Royal Challengers Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore kept their hopes for playoffs alive with a 13-run win © BCCI

Royal Challengers Bangalore survived a scare from Sunrisers Hyderabad at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Thursday (May 17), defending 218 for 6 in a high-scoring game to win by 14 runs and keeping themselves in the playoffs race. While the visiting side did well, the home team won the crucial moments.

AB de Villiers’s burst with Moeen Ali: Virat Kohli spoke about playing with freedom heading into the final stages of the tournament, and there was no one better than de Villiers to execute that message. Bangalore lost Parthiv Patel early, but de Villiers announced his arrival in style with two boundaries off his first two balls. Kohli too fell early but de Villiers combined with Moeen to take the attack to the Hyderabad bowlers in a massive 107-run stand for the third wicket that gave Bangalore a solid platform.

Colin de Grandhomme’s grand finish: Just when it looked like de Villiers and Moeen would run away with the game, Rashid Khan struck twice in his final over to dismiss both batsmen and it looked like Bangalore might not finish as well they wanted to. De Grandhomme though, ensured that would not happen. He plundered a 17-ball 40 to propel the total to 218 for 6, finding boundaries at will. At the end, it was his knock that provided the Bangalore bowlers with the cushion at the death.

The brilliance of Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj: Kane Williamson has been batting like a dream in IPL 2018 and it was no different on Thursday. Despite chasing a tall target, Williamson remained unfazed, keeping Hyderabad on track with a magnificent 42-ball 81. He took calculated risks and found boundaries at the right time, which allowed Manish Pandey to find form. With 55 needed in the last four overs, it was down to the experience of Southee, who kept Bangalore ahead in the game by conceding only 21 runs in two overs at the death. That left 20 for Siraj to defend, which he did rather handsomely. It wasn’t easy with the dew but for once, Bangalore’s bowlers ensured the hard work of their batsman didn’t go in vain.