Royal Challengers Bangalore ended their VIVO IPL 2019 campaign on a high after they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets in Match 54 played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday night. After the visitors had set them a target of 176, RCB first recovered from being 20 for 3, and then survived a late-innings collapse, to chase down the runs in the final over; Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Mann both scored half-centuries, and their record 144-run stand took the team to the brink of a win. Umesh Yadav struck boundaries off the first two deliveries off the final over - bowled by Mohammad Nabi - to take RCB over the line.
The Royal Challengers ended their season with five wins, while the Sunrisers will await the results of the matches on the final day of the regular league season to know if their six wins can take them to the playoffs.
Earlier in the evening, after being put in to bat, Sunrisers Hyderabad got off to a brisk start courtesy their opening pair of Wriddhiman Saha (20 from 11 balls) and Martin Guptill (30 from 23 balls); the pair added 46 in 4.3 overs before the former holed out to mid-on. After Guptill and Manish Pandey perished in the eighth over, the innings was put back on track through a 45-run partnership between Kane Williamson and Vijay Shankar; the latter was the aggressor in the partnership, contributing 27 runs from 18 balls before he became Washington Sundar’s third victim.
Though the Sunrisers kept losing wickets at regular intervals, Williamson held one end firm, and accelerated at the backend of the innings; the SRH skipper, who reached his half-century off 38 balls, finished unbeaten on 70 – scored from 43 balls.
For the hosts, Washington Sundar was the most successful bowler, while Navdeep Saini (2-39), Yuzvendra Chahal (1-24) and Kulwant Khejroliya (1-29) chipped in with a wicket each.
The Sunrisers scored 52 runs in the powerplay, added 76 runs for the loss of four wickets in the middle ten overs, and finished with 47 runs in the final four overs.
Standout batting performances
Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Mann helped RCB recover from 20 for 3 with an outstanding partnership. Looking at the way they went about resurrecting the innings, it appeared the two lads were having plenty of fun in the middle – and the runs were only incidental. Hetymer was the dominant partner in the association; he contributed 33 runs in the first 50 runs of their partnership and added 31 runs in the next 50 runs of their association.
Hetymer – who was dropped on 54 and 60 off consecutive deliveries – was ruthless on Rashid Khan; he hit the leg-spinner for four sixes and a boundary and scored 32 off 15 balls the Afghanistan bowler bowled to him.
At the other end, Gurkeerat accumulated his runs through running the singles early on. After being 21 from 23 balls, he accelerated to finish with 65 from 48 balls; the second part of his innings contained seven boundaries and a six – most of which were scored square of the wicket on both sides
In the evening, Kane Williamson, who walked out to bat after compatriot Martin Guptill was dismissed in the eighth over, played a captain’s knock for the Sunrisers. The 28-year old’s innings was a good mix of caution and aggression; he had scored 20 from his first 22 balls, and added 50 from the next 21 balls.
The first signs of aggression – and improvisation - from Williamson came in the fifteenth over when he walked across the stumps and pulled away Kulwany Khejroliya for sixes on the leg-side. Then, in the twentieth over, he took 23 runs off Umesh Yadav – most of them with proper cricket strokes; the first six was a lofted off-drive, the second was a boundary through the same region, the third was an agricultural hit over midwicket, and the fourth was a full toss sliced through point.
Standout bowling performance
Washington Sundar was introduced in the attack in the eighth over and caused a lot of damage in the first five balls he bowled. He struck with his second delivery when Guptill chipped a full-length delivery straight to Virat Kohli at mid-off. Two balls later, he struck a second blow when he had the Sunrisers’ man-in-form Manish Pandey caught at midwicket.
After a quiet second over – the tenth of the innings, he was handed the ball to bowl the fourteenth over, and struck again when, after being hit for consecutive sixes, he had Vijay Shankar caught at short fine-leg. The off-spinner wasn’t required to bowl a third over, and hence finished with figures of 3-0-24-3.
Notable Support Act – Bowling
Yuzvendra Chahal, called on to bowl the fourth over of the innings, was welcomed into the attack with three consecutive boundaries; Wriddhiman Saha was fortunate to score a boundary off the first ball, but then punished a short delivery that followed and created his own length the third ball. But Chahal came back strongly, and did not concede a boundary in the rest of his spell; he dismissed Yusuf Pathan – caught at extra cover – with his penultimate delivery, and finished with figures of 4-0-24-1.
Stat of the Match
With the wicket of Yusuf Pathan, Yuzvendra Chahal became the first RCB bowler to take 100 wickets in the IPL.
The 144-run partnership between Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Mann would be RCB’s best fourth wicket partnership in the IPL; the pair broke the previous record of 132 runs set by AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh against Rajasthan Royals in 2014.
RCB’s win in this match was Virat Kohli’s 50th win as captain in the IPL.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 178-6 in 19.2 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 75, Gurkeerat Mann 65, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-24, Khaleel Ahmed 3-37) defeated
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 175-7 (Kane Williamson 70*, Washington Sundar 3-24) by 4 wickets.
Man of the Match
Shimron Hetmyer, for his 47-ball 75.