It was almost a cat and dog fight between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the high scoring thriller at the former’s home venue. Sunrisers Hyderabad, the table toppers, had no signs of slog as Kane Williamson backed up the score with a hefty knock. Still, it was the Royal Challengers, who defended their tally, finally barring Hyderabad from just another victory.
Now Bangalore is a step up on the IPL points table. The win had an imperative relevance for Bangalore, taking them a campaign closer to the playoff stage, while, Sunrisers Hyderabad are comfortably seated on playoff berth. Bangalore scored 218 runs batting first in the match, bolstered with the score of 69 by de Villiers and 65 by Moeen Ali. In the chase, Kane Williamson and Mayank Pandey scored 81 and 62 runs respectively, chasing Bangalore to 204 runs.
Sandeep Sharma and Rashid Khan sent back RCB openers Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli by the fifth over. Patel was down in the first over, while Kohli’s wicket took the inning to 38 for 2 wickets. In the next stretch of over 9 overs, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali forged a partnership hauling the score to 145 by the 15th over. Rashid Khan attacked again in the over, taking down both the strikers in the gap of two balls. By end of the over, the Challengers were at 149 for 4. In the final overs, Colin de Grandhomme and Sarfaraz Khan added 40 and 22 runs, pulling the score to cross 200 mark.
During the chase, Shikhar Dhawan and Alex Hales were the only crucial wickets that Bangalore bowler could nick. Although Dhawan was knocked before the end of power play, the players maintained an excellent run rate. When Ali sent back Hales to the pavilion, the chase was at 64 for 2 in 7.6 overs. Kane Williamson and Mayank Pandey steered the inning for the next 12 overs hauling the chase to 199. Williamson was tackled only in the ultimate over, but it was also the over, which turned as the pivotal gamble. In the final 6 balls, Mohammed Siraj was to defend 19 runs. He took down Williamson’s wicket while trickling down only 5.
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