The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) edged the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by six wickets in a thriller of an Eliminator in IPL 2020. With the win, SRH advanced to Qualifier 2, where they will face the Delhi Capitals for a spot in the IPL finals against the Mumbai Indians.
Chasing a paltry 132 on a pitch that seemed to favour the slower bowlers, as well as pacers who bowled a lot of slower balls, SRH made heavy weather of the target. Coming in place of an injured Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami was a shadow of the wicketkeeper-batsman he replaced as he departed for a duck.
The confident SRH skipper Warner then fell off an inside edge, claimed by RCB after a review. Manish Pandey and Priyam Garg were dismissed by RCB's leggies Yuzvendra Chahal and Adam Zampa.
From there on, however, the SRH pair of Kane Williamson and Jason Holder looked unhurried. Without taking many risks, the duo played out the slower bowlers and made the most of pace on the ball in the final three overs to win with two balls to spare. It concluded SRH's fourth win and RCB's fifth loss on the trot.
AB de Villiers drags RCB to 131/7
Coming in without really deserving the show of faith, Aaron Finch ended up as RCB's second-highest scorer in a 30-ball 32.
What worked for him, but not for RCB, was a promotion for Virat Kohli to that cursed opener's spot alongside Devdutt Padikkal. Both Kohli and Padikkal were sent back by Holder in his first two overs within the powerplay.
While Finch offered support till the 11th over, it was an AB de Villiers one-man show from then on. His 56 off 43 on a tough pitch was nearly match-winning for RCB, and his dismissal by T Natarajan starved RCB of a truly match-winning total.
IPL 2020, RCB vs SRH: Who was the Man of the Match?
Jason Holder was outstanding for his 3 wickets in RCB's innings, while AB de Villiers' innings was the only one of substance for his team.
However, one man was crucial in getting SRH over the line, and that was Kane Williamson. The Kiwi skipper has spent some time on the SRH bench over the years but has finally stamped his invaluable presence this edition.
Coming in to bat at 4, Williamson would lose partners at the other end, but play on undeterred. His 50 off 44 was crucial for getting SRH into a winning position before Holder sealed the deal. Perhaps the highlight of his innings was a slog sweep off Chahal on the last ball of his spell for six.
For an imperious display of batting on a tough pitch to send his team through, Kane Williamson was the Man of the Match in yesterday's game.
Published 07 Nov 2020, 00:24 IST