IPL2021: Sunrisers Hyderabad beat RCB by four runs
The Sunrisers from Hyderabad held their nerve in the final moments of the game to clinch a victory again RCB by 4 runs.
By Vadiraj Kanakagiri
It was battle of a two teams, one fighting for its pride and the other, to reach to the top. Such was the contrast between the two sides behind the motivation to go for the victory. In the end, though, the pride of Sunrises had more weightage against a team that had already booked its spot for that playoffs.
On a deck that had little assistance for seam bowling first up, Virat opted to bowl first. Sunrisers decided to send Abhishek Sharma as an opener because of his exploits in that position for his state side of Punjab. And he began to explode right away. Up n over seemed to be his mantra. He got a couple away, streaky looking though, and was handed a chance by Siraj at the deep backward square boundary. But he couldn't make any use of this reprieve as he skied yet another straight to mid-on. Roy, who was at the other end, was joined by Kane Williamson. The duo went on building the innings and found some timely boundaries.
Jason Roy, before coming onto the bat, must've eaten some luck instead of food. In the entirety of his innings, no matter how hard to throw his wicket away, RCB fielders just weren't able to grab those chances. Or, it seemed like, something which is out of everyone's control, was guarding Roy. He was given caught behind off Chahal, but a review saved him. He got one off the leading edge, fell in no man's land at mid-off. He got the outside edge on a cut shot, which fell just short off Harshal Patel. To top it off, Williamson hit one just to the left of Virat at covers and called him for a run, which would've resulted in an easy run-out, but only for the throw to go wide. It was some sort of a display of luck.
Finally, Christian had to intervene. Roy smashed one straight back at the fielder bowler, ironic enough, Christian caught it just by chance by plucking his hand out. Roy threw his bat down in despair, that couldn't make an impact of all those chances, luck can only take you so far. But before that, he saw Williamson got cleaned up after getting deceived by a slower delivery off Harshal Patel and Priyam Garg was holed out in the deep. Yuzi bowled with great control troubled batters but only could pick up one. The Sunrisers limped along to 141 for 7, with Harshal Patel picking up another three for, who's been nothing but impressive this whole season.
Chasing an under par score, it was a perfect opportunity for Virat to bat through and regain his lost touch. And it seemed just like that, when he creamed a glorious cover drive off Bhuvaneshwar Kumar off the very first delivery. But that was the carrot that was dangled by the bowler to get the batsman moving across. On the last delivery, Bhuvi swung one in from a good length, which missed the flick shot of Virat and the umpire had no doubts whatsoever in giving that out. Even the youngster Padikkal had to tell his captain against the use of review, that's how plumb that was.
Dan Christian was again sent in at No.3 as a pinch hitter. But he once again failed to provide justice to that decision as he was sent packing for just 1. Wickie KS Bharat came in at 4 and played some aggressive strokes to get the scoreboard moving.
After the powerplay, Kane introduced, fast becoming, India's own wild thing, Umran Malik. He had impressed one and all with his pace in the previous game by clocking over 150 km/h and he didn't disappoint yesterday either. He did even better, by sending a thunderbolt down at 153 km/h. Finally, India have found someone who consistently clocks over 150. He seems to give a special headache, only to left-handers. Be it, Nitish Rana, in the previous game or Padikkal here, he kept beating the bat consistently. The wicket he got was of a right-hander though, as Bharat went out trying pull one but gloving of to the keeper.
In came Glenn Maxwell, who's been carrying the load of RCB's batting, almost single-handedly this entire season. He looks in such rich vein of form, seems to have got set from the dressing room as he smashed a Rashid Khan delivery outside the ropes on only his second ball. He looked in sublime touch taking all the bowlers from Sunrisers apart and in between, he played sensibly too by running hard by pushing the ball into gaps. When Kane had used all his cards but couldn't get rid off Maxi, he lifted his team through an outstanding display of fielding by a one-handed pick-up and throw straight at the stumps to find Maxi well short of his crease. Suddenly Kane had injected some life back into the game in otherwise what seemed to be a comfortable victory to the RCB.
All this while though, Devdutt Padikkal was struggling like he never has. Right from the powerplay, he just struggled for timing. While Malik was on, he even struggled to put the bat on the ball. It was the likes of Bharat and Maxi, who scored aggressively and waited for Padikkal to get his thing back. But it never happened. No matter how long he waited. He kept hitting it to fielders, kept edging it, kept getting beaten, but couldn't get the boundaries. After he sold Maxi down the river, the pressure just mounted multifold on Padikkal and he had to go big. He did, and the one he connected pretty well was caught even better by Samad at deep mid. Finally, the torture was ended for DDP and in turn, for the RCB.
AB was joined by Shahbaz Ahmed in the closing moments of the game. Ahmed smoked a couple of boundaries and did what he could to ease the load on De Villiers. With 18 needed off 2 overs, Jason Holder bowled an exceptional penultimate over and gave away a miserly 5 and picked up the wicket of Shahbaz.
Bengaluru needed 13 off the last and the veteran Bhuvi was entrusted to defend it by Kane. After getting the strike on the third delivery AB decided he'll take strike on the remaining deliveries with 12 to get off 4. He smashed one to deep cover and denied a single. The joy was back in the RCB dugout when AB sent one straight onto the sight screen on the fourth delivery. Bhuvi bowled this one straight at the stumps and got the punishment. He soon learned his lesson though and bowled a wide full toss, on which AB couldn't capitalize and hit it straight to Williamson at covers. Realizing that this is the way to go and when 6 needed off the final ball, Bhuvi followed it with another full and wide one. AB De Villiers could only manage to hit it to deep cover on one bounce. Bhuvi won the battle between the veterans. The AB of yesteryears, wouldn't have missed the opportunity to score of multiple wide full ones.
And like that, RCB's hopes of another crack at playoffs were crushed. They have to play the eliminator against a team which is yet to qualify.