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Star performer: Holder, SRH's man of the season

By HARISH KOTIAN
November 07, 2020 07:51 IST
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Jason Holder

IMAGE: Jason Holder successfully appeals for Virat Kohli's wicket.
Both cricketers share a birthday -- November 5. The Indian captain is three years older than the West Indian Test captain. Photograph: BCCI/IPL
 

Jason Holder has proved to be the biggest turning point for Sunrisers Hyderabad in this year's IPL.

Included in the squad as an injury replacement for Mitchell Marsh, Holder has been integral in Sunrisers's superb turnaround as they fought back after a difficult start to storm into the playoffs, where they outclassed Royal Challengers Bangalore, and now stand just one game away from the IPL final.

Since Holder was brought into the team, Sunrisers have won five out of the last six games played.

The West Indian fast bowler has played a stellar role with wickets in every game he played, for a tally of 13 in six games.

He also made the difference with the bat with two quality knocks against RCB, including a crucial 24 not out in the Eliminator match, to steer SunRisers to victory in a thrilling run chase in Kane Williamson's company.

The six wicket victory in Abu Dhabi on Friday could be credited to the fine performances put in by the Sunrisers bowlers after Captain David Warner elected to bowl.

Holder had given the Sunrisers the perfect start with the big wicket of Virat Kohli in his first over, as he had the RCB captain caught down the leg side for six.

The 6' 7" pacer then delivered another big breakthrough with the vital scalp of the in-form Devdutt Padikkal, who tried to hit his way out of trouble, but was caught at midwicket.

Those two early wickets took the wind out of RCB's sails as they struggled to 32-2 in the six overs of the powerplay.

RCB struggled through the middle overs and were dependent on scoring some quick runs in the death overs, and it was Holder again, who dented their hopes.

In his second spell, he foxed young Shivam Dube all ends up with the slower ball as the left-hander miscued a simple catch to mid-off to fall for eight.

Left-arm pacer Thangarasu Natarajan -- who became a dad on Friday -- then cleaned up A B de Villiers with an unplayable yorker for 56.

Although Holder didn't get a wicket in his final over, he conceded just five runs in the 19th, to finish with remarkable figures of 3/25 in his four overs as RCB were restricted to a below-par 131 for seven.

But he was not yet done for the day. Holder then played a crucial knock to help Sunrisers rally after a few early wickets.

Sunrisers were struggling at 67/4 in the 12th over when Holder came out to bat ahead of the inexperienced Abdul Samad.

And he showed great cricketing sense to first build a partnership with Williamson and bring Sunrisers back on track.

While Williamson got the boundaries in the death overs, Holder played the supporting role to perfection by picking up singles regularly.

He hit a crucial boundary in the penultimate over to keep things in check before finishing off the game in grand style with back-to-back fours off Navdeep Saini in the final over.

Holder put on 65 runs for the fifth wicket with Williamson, who stroked 50 not out from 44 balls, as the duo took the game away from RCB.

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