RCB weather Sunrisers charge

Kane Williamson’s calculated assault almost trumped AB de Villiers-Moeen Ali blitz as Royal Challengers Bangalore survived by the skin of their teeth to eke out a 14-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad and keep their play-offs hopes intact.

Having posted a massive 218/6, thanks to a 100-plus runs partnership between de Villiers (69, 39b, 12x4, 1x6) and Ali (65, 34b, 2x4, 6x6), RCB would have thought they have put more than enough on the board for their bowlers to defend. But Williamson (81, 42b, 7x4, 5x6) played a gem of an innings to bring the visitors close to victory with a 135-run partnership (67 balls) with Manish Pandey (62, 38b, 7x4, 2x6).

In the end, however, it became a too much of an ask to maintain the high run-rate as their innings halted at 204 for three here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday. The win took Bangalore’s tally to 12 points while Sunrisers remained on 18 with a match in hand.

Requiring 20 off the last over, SRH needed Williamson to bat through those six balls but he was out off the first ball as Mohammad Siraj, having conceded plenty in his first three overs, atoned for his profligacy. Apart from a few dropped catches, RCB’s fielding too was abysmal, contributing to their toil.                

Earlier, Parthiv Patel, dropped off the first ball of the innings, lasted just four more balls while skipper Virat Kohli’s stay was cut short by Rashid Khan (3/27) well within the Power Play period. With both the openers back in the hut, a familiar flop show with the batting appeared very much on the cards before de Villiers and Ali unleashed the mayhem. De Villiers looked in ominous touch right from the start when he struck two consecutive fours off Shakib Al Hasan in the very second over. He subjected Sandeep Sharma to the same treatment in the next over before Ali joined the party.

After doing little with the bat in two chances that he had got, Ali came into his own, showcasing his big-hitting prowess in that wiry frame. The southpaw dealt in sixes, sending the ball soaring over the rope half a dozen times as Basil Thampi (70/0 in 4 overs, the costliest spell in the IPL history), who came in for the rested Bhuvneshwar Kumar, was met with severe punishment. The right-arm quick conceded six fours and as many sixes one of which de Villiers dispatched out of the ground. Ali played the enforcer role to such an effect that he even overshadowed de Villiers in patches of play. Ali could have got out on 23 when his hoick off Thampi was snapped up by Shikhar Dhawan on the edge of the long-on boundary but the fielder couldn’t balance himself and overstepped the line.

In perfect batting conditions, Sunrisers bowlers, barring Rashid, found it hard to keep Ali and de Villiers quiet as runs came in a torrent. The duo added a whopping 107 runs for the third wicket in just 57 balls before being dismissed in quick succession, Rashid accounting for both the set batsmen. RCB’s hopes of posting a total of 200 or more appeared to have taken a beating but Colin de Grandhomme (40, 17b, 1x4, 4x6) and Sarfaraz Khan (22, 8b, 3x4, 1x6) provided the final flourish as the hosts plundered 134 runs in the last 10 overs.

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RCB weather Sunrisers charge

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