MoM AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali scored fifties in RCB’s 14-run win.
Kane Williamson’s 81 wasn’t enough for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to cross the finish line as they were beaten by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 14 runs in a thriller in the 51st match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.
The Royal Challengers wouldn’t have mind a total in excess of 200 when they were put into bat. It was the superman from South Africa – AB de Villiers (69) – that came out to bat in top gear after RCB lost Parthiv Patel in the first over. He proved why he is called Mr 360 with shots all around the park, one of them being a 105-metre six which went out of the ground. Supporting him was Moeen Ali (65), who played the best IPL innings of his life after he was promoted to number 4 as the duo put on 107 runs together. But Rashid Khan came back into the attack and gave Bangalore a double blow by dismissing both ABD and Moeen in the same over. But RCB were in no mood to stop as they kept going hard at the bowlers. Cameos from Colin de Grandhomme (40 off 17) and Sarfaraz Khan (22* off 8) powered RCB to a mammoth total of 218/6. Basil Thampi suffered the wrath of RCB batsmen the most as he got an unwanted record to his name by bleeding the most runs in an IPL match, 70 to be precise.
Find the full match scorecard here.
Chasing 219, the Sunrisers got off to a decent start as they reached 47 in five overs. Yuzvendra Chahal nipped Shikhar Dhawan’s (18) promising innings in the bud with a classic caught and bowled dismissal. Alex Hales (37) also departed quickly, thanks to a one-handed stunner by de Villiers at deep mid-wicket. And then started the one man show… Williamson thrashed the RCB bowlers left, right and centre with some exquisite shots. He got superb support from Manish Pandey (62), who started very slowly but picked on later, as the duo shared a 135-run partnership to put SRH in front. But Williamson’s wicket on the first ball off the last over turned the match in RCB’s favour as Mohammed Siraj defended 20 off the last over and Hyderabad ended with 204/3 after 20 overs.
Catch all the highlights from the game here.
It was Williamson vs RCB with 20 needed off the last over. And the first ball of the over was the turning point of the match as Kane shuffled across the stumps and hit the ball towards deep fine leg where he was caught by Colin de Grandhomme. That was game, set, match RCB.
It was the last ball of the 8th over. Moeen Ali bowls an off-spinner on the stumps as Alex Hales dances down the pitch and muscles it towards deep mid-wicket. He thinks that he has hit it for six, everyone else also thinks the same but not AB de Villiers as the superman times his jump to perfection on the boundary. But he realizes that the ball is swirling away from him as he stretches his right hand and takes a one-handed blinder and doesn’t cross the rope. It is the best dismissal of the match.
Batsman of the Match
He might’ve ended up on the losing side but Kane Williamson’s innings of 81 has made him the batsman of the match. He batted straight out of a dream as he kept milking the boundaries all around the ground. Every shot packed authority and conviction as he kept going on and on and on… Who said T20 batting required slogging? Tell this to Williamson and he would treat you to some proper, pure, sublime cricketing shots that he enthralled the Chinnaswamy audience with as he top scored in the match.
Bowler of the Match
When all the other SRH bowlers were being taken to the cleaners, Rashid Khan was the lone survivor. He bowled with a lot of courage and guts at a time when ABD and Moeen were going berserk. He first scalped Virat Kohli with a googly and then got the better of another big man de Villiers and Moeen Ali in the same over. He ended with superb figures of 3/27. And for his brave effort, he is the bowler of the match.
Virat Kohli (RCB Captain): The emotions are alright; I've seen many of these games before. Have to stay calm, after a point, you have to understand the bowlers are in control. To be fair to them, it wasn't easy. There was dew as well, hats off to them for keeping their composure. Now we head to Rajasthan with momentum on our side, the team's feeling great. Tonight, AB, Moeen and Colin were outstanding. With the ball, there were difficulties but they did well. Moeen's come in and done a great job for us, hats off to him for grabbing opportunities with both hands. He's given us the balance. We're happy with the XI now, it's settled. Team's don't want us to win, looking at the strength, they want us to not win. We sense fear and we pounce.
Kane Williamson (SRH Captain): I think to be honest, we missed the trick a little with the ball in hand. RCB have a fantastic batting line-up and put us under pressure. When you're chasing a total like that, you need to make right decisions, at key times in the chase, we didn't. But there's a lot to learn as we move forward. We've seen the surface being tough here, tonight it was a good wicket, so we didn't want to get carried away. Close, but not close enough.
Both teams now return to action on Saturday as RCB face Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur and SRH host Kolkata Knight Riders at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.
With this win, RCB have climbed up to the fifth spot with 12 points from 13 games. They are just behind Mumbai Indians, who also have 12 points but are ahead due to a better net run rate. On the other hand, just the fourth loss of the season hasn’t affected SRH’s position on the table as they continue to lead the charts with 18 points.
Check out the updated points table here.