Sunrisers Hyderabad thwacked Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets in Sharjah on Saturday (October 31) and now have a serious chance of making it to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League 2020. The David Warner-led side outclassed Bangalore in all three facets of the game, and all they now have to do is win their final league-stage encounter against Mumbai Indians and their superior Net Run Rate (+0.555) would see them through to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Bangalore (-0.145) will now have to get the better of Delhi Capitals in their last league-stage match and if they don't, Kohli and Co. will have to rely on other results. Their game against Delhi would also be a virtual quarter-final for a spot in Qualifier 1. RCB are still placed second on the points table, while SRH have now moved to the fourth spot.
Coming back to the game, an all-round bowling performance from Hyderabad bowlers restricted Bangalore to just 120/7 in their 20 overs. In response, Hyderabad chased down the total in only 14.1 overs. Wriddhiman Saha and Manish Pandey made handy contributions with the bat but it was Jason Holder who put the finishing touches and got them over the line with the utmost ease.
Earlier, Sandeep Sharma and Holder got good movement with the new ball and didn't allow the young opening pair of Josh Philippe and Devdutt Padikkal to get off to a flying start. The two batsmen tried to play their shots but both the pacers didn't give them that length. Padikkal tried to slog his way out but the left-hander was knocked over by Sandeep for 5 in the third over.
KOHLI FAILS AGAIN
With the ball still moving around, and having got the better of Kohli six times in the past, Sandeep was asked to bowl his third over and the seamer once again outfoxed the RCB skipper. Sandeep bowled one slightly outside off and Kohli (7) ended up hitting it straight to Kane Williamson at shortish extra-cover. This was the seventh time Sandeep had dismissed Kohli, the joint-most a bowler has dismissed a batsman in IPL history. MS Dhoni has got out to Zaheer Khan seven times.
The onus was on AB de Villiers and Philippe to rebuild but Hyderabad didn't allow them to score freely. De Villiers struggled against Rashid Khan in his first over but Philippe kept the scoreboard ticking with occasional boundaries. The 23-year-old opener from Australia attacked Shahbaz Nadeem before de Villiers tonked him down the ground to break the shackles. The left-arm spinner however had his revenge in the same over as de Villiers (24) hit one straight to the fielder at sweeper cover.
There were still nine overs left and it was up to Philippe to carry on and take Bangalore to a competitive total. The opener however needlessly tried to go after Rashid and ended up throwing his wicket away. The right-hander scored 32 off 31 deliveries but never looked comfortable.
Having lost two crucial wickets in successive overs, Washington Sundar and Gurkeerat Singh added 30 runs for the fifth wicket but at no point attempted to stamp their authority. Washington (18-ball 21) did play a couple of good-looking shots before falling to T Natarajan who kept bowling yorker after yorker. Chris Morris didn't fire either, while Gurkeerat was operating at a strike rate of less than 100.
Gurkeerat faced 24 deliveries but could only manage 15 runs. Sandeep and Holder picked up two wickets each, while Natarajan finished with outstanding figures of 1/11. RCB only scored 27 in the last five overs, which is the fewest by a team batting first in overs 16-20 this season.
SAHA, HOLDER GET THE JOB DONE
Warner (8) announced his arrival with a six over cow corner but before he could do any more damage, Washington sent him back to the hut on the very next ball. Pandey too walked out with a positive intent and slammed Navdeep Saini for a four and a six in the third over. The RCB bowlers weren't consistent with their line and length and that allowed Pandey to dictate terms.
Chris Morris in particular struggled big time and looked completely out of place. Pandey made the most of Bangalore's ordinary bowling and killed the game in the first six overs. Wriddhiman Saha played second fiddle for the first five overs before launching the attack to Mohammed Siraj in the last over of the powerplay. Hyderabad were 58/1 at the end of six overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal was straightaway introduced into the attack after the end of six overs and the legspinner got rid of Pandey (19-ball 26) in the space of four deliveries. Saha, who suffered a groin injury during his match-winning knock of 87 in the last encounter, was declared fit ahead of the game and looked in complete control during his stay in the middle.
The required run-rate was never going to be an issue and all Saha had to do was play him out but the wicketkeeper-batsman tried to smoke him out of the park and ended up getting stumped. After Saha departed for a 32-ball 39, Williamson (8) chipped one straight to Kohli at extra-cover. Just when things were starting to get interesting, Holder smashed a fiery cameo of 26* off 10 deliveries, studded with three sixes, and got the job done for his team.