Jason Holder came to the second phase of the IPL without recent success in white ball cricket.
In the Caribbean Premier League, the West Indian all-rounder managed just five wickets from 10 games. The pundits felt Holder struggles on a slow pitch that don’t offer much assistance to faster bowlers.
And with a shorter ground like Sharjah, the odds were against the bowlers, especially struggling ones. But Holder came into his own on the sluggish Sharjah wicket shining with both bat and ball to almost give Sunrisers Hyderabad their second win of IPL 2021.
Holder was brought into the attack in the 5th over of the Punjab Kings innings and struck off his very first ball. K L Rahul tried to hit his way out of an uneasy time at the crease, mistimed it straight to Jagadeesha Suchit at short midwicket.
In the same over, Holder had the in form Mayank Agarwal caught at mid-off by Kane Williamson for 5, reducing Kings to 25/2 at the end of 5 overs.
Holder returned after the second strategic timeout in the 15th over and removed Deepak Hooda, out to a magnificent catch from Suchit who flew to his left.
Punjab Kings were limited to 125/7 from their 20 overs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad had a rocky start, losing David Warner and Williamson early. The regular flow of wickets and a slow pitch ensured none of the SRH batsmen were in the game. It was left to Holder to perform the rescue act for SRH.
He smashed debutant Nathan Ellis for back-to-back sixes. A mix-up between Wriddhiman Saha did worry him briefly, but Holder quickly gathered himself to smash Mohammad Shami for a six to give SRH a semblance of a chance in the chase.
Requiring 17 from the last over, Holder lit up hopes when he hit a flat six over long-on off Ellis. Requiring six to take the game into the super over off the final ball, Holder could only manage a solitary run as SRH lost a close game.
Not surprisingly, he was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for his all-round show.
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