Sunrisers Hyderabad traveled to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 51st match of IPL 2018. SRH had already secured a place in the playoffs but RCB needed a win to keep their qualification hopes alive. In a run feast, it was the hosts that prevailed in a thrilling contest to stay in the hunt.
AB-Moeen powered RCB to a massive total
Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to field as the venue poses challenges in defending totals. RCB were off to a poor start as Parthiv Patel got out to Sandeep Sharma in the first over. Virat Kohli, who had opened the innings, didn’t contribute a lot and fell prey to Rashid Khan for 12. After the powerplay, the hosts reached 44/2.
AB de Villiers had Moeen Ali by his side and the duo upped the ante big time. There were continuous explosions from either end as the SRH bowling line-up, that has been brilliant in the league, was looking under pressure for the first time. Both the batsmen brought up their fifties as the score raced off to 144/2 after 14 overs.
Rashid then delivered a wonderful over and accounted for the wickets of both AB and Moeen. But the assault did not stop as Colin de Grandhomme then took the onus. He scored 40 from 17 balls before getting out in the last over. Sarfaraz Khan too chipped in with a cameo of 22 off 8 that took RCB to 218/6 after 20 overs.
Williamson almost did the trick
Chasing a mammoth total, the SRH openers Shikhar Dhawan and Alex Hales were off to a positive start. After 5 overs, they boosted the score to 47 but Yuzvendra Chahal brought a good news to his camp by removing Dhawan for 18. Williamson walked in to bat and hit his stripes pretty quickly as the visitors managed 56 runs in the fielding restrictions.
Hales, who was looking dangerous, was dismissed by Moeen Alin in the 9th over for 37. Manish Pandey joined his skipper in the middle but he struggled a little in the beginning. But Williamson was flourishing at the other end and continued on his monumental form this season. He smashed his way towards a half-century as SRH reached 130/2 after 14 overs.
Pandey, after the initial jitters, came into his own and struck some lusty blows. The equation read 49 from the last 3 overs when Siraj gave away 14 runs in the 18th over. Tim Southee’s penultimate over went for 15 over to bring it down to 20 from the final over. Williamson, after scoring a brilliant 81 off 42 balls, departed off the first ball in the last over. Siraj held his nerves at the end and conceded just 5 runs which meant RCB moved to 12 points, keeping their hopes alive.
Moment of the Game
When RCB takes the field, you can always expect AB de Villiers do superhuman things. With his extraordinary skills with the bat in hand, he makes people drop their jaws every now and then. Not just with the bat, the South African is as good a fielder as any in the world. Chinnaswamy always seems to bring the best out of him and once again, he produced a magical moment.
Moeen Ali was bowling to Alex Hales in the 8th over when the batsman timed one nicely towards deep mid-wicket. It was hardly hit and the ball was looking like sailing over the rope. Hales would have felt that he would add 6 runs to his tally of growing score.
But perhaps he undermined de Villiers who was patrolling the boundary. AB timed his jump to perfection and with a fully stretched right hand over his head, pulled off a stunning catch. He was ecstatic which is a rare sight on a cricket field. The whole RCB troop charged towards him as they realized that the magician had once again pulled out a rabbit out of the hat.
Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and opted to bowl first
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 218/6 in 20 overs
AB de Villiers 69 (39), Moeen Ali 65 (34)
Rashid Khan 27/3 (4), Siddharth Kaul 44/2 (4)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 204/3 in 20 overs
Kane Williamson 81 (42), Manish Pandey 62 (38)
Moeen Ali 21/1 (2), Yuzvendra Chahal 28/1 (4)
Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 14 runs
Player of the Match: AB de Villiers