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IPL 2018: Match 39, SRH vs RCB, Review – Sensational Sunrisers’ bowlers seal a spot in the playoffs

Kane Williamson's excellent batting effort helped SRH post the decent total in the first innings.

Kane Williamson
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Kane Williamson in action. (Photo by IANS)

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have made it a habit to win close thrillers courtesy their bowling attack. Only their bowlers can defend 20 off last 15 deliveries as the duo of Siddarth Kaul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar didn’t concede a single boundary in the end. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were once again left wondering about their chances and their playoff qualifications are slowly getting diminished. However, it was the bowling effort which clinched the thrilling victory for the hosts.

Virat Kohli was relieved after winning the toss and had no hesitating in bowling first as RCB made two changes to their line-up bringing in Manan Vohra and Moeen Ali. The hosts fielded an unchanged XI from their previous encounter as the duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Alex Hales strode out to the middle with a hope of getting their side off to a blazing start.

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Williamson stands tall again

The latter was castled by Tim Southee as Hales played across the line only to see his furniture disturbed. Mohammed Siraj was in the action next as Dhawan fell in the trap of a short delivery by pulling the ball straight to the deep backward square fielder Southee. Manish Pandey’s miserable season continued as he literally gave catching practice to his India skipper Kohli to leave his team reeling at 48/3 in the ninth over. Then came the rebuilding phase which the Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson loves the most.

He took Shakib Al Hasan with him as the duo played safely until the 16th over to add 64 runs to the total. Williamson was brilliant again as he stepped on the accelerator at the right time after rotating the strike for quite a while. He unfurled some really good shots during his stay in the middle while his partner concentrated on just playing second fiddle to him. He led from the front by scoring yet another half-century, his fifth of the season. But his wicket led to a collapse with the visitors bowling well at the death.

Siraj and Southee wreak havoc

Umesh Yadav scalped the key wicket of the opposition skipper which triggered the collapse. Siraj bowled his best spell at the death by sending the stumps of Yusuf Pathan and Wriddhiman Saha for a walk. Meanwhile, Shakib was also dismissed by Southee as three wickets fell in the last over and SRH were bundled out for 146 in 20 overs. They could only muster only 34 runs in the last 4 overs. Siraj and Southee bowled excellently and shared 6 wickets between them while going for only 55 runs together in 8 overs.

Kohli leads the chase

RCB opened with the new pair once again as Manan Vohra walked in along with Parthiv Patel as the latter straightaway got going by bringing his wrist to the work. But he couldn’t extend his innings beyond 20 as Shakib trapped him in front of the stumps even as his partner also followed him soon on 8. But he added a crucial stand of 36 runs with his skipper Kohli. The skipper led from the front as he started playing shots soon realising the fact that the batting will only get tougher with the spinners coming into the attack.

He didn’t spare Shakib as well by stepping out to a flighted delivery only to launch it straight down the ground. While he looked fluent during his brief stay and had raced to 39 runs, the same bowler proved to be his undoing. The ball skidded through good length area as Kohli tried to play across the line and ended up spooning it to the short third-man fielder Pathan who leapt and took a one-handed stunner. Rashid Khan then castled AB de Villiers to break the match wide open even as Moeen Ali was sent back by Siddarth Kaul with RCB struggling at 84/5.

Bhuvi and Kaul star for SRH

RCB needed a calming stand in the middle which was provided by Mandeep Singh and Colin de Grandhomme. They rotated the strike without taking the pressure of the increasing required run-rate and the latter attacked the best bowler of the opposition Rashid in the 18th over. He was taken for 14 runs which brought the game within their grasp. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kaul had other ideas as their impressive lines in the following two overs proved difficult for the batsmen to hit.

The visitors needed 12 in the last over and it goes without saying that Bhuvi was entrusted with the responsibility and he didn’t disappoint. His variations were too good for the duo which was set and raring to hit sixes off him. It was some impeccable death bowling from the home side as they never lost hope of defending the low total. RCB fell agonisingly short of the target by 5 runs as they failed to find a boundary in the last couple of overs.

Their chances are bleak now to qualify for the playoffs but are still not eliminated from the tournament. Sunrisers, on the other hand, have strengthened their position at the top of the points table with their eighth victory of the season.

Brief Scores

Sunrisers Hyderabad 146 after 20 overs (K Williamson 56, S Al Hasan 35; M Siraj 3/25, T Southee 3/30)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 141/6 after 20 overs (V Kohli 39, C de Grandhomme 33; S Al Hasan 2/36)

Result: Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 5 runs

Man of the Match: Kane Williamson

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