'Death bowling is our strength, but today CSK played well and showed their depth with the bat'
Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson has defended his decision to use Carlos Brathwaite at the death overs and praised his bowlers after a two-wicket defeat to Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier of Indian Premier League.
"Yeah, certainly we backed Carlos (Brathwaite) with his death bowling. That's why he's in this side, as another death option. When you're under pressure, sometimes, life gets a little bit tough," Williamson said at the post-match press conference.
Chasing a modest target of 140, CSK were down in the dumps at 92 for seven, but Faf Du Plessis (67 off 42 balls) engineered a stunning comeback.
The New Zealand batting maestro added, "Credit to the way Faf batted - he batted beautifully."
Brathwaite, playing in only his second game of the season, conceded 20 runs in the 18th over.
With 43 needed off last three overs, Du Plessis, who opened the batting, launched into Brathwaite's 18th over and smashed him for 20 runs.
"It's obviously very tough to swallow because we certainly back our death bowling to close games out from that point. We have been on the right side a number of those results throughout this league and today wasn't to be," he added.
CSK will now play the final on May 27 while SRH will play the winner of the Eliminator between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 on May 25.
Williamson said, "The bowlers were outstanding today. A few balls here and there, and at the death I think, when it's a low scoring game, a couple of edges - you know.
"It's such a fine line. It was just a shame. We always backed ourselves to close games out from that point. But saying that, there are a number of other areas that we would like to touch on going into our next game."
He conceded that the team fell short by 15-20 runs with the bat.
"It took a little bit of turn, but it was probably a 160 wicket, so we were a little bit short with the bat. With the bat, we could have taken some better options in order to get maybe another 15/20 on that surface."
"I think we could've taken a few smart options to get a bit more on the board," said the New Zealand skipper.
"Death bowling is our strength, but today CSK played well and showed their depth with the bat. Frustrating, but we're off to Kolkata and it's important we show some signs of improvement there," he signed off.