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.


Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

Updated 20 January 2019
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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

HUDDERSFIELD: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was far from satisfied despite a 3-0 win away to Huddersfield Town on Sunday that saw his side cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points.
Liverpool’s compelling 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday heaped huge pressure back onto reigning champions City but they were rarely troubled by a Town side that look a certain bet for relegation this season.
City’s first goal, a deflected strike for Danilo in the 18th minute, brought up their 100th goal of the season in all competitions before Raheem Sterling scored a diving header from Leroy Sane’s cross in the 54th minute and Sane himself made it 3-0 with a calm finish just two minutes later.
For Guardiola, it should have been an afternoon of enjoyment as his side again proved their willingness to push Liverpool all the way this season.
The City manager, however, has forged a footballing reputation based on sublime performances as well as ruthless goalscoring and, on that basis, his team’s showing in West Yorkshire was not a success as the visitors never really clicked into gear on a day against a Huddersfield side who had parted company with manager David Wagner on Monday.
“During the season you have these kind of games,” Guardiola said. “It is important to win. We have scored many goals in all competitions.
“(But) the way we played, we didn’t deserve more than three goals. We will improve in the future.
“We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it’s difficult.
“Today we are happy we have won but after immediately we have to analyze. During the season you have games when maybe you are not in the top level and it is important to win these games.”
Although City’s fans were happier than their manager following this result, Guardiola could at least take some heart from the fact his side again refused to blink first in the race for the title.
For the second consecutive week, City kicked off knowing Liverpool had already won their weekend fixture and that, consequently, the onus was back on his players to secure three points as well.
Once again, Guardiola’s side managed to do that following up the 3-0 victory over Wolves with this showing and the City manager was more than happy to remind everybody that silverware is not handed out for another four months.
“One team has been better but we’re in January and there’s many more games to play,” he added.
“You don’t win or lose the Premier League in January. We have to focus on what we have to do. If Liverpool win, we have to win. And if Liverpool lose then we also have to win.”
This match was a baptism of fire for Huddersfield’s caretaker boss Mark Hudson and while the Terriers showed impressive fight to inspire some hope this season, this defeat still left them 10 points adrift of safety.
If, as expected, the Borussia Dortmund Under-23 coach Jan Siewert is appointed as Wagner’s permanent replacement, nobody would blame him if he spent his first day in the job preparing for a return to the second-tier Championship next season.
“It’s been a long week,” admitted Hudson.