Sunrisers Hyderabad reach IPL playoffs

Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan put on a record-breaking partnership. (AP)
Updated 11 May 2018
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Sunrisers Hyderabad reach IPL playoffs

  • Sunrisers won the title in 2016 – and they look favorites again
  • Williamson and Dhawan put on highest partnership in IPL this year

NEW DELHI: Skipper Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan powered Sunrisers Hyderabad to an emphatic nine-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils and become the first Indian Premier League side to secure a play-off spot this season.
Williamson, who made 83, and Dhawan, 92 not out, put on an unbeaten 176-run record stand as table-toppers Sunrisers cruised past their target of 188 with seven balls to spare in the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament.
The batting duo’s effort was the highest partnership in IPL this year. Their knocks eclipsed Daredevils wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 128 off 63 balls.
“We wanted to go out and play as a team, we’ve been scraping away on tough surfaces. It was nice to execute our plans well tonight with the bat,” Williamson said of his side, which is hailed as a top bowling unit.
“There were some tough periods, we needed to soak that up but Shikhar was outstanding, he showed intent from ball one, it was a terrific knock,” Williamson said in praise of his partner.
The left-right batting pair of Dhawan and Williamson smashed 17 fours and 6 sixes to push Delhi, who lie bottom of the eight-team table, out the final-four race.
While it was just the second half-century of season 11 for Dhawan, New Zealand’s Williamson continued his rich vein of form with his sixth fifty.
The 27-year-old Williamson has led Sunrisers from the front after taking over from the scandal-tainted David Warner as captain.
The Kiwi skipper has accumulated 493 runs in 11 innings to be key in Sunrisers’ nine wins in 11 games.
Warner had led Sunrisers to their maiden IPL title in 2016 and now under Williamson’s leadership the Hyderabad franchise once again look to be title favorites.
This year’s seven week tournament has $8 million in prize money, including $4 million for the team crowned champions at the May 27 final in Mumbai.


A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

Updated 20 March 2019
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A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

  • Can the Whites and Green Falcons find the back of the net more often?
  • Both teams need to set the tone ahead of the important World Cup qualifiers.

LONDON: Ahead of Thursday’s friendly between the UAE and Saudi Arabia Arab News looks at the main priorities for both sides as they embark on their new eras after the Asian Cup and ahead of the all-important the World Cup qualifiers.

FIND THOSE SCORING BOOTS

For the past 18 months both sides have struggled for goals. Under Alberto Zaccheroni the UAE scored just 10 goals in the past nine matches — five of those coming against lowly Kyrgyzstan and India — and likewise the Green Falcons have also struggled to find the back of the net. Heading toward the World Cup qualifiers, now is the time to find those scoring boots.

PUT ON A SHOW

Both sides have technically gifted players, can keep the ball and at times trouble opposition defenses. But both have been too defensive, too safety-first and, at times, too dull. Football is supposed to be entertainment, and the friendlies ahead of the World Cup qualifiers might be no bad time to throw caution to the wind and see what the players can do in the final third.

SET THE TONE

As the modern cliche goes, a week is a long time in football. With all the sackings and player movements, it is not hard to see the kernel of truth in that overused saying. But, conversely, time can also move very fast in the “Beautiful Game.” It may be six months before the World Cup qualifiers begin, but it will be September before the coaches and players know it. Set the tone and tactics now and triumphs will be easier to come by then and, more importantly, further into the future.