Royal Challengers Bangalore’s quest for the second spot all but ended with a four-run defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Chasing 142, RCB needed 13 from the final over, with AB de Villiers still at the crease. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar, despite being hit for a six off the fourth ball by the South African, held his nerve to lead SRH to only its third win of the campaign.
RCB lost Virat Kohli early, out leg-before while trying to hit Bhuvneshwar across the line, and Dan Christian and K.S. Bharat fell cheaply too. But Glenn Maxwell took charge, with Devdutt Padikkal (41, 52b, 4×4) playing second fiddle.
Maxwell hit Rashid Khan out of the attack with two sixes over deep mid-wicket and long-on and a swept four as he raced to 29 off 15 balls. But an off-balance Kane Williamson brilliantly ran the Aussie out with a direct hit from in front of cover to turn the match.
Padikkal couldn’t shift gears, and even the best efforts of Shahbaz Ahmed — two fours off Umran Malik in the 18th over – couldn’t save the day.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, Jason Roy top-scored for SRH with 44 (38b, 5×4), with the only bit of support coming from skipper Williamson (31, 29b, 4×4). The partnership was worth 70 runs for the second wicket.
Williamson was all class, hitting beautifully through the cover region, a boundary each off Mohammed Siraj and George Garton catching the eye. Roy, shaky initially, found some rhythm with a couple of hits to the fence off Shahbaz and Harshal Patel.
But from 50 for one after six overs, SRH added just 31 from overs seven to 11. In the 12th, Harshal got the prized wicket of Williamson, rearranging the Kiwi’s stumps with an off-cutter.
Roy chugged along but didn’t threaten to go big. Priyam Garg tried, lofting Yuzvendra Chahal for a six, but perished to Christian. The Aussie then caught and bowled Roy before Chahal trapped Abdul Samad in front.
From 105 for two, SRH was reduced to 105 for five, with Christian (3-0-14-2) and Harshal (4-0-33-3) doing the damage. But it was Williamson and Co. who had the last laugh.