Hyderabad: Defending 12 runs in the final over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed nerves of steel to guide Sunrisers Hyderabad a thrilling five-run victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Monday. He conceded just six runs in the final over. With this victory, SRH entered Playoffs with 16 points and recorded fifth straight win.
Earlier, local boy Mohammad Siraj had a good homecoming as he picked up three wickets (3/25) to skittle out hosts Sunrisers Hyderabad to 146 runs. For the hosts, Kane Williamson once again took responsibilities with his fifth half-century (56 from 39 balls, 5×4 2×6) of the season and added crucial 64 runs for the fourth wicket with Shakib Al Hasan (35 from 32, 5×4) to guide his side to modest total. For the visitors, Tim Southee too picked up three wickets.
Chasing the modest total, the visitors were off to a good start with Parthiv Patel (20 from 13) hitting Bhuvneshwar and Shakib for two boundaries each. But the Bangladeshi all-rounder caught the RCB wicketkeeper plumb in front to provide the first breakthrough.
Kohli looked like returning to form as he smashed Shakib for 15 runs in the inning’s fifth over with two fours and a huge six. Vohra, who was dropped on seven by Siddarth Kaul off Rashid Khan, then edged Sandeep’s delivery onto the stumps. Kohli got a reprieve when he was dropped at slips by Williamson off Rashid Khan on 33 runs.
However, he departed for 39 (30 balls, 5×4, 1×6) when he was caught at short third man by Yusuf Pathan off Shakib. Rashid then provided crucial breakthrough cleaning up AB de Villiers (5) with a wrong ‘un when the South African played on. Siddarth Kaul then dismissed Moeen Ali (10) as the visitors lost half of their side for 84 in the 12th over. But Colin de Grandhomme hit Rashid Khan for two consecutive sixes in the 17th over to reduce the required runs to 25 from 18 balls.
Earlier, for the hosts, Kane Williamson once again had to take the batting responsibilities after losing early wickets. Tim Southee too picked up three wickets for RCB. The hosts lost seven wickets in the last two overs scoring just one run.
SRH didn’t have an ideal start as they lost in-form opener Alex Hales (5) in the innings’ third over. The English batsman tried to play across but missed the line only to see the middle stump rattled.
Williamson was at his fluent best as he struck couple of boundaries before Siraj sent back the struggling Shikhar Dhawan (13 from 19 balls) in the innings’ sixth over with a short ball. The southpaw pulled Siraj straight to Southee at the deep fine leg as hosts managed 38/2 in power play overs.
Manish Pandey continued his poor run. This time he made 5 before perishing to Chahal. New batsman Shakib Al Hasan cut Ali behind point and lofted one straight over his head for consecutive boundaries to resurrect the SRH innings. Williamson pulled Chahal to mid-wicket boundary and grew in strength. He smashed Chahal for six to reach his fifth IPL 50 off 35 balls. However, Umesh Yadav ended Williamson’s innings. The SRH skipper went for a big hit but gave a catch to deep square leg fielder.
Shakib tried to get runs and even hit Siraj for two boundaries in the innings’ 17th over. But he too departed in the next over of Southee. Yusuf Pathan (12) did smash Southee for consecutive boundaries – one over fine leg and another over wicketkeeper – in the same over. Returning for his final over, Siraj scalped two wickets. He first uprooted Yusuf’s leg stump with a yorker and then rattled Saha’s (8) stumps. The hosts made hara-kiri in the final over losing three wickets – two run outs and lbw – to be all out on the final ball of the innings.