Hetmyer Makes A Mark Again As DC’s Designated Finisher

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Hetmyer makes a mark again as DC's designated finisher. Hetmyer remained unbeaten on 28 off just 18 balls against CSK.

Hetmyer Makes A Mark Again As DC’s Designated FinisherHetmyer remained unbeaten on 28 off just 18 balls against CSK.

Very important for me to finish games. I tell the guys that is what I am paid for and I try to finish as many games as possible,” remarked Shimron Hetmyer after getting his team over the line against the Chennai Super Kings. Today, unlike usual, he came in only at No. 8 and behind the likes of Ripal Patel and R Ashwin in the batting order. The need to give some exposure to Patel and the idea to maintain a left-right combination meant that Hetmyer was moved lower down.

Yet, there was a familiarity to the finish as Hetmyer chipped in with an unbeaten 28 off 18 balls that got Delhi to the top of the points table.

This was just one another in a series of such useful hands over the 2021 season that has seen Hetmyer make himself indispensable to the Delhi Capitals line-up.

Nobody else with over 150 runs has a strike rate better than AB de Villiers' 157.6 Except Hetmyer, who's got his 159 runs at 180.6. But even those numbers might not tell the complete story of his contributions so far.

Against Mumbai Indians, he came in with DC needing 22 off 19 balls and promptly hit his first ball from Trent Boult for a boundary. And then one more in the final over, from Kieron Pollard, with five needed. Finishes with 14 off 9 balls.

Against Rajasthan, he came in at 83/3 in the 12th over. On a pitch that had seen some good restrictive bowling up until then, Hetmyer came in and got 28 off 16, highlighted by hitting Kartik Tyagi for three boundaries in an over.

Against Punjab, with 19 needed off the final three overs, Hetmyer went 6,6,4 against Riley Meredith and made a tight finish look seemingly a walk in the park.

Against RCB, with 80 needed off 44 balls, Hetmyer smashed 53 off 25 including three sixes in an over off Kyle Jamieson.

The consistency is not only in the scores but backed by some skillful, targeted hitting. The type of bowlers mentioned above offer a hint to his preferred style of bowling. Out of his 14 fours and 7 sixes across IPL 2021, only two fours have come against spinners. Given the position he bats at, he mostly comes into an innings when only a small portion, if any, come against spin. But even then, he has largely looked to see them off. Just like what happened against CSK on Monday.

A dropped catch came in his favor, but the tried and tested methods of Hetmyer shone through once more. As soon as he had come out to bat, he was up against Moeen Ali's offspin, and managed only four from the five balls he faced off him. The likes of Josh Hazlewood and Dwayne Bravo were up against a different approach altogether, with Hetmyer keen to anticipate lines and lengths, while carefully choosing his boundary options. Against Hazlewoods's back of the length deliveries, the pull came into play. Against Bravo, he would throw him off line by moving across the stumps to counter a wider line, and all the while successful.

This role of Hetmyer's – a pace hitter at the death overs – fits neatly into the DC jigsaw as well. For he's usually placed after the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, who act as DC's primary line of attack against spin. Along with the now-injured Marcus Stoinis, Hetmyer offers them a contrasting kind of attacking variety through the middle order, allowing them to cover all their bases.

That he has made a big difference to Delhi Capitals' dream run so far is reflected in the way the team rates his performances, and as summed up by their senior member R Ashwin.

“Hetmyer has done really well for us this year. And I think more than 6 to 8 points need to go to Hetty. Because he's finished games. Sometimes when you make the 25s and 30s you don't get the recognition because people at the top are making the volumes of runs. And Hetmyer was one of those heroes for us. And inside the dressing room, we recognize all these efforts.”

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