Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson was pretty chuffed by his team's performance as they racked up a solid 45-run win over Kings XI Punjab on Monday (April 29).
The win not only consolidated their fourth place spot on the table (12 points from 12 games), it also boosted their net run rate, which in the closing stages of the competition might turn out to be crucial.
"The table is pretty congested and every game that you play at the backend is equally important so it was nice to put out the performance that we did today," said Williamson at the post-match press conference.
The win was setup once again by David Warner, who has easily been the best batsman in the competition so far. He slammed 81 in just 56 balls to help Hyderabad rack up 212/6 which proved to be enough in the end.
This was Warner's last game of the season as he flies back for Australia's World Cup preparation. He and Jonny Bairstow have been their team's leading light this year but with both flying back to their respective countries, Hyderabad's game plan is likely to suffer. Williamson admitted that losing the duo is not ideal but remained confident that the back-ups will stand up and do the job in the final two games.
"He (Warner) has been prolific. Him and Jonny were outstanding for us, and we have always known that they will be leaving us at some point," Williamson said. "They are two world-class players that are hard to replace but as a team, we had been aware that it was going to happen so it is important as a collective we come together.
"There will be guys with slightly different roles going into the last couple of games and they are really looking forward to those opportunities. Once again we believe for us to play our best cricket is to play as a team and it will be important for us to do that as we go into the last two games."
The winner of the 'orange cap' last time around, Williamson hasn't quite found his bearings just yet this year. Forced to miss most games at the start due to injury the Hyderabad captain has managed just 55 runs in six games so far, which has certainly been cause for concern.
Against Punjab as well, Williamson fell for 14 but is hopeful of turning a corner in the final two outings.
"It is one of those things where you are always wanting to score more runs but at the end of the day you are just trying to contribute to the team the best you can and that has been my focus in every game that I have played," Williamson said about his form.
"It has been a bit disjointed in the first half but look it is still great to be a part of and although I haven't quite had those bigger performances, it is still just that mindset to go out and trying to do what the team needs to the best of your abilities. It was nice to spend a few more balls out there today."
Hyderabad face Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last two games and Williamson insisted the mindset with which the team goes into those encounters will go a long way in deciding the eventual outcome of the contest.
"Think the biggest battle is perhaps within. Both teams are going to be strong, both teams will be hard to beat but for us it about trying to put together a performance, perhaps close to what we saw today which was probably our best performance of the season so far," said Williamson.