Kane Williamson played one of the most alluring knocks in IPL © IANS
Kane Williamson played one of the most alluring knocks in IPL © IANS

Twenty runs were required of the final over. Mohammed Siraj was thrown into deep water. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had never chased a score this big. Chasing 219 is anyway a mountain against any attack. Kane Williamson was in the middle of one of the most alluring knocks and Manish Pandey had found his feet. Then Williamson went for a scoop, and Siraj had him caught inches inside the ropes at deep fine-leg, ending a 67-ball 135 run stand for the third wicket.

Then Pandey tried to be too cute and missed the reverse scoop — not for the first time in the day. Then followed a single. 19 off 3 balls meant 3 sixes. Deepak Hooda tried but could not clear the 30-yard circle and Virat Kohli dropped a simple chance. It was that kind of a day where dropped chances, misfields, stunners and boundaries were aplenty. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had sealed it by then. RCB won Match 51 of the VIVO IPL by 14 runs to keep their hopes of advancing to the Playoffs alive. In fact, they leapfrogged to the fifth spot.

Chasing 11 an over, SRH were off to an aggressive start with Alex Hales taking charge. Shikhar Dhawan struck 2 sixes before being done by Yuzvendra Chahal. Hales survived a stroke of luck when he found Tim Southee at deep mid-wicket, who charged at the ball and took a fine catch. However, the third umpire felt otherwise, believing that Southee had grassed the catch and ruled it in batsmen’s favour.

Hales continued the charge before being AB de Villiers leapt up in the air to his right and plucked a ridiculous catch out of thin air to send him back.

Then began the Williamson show. He was at his classical best but found the ropes at will and often cleared them. Pandey took his time to get going but things changed in the 15th over where he smacked Colin de Grandhomme for 2 fours and a six. Williamson, in the meantime, had brought up his fourth consecutive fifty.

Williamson’s batting was about intelligence, timing and smart use of the bowler’s pace. The combination made it one of the most attractive innings played in IPL history. He also became the second (after KL Rahul) this season to surpass the 600-run mark this season.

Southee returned to bowl a superb 17th over, giving away just six and getting the required rate up to 18. Pandey greeted Siraj with six and four of his first 2 balls. Siraj came back well to give away just 4 off his final 4 balls. SRH needed 35 off the final 2 overs. 15 came off Southee’s final over but Pandey’s misses outside off did not help SRH’s cause.

Earlier, on a placid batting track, RCB were helped to the huge total courtesy a 107-run stand between Moeen Ali and de Villiers. De Grandhomme (40 off 17) and Sarfraz Khan (22 off 8) provided the innings an apt end after Rashid Khan’s sensational spell of 4-0-27-3. Rashid got the better of Kohli with a googly before dismissing both AB and Moeen, and even pulled off a stunner to send de Villiers back.

More on first innings

Earlier, SRH had elected to bowl and rested Bhuvneshwar Kumar. His replacement Basil Thampi finished with 4-0-70-0, the most expensive spell in IPL history.

Brief scores

Royal Challengers Bangalore 218 for 6 in 20 overs [AB de Villiers 69 (39), Moeen Ali 65 (34), Colin de Grandhomme 40 (17), Sarfraz Khan 22 (8)*; Rashid Khan 4-0-27-3] beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 204 for 3 in 20 overs [Alex Hales 37 (24), Kane Williamson 81 (42)*, Manish Pandey 62 (38)*; Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-28-1] by 14 runs.

Player of the Match: AB de Villiers.

Full Scorecard