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Turning point: Holder proves he belongs at the top

By HARISH KOTIAN
October 23, 2020 07:46 IST
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Jason Holder

IMAGE: Jason Holder celebrates taking Sanju Samson's wicket. Photograph: BCCI/IPL
 

Jason Holder was not picked at the IPL Players Auction, but called up by Sunrisers Hyderabad a couple weeks into IPL 2020 as the injury replacement for Mitchell Marsh.

Having spent a few days in quarantine, and a few matches on the sidelines, Holder finally got a chance to prove his worth when he was included in the playing eleven after Kane Williamson sustained an injury in the previous game against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Holder, who leads the West Indies in Test cricket, but is not preferred for the ODI or T20 teams, showed he is capable of playing the game changer's role in the T20 format.

Playing his first game of the IPL season, he got a big boost when he was handed the new ball against the Rajasthan Royals in Dubai after Sunrisers elected to field.

Royals got off to a flying start, both Ben Stokes and Robin Uthappa going after the bowlers in the early overs, before Holder made the breakthrough, courtesy his quick work in the field.

He got to the ball quickly on his follow through and ran out Uthappa with a direct hit at the non-striker's end.

Following the early wicket, Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson stitched together a good partnership in the middle overs.

After cheap dismissals in recent games, Samson looked determined to make it count. While Stokes struggled to get the ball away, the Kerala right-hander stroked his way to 36 from 25 balls before it was Holder, again, who broke the partnership for Sunrisers.

After smashing Holder for a six over mid-wicket, Samson looked to hit the tall West Indian's next delivery over the off-side but was completely deceived by the change of pace and bowled.

Called back to bowl his final over t the death, Holder changed the course of the Royals innings with a double strike.

Riyan Parag had smashed Thangarasu Natarajan for a six and two fours in the 18th over as Royals looked to seize the momentum and power towards a big total.

But Holder foiled their plans with the wickets of Parag and Steve Smith in his final over.

While Smith lofted a full delivery straight to Manish Pandey at long on, Parag miscued the slower ball and was caught by David Warner on the off-side.

Courtesy the double strike, Holder finished with splendid figures of 3/33 in four overs, which helped restrict Royals to a belowpar 154 for 6 in their 20 overs, which was easily overpowered by Sunrisers Hyderabad with eight wickets in hand and 11 deliveries to spare.

'Jason adds strength to our bowling, his experience, he is an all-round package. He is a great inclusion,' SRK Skipper Warner said after the victory.

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