Kane Williamson played a captain's knock on Monday to guide Sunrisers Hyderabad to an eight-wicket win over Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League on Monday.
Williamson's attacking 57 from 46 balls and an unbeaten 34 by Nicholas Pooran handed Gujarat their first loss of this season.
Set a target of 163, Hyderabad were powered by a 64-run opening stand between Williamson and Abhishek Sharma (42) and reached their target with five balls to spare at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
Williamson was dismissed by his counterpart Hardik Pandya in the 17th over but the left-handed Pooran kept up the charge in his 18-ball blitz as he completed the win with a six.
"It was I thought all in all a good game of cricket. I thought we were good with the ball and so were they," Williamson said after the win.
"It was hard to get a rhythm and so we just tried to build partnerships but good to see signs of improvement. The guys are nice and clear on their roles."
Celebrities at IPL
Earlier, Hardik hit an unbeaten 50 off 42 balls to help his team post 162-7, but the target barely troubled Hyderabad.
"Batting wise, I think we were 7-10 runs short and [that] would've made a difference in the end," said Pandya.
"Bowling wise, we had a good start but had two bad overs. I think they bowled well [in the last 5 overs]. Our motto has been the same, which is to learn from the mistakes."
Williamson had a close call when an lbw shout was not reviewed and replays showed the ball would have hit the stumps. The New Zealand skipper was on two.
The opener raised his fifty with a six off compatriot Lockie Ferguson before he mistimed a hit to long-on.
The match got off to a thrilling start when young fast bowler Umran Malik began his spell by hitting the helmet grill of Pandya but the batsman counter-attacked with two boundaries.
Malik finished off his first over with the wicket of Matthew Wade, trapped lbw for 19.
Pandya starred in crucial partnerships including a 40-run stand with David Miller. The all-rounder and Abhinav Manohar then added quick 50 runs for the fifth wicket.
Manohar smashed a quick-fire 35 after being dropped three times in a poor effort in the field by the Hyderabad.
Pandya completed his fifty off the penultimate ball of the innings as pace bowler T Natarajan finished with the wicket of Rashid Khan to return figures of 2-34.