The Sunrisers were restricted to 182-6 in their chase. Their run-chase largely depended on captain David Warner after Shikhar Dhawan was castled off the first ball of off-spinner Parvez Rasool’s first over. Warner had ignited the hopes of SRH fans with his attacking knock. He raced to his fifty in just 21 balls with the help of four boundaries and as many sixes. But once he was removed by compatriot Shane Watson with a short ball, RCB had the game in their grasp. The Sunrisers had lost half the side for just 101 runs and eventually fell 45 runs short of the target.
Earlier, Sunrisers started on a promising note when Chris Gayle, whose top score against Hyderabad has only been 35, once again failed against the Orange brigade. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has often troubled the big man, accounting for him twice in T20Is, got the big wicket off just the second legal delivery he bowled. Doubts were created in Gayle’s mind immediately when Bhuvneshwar bowled a beautiful outswinger first up. The second delivery pitched on leg, clipped Gayle’s pads and crashed onto the stumps. Interestingly, this was the first time in the IPL that Bhuvneshwar dismissed Gayle.
However, RCB recovered quickly despite the early jolt with Kohli and de Villiers taking on the bowlers. The South African star hit Nehra for two fours and a six while Kumar’s next over too was smashed for two boundaries and a six. The two big overs propelled the home to 49/1 at the end of the Powerplay period. There was no stopping the duo and the almost full M Chinnaswamy Stadium witnessed plenty of fireworks. Leggie Karn Sharma’s second over was dispatched for two sixes, the second landing on the roof.
The assault forced captain Warner to bring Nehra back, but the veteran speedster headed back to the dugout after bowling just one ball with what appeared to be a groin strain. Young Ashish Reddy, called into complete the over, ended up being cannon fodder to de Villiers, who raised his fifty off just 26 balls with two back-to-back boundaries. From the other end, Kohli brought up his fifty in 40 balls with a massive six.
With both motoring along, a possibility of two centuries in the same innings of a T20 was raised. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar disrupted that possibility in his second spell, when he bowled Kohli with a yorker.
Making his debut for the RCB, Watson, the costliest buy at the IPL Player Auction 2016, signalled his arrival with three consecutive sixes off the leg-spinner Karn Sharma. The spinner had a forgettable outing conceding 57 from his four. The 18th over bowled by Bangladesh sensation Mustafizur Rahman resulted in two wickets of de Villiers and Watson with 183 on board.
On a night when RCB’s international stars flexed their muscles, rookie Sarfaraz Khan managed to overshadow everyone with a spectacular display of T20 batting. The teenager made the experienced Bhuvneshwar look ordinary after bludgeoning him for four boundaries and a six in the penultimate over. Sarfaraz showed he was ready for the big stage that IPL provides with his breathtaking array of scoops. In the final over, he slog swept Rahman for a six and a four to finish unbeaten on 35 from just 10 balls. Rahman was the only silver lining for the visitors, as he gave away just 26 from his four overs.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore (AB de Villiers 82, Virat Kohli 75, Sarfaraz Khan 35 not out, Mustafizur Rahman 2/26) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 182-6 (David Warner 58, Shane Watson 2/30) by 45 runs
Man of the Match: AB de Villiers, for his 82 off 42 balls