T20 2018: Chennai handled the pressure well in final, says Kane Williamson
Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson praised Chennai for keeping their cool and clinching the title for the third time
Kane Williamson. Pic/AFP
After Chennai clinched their third T20 League title with a thumping win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, the latter's team skipper Kane Williamson heaped praise on the way the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side handled the pressure during the high-octane clash. After electing to field first, the Chennai restricted the SRH to 178 for six wickets
Skipper Kane Williamson, who has been on top of the batting table in the 11th edition of the tournament, top-scored for the SRH with 47 runs. Yusuf Pathan contributed with a quick 45. In reply, former Australian batsman Shane Watson helped the Chennai chase down the 179-run target in just 18.3 overs and guide his team to a thrilling eight-wicket win in the finals.
Watson smashed eight sixes and seven fours to reach the triple-figure mark. His 117 is also the highest score ever made in the T20 League final. And Williamson admitted that the Dhoni-led side did not give Hyderabad with any opportunities while chasing what he described was a `competitive total`. "That is the nature of that - sometimes you do have to applaud very good cricket and that was Chennai in terms of their batting today," ESPNcricinfo quoted Williamson, as saying.
"It was outstanding, they didn't give us opportunities, they hit it over the fence rather than to our man. Look, it is such a fine line, I know out there on the park it's an eight-wicket win but we all saw that there were moments of pressure where the game can change very quickly, and if you're able to pounce on those then that's when you take your opportunity. And today, you do credit the way Chennai handled those moments of pressure and carried on with their batting performance," he added.
Barring 19-year-old Afghanistan sensation Rashid Khan and Indian bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, other Hyderabad bowlers faltered in the final stages of the league. The duo conceded just 41 runs in the eight overs they bowled combined. When quizzed if the bowlers' failure to put up a good show cost them the defeat, Williamson denied the same and rather credited Watson for his superb knock that had put his bowlers under pressure.
"I'd rather look at the likes of Watson in terms of his innings. He did put us under pressure. You come into a final and that is one of the things you do need to deal with the best you can - pressure. Everybody's feeling it a little bit and he responded to it beautifully and put us under more pressure. Once again, the way we started with the ball was outstanding, gave us an opportunity. There was a balancing point there which they ran away with," he said. It was the fourth time that the Chennai defeated the Hyderabad in four meetings this season.
Meanwhile, Chennai, who returned to the T20 League following their two-year suspension and was playing their seventh final, also won the coveted title after six years.
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