New Delhi: Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson played a blinder once again, but Manish Pandey playing 3 dot balls in the last 3 overs of the innings was just not on when the team was chasing 219 for a win. The duo did put on 135 runs for the third wicket — the highest partnership of the season — but it wasn’t easy as Royal Challengers Bangalore won the thriller by 14 runs to stay alive in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League. They now face Rajasthan Royals on Saturday as they look to sneak into the playoffs.
Chasing 219 to record the most successful chase of the IPL, SRH started well with Shikhar Dhawan and Alex Hales looking to take the attack to the RCB bowlers from the word go. But Yuzvendra Chahal struck in the 6th over as Dhawan (18) went back to the hut. Hales (37) left two overs later after he got two chances, but failed to cash in as AB de Villiers picked a blinder at the mid-wicket boundary.
While the Bangalore players celebrated, what followed was a master-class from Williamson. He showed great temperament and acumen to keep knocking the boundaries and picking the odd singles. While he had an off-colour Manish Pandey to start with, that did not deter the captain as he stuck to the basic and took the game to the end overs.
In fact, with the team needing 89 off 6 overs, he launched into Colin de Grandhomme along with Manish as they picked 22 runs from the over. That made it 67 needed off 30 balls and it looked like SRH was in cruise mode with the skipper guiding the ship out of troubled waters.
But a few misses from Manish and a good 17th over from Tim Southee, giving away just 6 runs and bringing RCB right back in the game. In the end, SRH needed 20 off the last over and with Siraj dismissing Williamson (81) off the first ball, it was a game in the bag as RCB lives to fight another day in this IPL.
Earlier, the Royal Challengers Bangalore were off to poor start after being put into bat by Kane Williamson. Parthiv Patel departed in the very first over after his attempted pull shot off the bowling of Sandeep Sharma landed in the hands of the thirdman fielder.
Virat Kohli was joined in the middle by AB de Villiers and the South African maestro announced his intentions at the beginning itself as he hit Shakib Al Hasan for consecutive boundaries in the second over and followed the same pattern by creaming the first two deliveries of the third over bowled by Sandeep Sharma to the boundary.
Williamson introduced his best bowler, Rashid Khan in the fifth over and it paid dividends immediately. Kohli hit Rashid for a boundary through the mid-wicket region off the fourth delivery of the over. He tried to slog sweep the Afghan spinner again and completely missed the googly, which went and crashed into the stumps. Kohli departed for 12 and RCB were in a spot of bother at 38/2.
Moeen Ali joined de Villiers in the middle. While de Villiers kept getting the odd boundary away, Ali was all at sea against the spin of Rashid Khan. But the Englishman’s struggles ended in the eighth over as medium pacer Basil Thampi was introduced into the attack.
Ali got stuck into the youngster as he smashed him for two massive sixes off the first two deliveries of the eighth over. That was the beginning of an onslaught that brought the Sunrisers bowling attack to its knees. de Villiers slammed his 27th IPL fifty in the 12th over. Moeen followed suit to bring up his maiden IPL fifty in the next over, Ali half-century coming off just 25 balls. The duo also brought up their century partnership soon.
RCB were going all guns blazing and Williamson decided to go back to his man friday Rashid Khan. The Afghan spinner repaid the faith shown in him by his skipper by removing de Villiers (69) and Ali (65) in the space of three deliveries to momentarily put the brakes on RCB’s scoring rate.
The twin blows though didn’t stop the RCB juggernaut as the big hitting Colin de Grandhomme took centrestage. The all-rounder slammed a quickfire 40 off just 17 deliveries, with the help of 4 sixes and 1 boundary.
Sarfaraz Khan gave the finishing touches to the innings with an eight-ball cameo that produced 22 runs as the Royal Challengers posted a mammoth 218/6.