IPL 2018: Match 51, RCB vs SRH, Review - Hosts keep their nerve to deny the sensational Sunrisers a famous win

IPL 2018: Match 51, RCB vs SRH, Review – Hosts keep their nerve to deny the sensational Sunrisers a famous win

While Ab de Villiers was at his best, Kane Williamson put on a perfect display of batting which was a notch higher in class than him.

AB de Villiers
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s AB de Villiers in action. (Photo by IANS)

Well, this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen it all. What a game it was! The batsmen from both the sides were at their best as close to 425 runs were carted in 40 overs only for the bowlers of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to keep their nerve in the final couple of overs. It was Mohammed Siraj who did it again for his team as he denied the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) a famous win. However, it was one of the best T20 matches in the recent times with best players in the cricketing world playing some superior brand of cricket.

The likes of AB de Villiers, Rashid Khan, Kane Williamson, Colin de Grandhomme and Manish Pandey were at their best as they treated the jam-packed Chinnaswamy with a humdinger. RCB were the deserved winners in the end who sealed the game by 14 runs and are well and truly alive in the tournament.

The visiting skipper Kane Williamson called it correctly when the coin was flipped in the air and opted to field first as they decided to rest Bhuvneshwar Kumar and brought in Basil Thampi. Virat Kohli and the coach Daniel Vettori fielded an unchanged side which brought laurels to them in the last game.

ABD and Moeen tee off

RCB got off to the worst possible start as their opener Parthiv Patel was dismissed in the very first over to bring the dream duo of Kohli and AB de Villiers together as the crowd anticipated something special. Both started their innings with a boundary of their respective first deliveries and got themselves going. But the skipper of the home side failed to pick the googly of the wily Rashid Khan and was castled to witness the pin-drop silence at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

But the man at the other end had got his eye in and was in the mood already in the powerplay overs. He took the attack to Shakib Al Hasan who was brought in to take his wicket but ended up facing the heat. The third over of the innings saw the one-handed back foot square drive off Sandeep Sharma and the Superman from South Africa had announced himself. However, Kohli’s departure had brought in Moeen Ali who, against all the odds, started tonking the ball out of the ground.

His assault helped the cause of De Villiers a lot as there was no pressure on him to up the ante and both of them just tore apart the bowling unit of the visitors. Basil Thampi had the worst day of his cricketing career today as he was caught between the two in-form batsmen. One of his balls was sent on the roof by ABD as he shuffled across his stumps and Thampi bowled a juicy full-toss on his pads which went a massive 105 metres long. Moeen was middling everything tonight and he slammed a 25-ball 50 even as his partner reached the landmark off just 32 deliveries.

De Grandhomme pile on the agony

Both added 107 runs in just over 10 overs together which set the platform for the next batsmen to pile on the agony on the bowlers. Meanwhile, the Rashid proved why he is a champion bowler as he broke the partnership by picking the wicket of De Villiers and then also sent back Ali off the very next delivery to set the panic button in the opposition camp. However, it was Colin de Grandhomme who took over the mantle and literally crushed the confidence of the bowling attack by scoring 40 off just 17 balls.

Thampi registered the worst figures in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he conceded 70 runs in his four-over spell. RCB posted a massive total of 218 runs for the loss of 6 wickets after 20 overs and the Orange Army needed a special effort to gun down the chase.

Williamson leads the chase

Alex Hales and Shikhar Dhawan took a couple of overs to send the bowlers into the stands as it was expected that the Sunrisers would come hard. They added 47 runs for the first wicket as the latter was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal in the final over of the powerplay. It didn’t perturb Hales though as he middled a few briskly and got the run-rate going for his team. While it seemed as if he would take the game away from the hosts, the Superman De Villiers denied him the glory by taking a superlative catch off Ali to turn the game on its head.

However, it was Kane Williamson who decided to take charge then and played wristy flicks to leave the crowd in his awe. The innings was filled with some of the best strokes in his repertoire. Though the best of them was the four he hit in the 14th over off Umesh Yadav. The class was on show by the Kiwi as he surgically split the gap behind the backward point with the use of his beautiful wrists. He was hitting sixes for fun at the Chinnaswamy which was frustrating his counterpart, Kohli.

Meanwhile, Manish Pandey also brought his T20 form back after struggling for his first few deliveries. He moved across his crease nicely. There were the plethora of boundaries in the partnership between the two and the target suddenly looked within the reach. The equation came down to 49 off last three overs and the duo which defended 35 against Mumbai Indians (MI) was again entrusted to do the job. The pyrotechnics from Manish brought the equation down to 35 off the last two overs.

Siraj the hero

Tim Southee though kept his cool and resurrected the damage in the penultimate over after starting it badly. He went for 15 runs and now 20 runs were needed off the last over. Mohammed Siraj who messed the 18th over with his lines and lengths had to take up the responsibility and he responded beautifully. The youngster scalped the opposition skipper Williamson off the very first delivery which gave a sniff to the home side. He then bowled a couple of perfect deliveries and denied set Pandey any room to free his arms and sealed the game.

The fantastic over from him only went for only 6 runs as RCB won by 14 runs while defending 219 runs and the visitors fell agonisingly short by 14 runs. By the virtue of this victory, they keep themselves alive in the tournament and now have a real chance of qualifying for the playoffs courtesy of their excellent NRR.

Brief Scores

Royal Challengers Bangalore 218/6 after 20 overs (AB de Villiers 69, M Ali 65, C de Grandhomme 40; R Khan 3/27)

Sunrisers Hyderabad 204/3 after 20 overs (K Williamson 81, M Pandey 62*; M Ali 1/21, Y Chahal 1/28)

Result: Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 14 runs

Man of the Match: AB de Villiers