Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in IPL Eliminator in Abu Dhabi.
After a dull and one-sided Qualifier 1, where the defending champions Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians (MI) became the first finalist of IPL 2020 edition beating Delhi Capitals (DC), the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) locked horns with David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Eliminator on Friday (November 06).
While RCB entered the playoffs on the back of four successive defeats, SRH had the momentum in their grasp with three consecutive wins. Talking about the two teams’ face-off this season, both had defeated the other once in the group stages. Hence, not much separated the two teams as the match went down the wire before SRH won by 6 wickets to set up a Qualifier 2 date with Shreyas Iyer-led DC line-up.
Opting to bowl first, Warner-led SRH kept RCB on the back foot for the entire course of their innings. While skipper Kohli opened along with in-form Devdutt Padikkal, he was removed early by Jason Holder. The West Indian all-rounder struck again to get rid of Padikkal as RCB were reeling at 15 for 2.
With a strong middle-order comprising AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali and Aaron Finch, RCB still remained behind as the likes of Sandeep Sharma, Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem remained economical. Finch perished for a 30-ball 32, taking on Nadeem, whereas Moeen was run-out on a free-hit. Thus, a lot was left for de Villiers to take RCB to a challenging total, in excess of 150. RCB failed to accelerate freely as T Natarajan’s yorker dismissed de Villiers (52). With this, RCB were restricted to 131/7.
In reply, SRH lost Wriddhiman Saha’s replacement, Sreevats Goswami, for a duck. Warner was helped by Manish Pandey’s attacking instincts as the two began the repair work. Against the run of play, the Aussie opener was adjudged out by the third umpire as he got a faint edge off Mohammad Siraj to give him his second scalp of the evening.
With Kohli rotating his spinners, with no dew on offer, RCB led their way back into the contest. Adam Zampa’s selection proved right as he returned with 1 for 12 whereas Yuzvendra Chahal also accounted for the scalp of Priyam Garg.
However, Kane Williamson (50) got an able partner in Holder (24), who was riding high on confidence following his 3 for 25. While the duo took some time, they got the boundaries at regular intervals — targetting Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube and punishing the poor deliveries of prime bowlers like Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj. They ran hard between wickets and maintained composure to lead their side to a memorable win.
Their unbeaten 65-run stand, for the fifth-wicket, ended RCB’s run despite their spirited effort in defence of 132 at Abu Dhabi.