class still has a role in t 20's. Absolute STAR."
R Ashwin, on Twitter
Scott Styris, on Twitter
Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo