Royal Challengers stay alive as Sunrisers are left in the shade
Royal Challengers Bangalore maintained their hopes of qualifying for the Indian Premier League play-offs with a 14-run triumph over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali made 69 and 65 respectively as the Royal Challengers - needing to win their final two games to have a chance of finishing in the top four - posted an impressive total of 218-6 after being put into bat.
Still, the Sunrisers, who sit on top of the table and are already certain to progress, threatened to overhaul the home team's score at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Captain Kane Williamson hit 81 from just 42 deliveries to lead the charge, yet was crucially starved of the strike as the high-scoring encounter edged towards a thrilling climax.
Needing 20 runs off the last over, the New Zealand batsman was caught by compatriot Colin de Grandhomme on the fine leg boundary off the first delivery from Mohammed Siraj, ending Hyderabad's hopes.
Bangalore's hard-fought victory lifts them up to fifth place in the table, level with Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab on 12 points.
Phew! A last over thriller and @RCBTweets have beaten @SunRisers by 14 runs iin their final home game this season. They stay alive in the battle for 2 Playoff spots. #RCBvSRH #VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/Af4oUHs21I— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 17, 2018
BASIL LEFT WITH BITTER TASTE
The Sunrisers had won the last four meetings between the franchises when defending totals, but Williamson opted to field first at a ground where batting second is seen to be the favourable option.
The move initially paid off too, with openers Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli both departing during the powerplay overs, only for De Villiers to share in a 107-run partnership with Moeen, who registered his maiden IPL half-century.
While the pair were dismissed in the same over from leg-spinner Rashid Khan (3-27), De Grandhomme smashed 40 in a hurry before Sarfaraz Khan contributed a crucial 22 not out from just eight deliveries at the death.
Basil Thampi claimed an unwanted record in the Bangalore innings, the seamer recording the most expensive spell in the competition's history as his four wicketless overs went for 70 runs.
CATCHES WIN MATCHES
Not content with just making runs for his side, De Villiers also produced a stunning catch in an otherwise disappointing fielding display from the Royal Challengers
Alex Hales (37) connected well enough with a slog-sweep off England colleague Moeen to clear the rope, only for De Villiers to jump up and pluck the ball out of the air with his right hand before landing again inside the boundary.
Williamson and Manish Pandey - who made an unbeaten 62 - kept Hyderabad afloat with a third-wicket alliance worth 135, the former in the process passing 50 in this season's IPL for an impressive eighth time in 13 innings.
However, Tim Southee conceding just six runs from the 17th over turned out to be a telling moment for Bangalore, who next face a must-win showdown against fellow play-off hopefuls Rajasthan in Jaipur on Saturday.