Kane Williamson: It was our best performance of the season

Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson lauded his team's efforts after Hyderabad outshone Kings XI Punjab in all three departments to keep its playoff hopes alive.

Kane Williamson: "We are positive going into the last two games."   -  afp

Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson believes that the battle lies within (the team) as it prepares for the two must-win games against Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Vivo IPL 2019.

"This is our best performance of the season. We will try to put up a performance which is close to today’s (Monday) show. We are positive going into the last two games. The bowling attack was very clinical and the fielding was brilliant," Williamson said after Sunrisers beat Kings XI to keep its playoff hopes alive.

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"(Wriddhiman) Saha played brilliantly (Monday), and his supporting role to David (Warner) was fantastic. The two gave us a great start," he added.

On the impact of David Warner’s absence, Williamson acknowledged that Warner and Jonny (Bairstow) — both have left to join their respective national sides ahead of the World Cup — will be missed in the remaining matches. "Naturally, the vacancies left by two class players are hard to fill. But, as a team, we were aware that this was going to happen at some stage, so we come together and every player has a different role going into the last two games," he said.  “We believe that we play cricket as a team and it is important to do that,” he added.

On his own indifferent form this season, Williamson felt he was a bit disjointed in the first half. "Trying to contribute to the team’s cause has been my focus. I am aware that I have to come up with those big performances and I am keen to do what the team needs," he said.

READ: David Warner slams eighth fifty of the season

Chaseable target: Rahul

For his part, Kings XI Punjab opener K.L. Rahul felt that 213 could have been chased with a few partnerships at the top of the order.

"Obviously, the team plan was for me or Chris (Gayle) to bat as deep as possible and let the others play around. I tried my shots a few times, they didn’t come off. You don't always get off to an amazing start. And when you are not finding your touch, you have to just hang in and I knew that if I am set I could make up," he explained. "But, unfortunately, each time we tried to take a chance, we found the fielders. I thought we bowled really well in the middle overs to pull things back after they had a great start."

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Referring to off-spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman’s expensive over costing 26 runs, Rahul said any bowler would be disappointed with that kind of performance.

"Nobody wants to give away runs and no batsman will throw his wicket away. Sometimes it is not your day. Every day one of the bowlers is being targeted in the IPL. He is a young guy, has a lot of skills and this was the first time he had gone for runs. He has done really well for us," was Rahul's defence.

"You have to trust your bowlers. Expect to deliver most times, sometimes it doesn’t happen. We didn’t have any other option (but to give the fourth over to Mujeeb). There are a few things which don’t allow us to go with a sixth bowler or an all-rounder. If Mujeeb had taken a couple of wickets, things would have gone the other way."