Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have developed an underrated rivalry over the years. RCB have made it to two IPL finals but have lost both to the Hyderabad-based franchise.
There have been numerous close contests between the two sides that have thrilled spectators. Whether it be belligerent batting or terrific bowling, games involving RCB and SRH have had everything in them.
SRH are slightly ahead of RCB with respect to the head-to-head record, winning 10 games while their Virat Kohli's men have won 7. With the two sides locking horns on Wednesday, let's take a look at three of the most enthralling encounters between RCB and SRH:
#3 RCB (83-4) beat SRH (135-3) by six wickets (D/L)
Match 52 of IPL 2015, SRH vs RCB
SRH hosted RCB for an important clash during the IPL 2015 season. With the tournament approaching its business end, a win was crucial for the hopes of both teams to make it to the playoffs.
SRH batted first and got off to a steady start. Despite losing opener Shikhar Dhawan early on, skipper David Warner got together with Moises Henriques and the duo added a brilliant 103 runs. It was a huge partnership given that the game was hit by rain and shortened to 11 overs.
Half-centuries from the duo ensured SRH posted a mammoth 135-3 in their 11 overs. Rain interrupted once again and RCB had to chase a revised target of 81 in 6 overs. The visitors flew out of the blocks as Chris Gayle and captain Virat Kohli added 43 runs in just 15 balls.
SRH came back strongly, dismissing both Gayle and AB de Villiers off consecutive deliveries. Suddenly, the pressure had titled towards RCB and Kohli was their biggest hope. More wickets fell, but the RCB skipper tried his level best to keep them in the game.
With 12 runs required off 4 balls, Kohli hit the next two for boundaries and brought the equation down to 4 from 2. The RCB captain hit the penultimate ball in the air but was unsure whether it would clear the ropes.
Warner was under the ball and caught it just inside the boundary. But as he was about to celebrate, his foot landed on the boundary cushion and it was adjudged a six. Kohli roared in happiness and celebrated with his teammates while Warner pondered upon what could have been.
#2 RCB (158-6) beat SRH (155-6) by four wickets
Match 24 of IPL 2014, RCB vs SRH
This game has AB de Villiers written all over it and is still considered one of his best innings ever for RCB. They hosted SRH in 2014 season and it was an important game for both teams.
The visitors reached a total of 155-6 in their 20 overs and David Warner was the standout batsman, scoring 61 runs off 49 balls. Given the history of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, this total should not have challenged RCB's star-studded batting line-up whatsoever.
But even the home side struggled to score runs. Barring Gayle's cameo of 27, no one from the top four fired and it was again down to AB de Villiers to bail RCB out of trouble. It was clear that, with the required run-rate mounting, it was De Villiers versus SRH as only he could win the game for RCB.
The South African star kept playing his shots and brought RCB closer to the total. But with 28 runs needed off 2 overs, the game was still SRH's to lose. This was because Dale Steyn, who was arguably the best fast bowler at the time, had one over left for SRH.
The showdown between the two South Africans was going to determine the result of this game. De Villiers absolutely tore into Steyn and smashed him for 24 runs. None of Steyn's variations worked as De Villiers had every shot in his book as an answer.
RCB won the game with one ball to spare and De Villiers once again delivered the knockout blow. Steyn just smiled and congratulated his compatriot for his unbelievable effort.
1 SRH (130-7) beat RCB (130-8) in the Super Over
Match 7 of IPL 2013, SRH vs RCB
SRH hosted RCB in the 2013 season and this turned out to be one of the best IPL games ever. Low-scoring thrillers are always enthralling and this was one of those games where bowlers from both sides performed well.
RCB batted first and hoped to put up a competitive total. However, the slow and low track didn't suit their style of free-flowing cricket and their batsmen struggled. Barring Kohli's 46 and Henriques' 44, no one else stepped up and RCB posted an underwhelming 130-8 in their 20 overs.
SRH had a brilliant bowling attack but their batting was a bit light on paper. This is where RCB bowlers had to target and they did it with a great deal of success. Except for 19-year-old Hanuma Vihari, no one from SRH could anchor the chase and see them home.
The youngster remained unbeaten on 44 as SRH somehow managed to tie the game, forcing a Super Over. Given the batting prowess of RCB compared to that of SRH, the home team had to put up a competitive score in their 6 balls.
Cameron White hadn't done much in the game until then, but he hit two sixes in the Super Over to give SRH a daunting 20 runs in 6 balls. RCB had to chase 21 but they had Gayle who could deliver the final punch.
It was never going to be easy as SRH had Steyn to bowl the Super Over. Both Kohli and Gayle did hit a four and a six respectively, but the target proved too much for them as SRH won the Super Over. This is still arguably the best game these two teams have played to date.