Sunrisers Hyderabad have made it a habit of defending modest totals and they did it once again against Royal Challengers Bangalore at home on Monday, thus ending Virat Kohli and Co's hopes of making it to the play-offs once and for all.
RCB skipper Kohli confidently chose to field first after winning the toss and the bowlers did a pretty good job restricting the home side to a mere 146 runs.
Credit goes to the way Mohammed Siraj and Tim Southee bowled, picking up three wickets each.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Moeen Ali supported them well with economical spells. If not for Kane Williamson’s splendid knock of 54 runs and Shakib Al Hasan’s supporting act of 35 runs, the Sunrisers probably would have ended up with an even lower total.
However, the RCB batsmen messed up once again, losing wickets at regular intervals and ultimately falling short of the target by six runs.
They looked on course till Kohli was batting. But once he departed after a stupendous catch by Yusuf Pathan, having played a breezy knock of 39 runs, Hyderabad started tightening their grip.
AB de Villiers disappointed once again ending up with a single-digit score. Colin de Grandhomme and Mandeep Singh tried their best till the end but couldn't see their team over the line.
Let us now have a look at the performance of the players invloved in the match and rate them on a scale of ten:
He walked out to bat when the Sunrisers lost Alex Hales cheaply with the scoreboard reading 15/1. Williamson was a silent spectator at the other end as Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey departed in quick succession too.
The SRH captain began slowly and first tried to get accustomed to the pace of the wicket. Once he got a measure of it, he took Umesh Yadav to the cleaners and thus brought up his fifth fifty of the season in just 35 deliveries. He stitched a valuable partnership of 74 runs for the fifth wicket with Shakib and took his team’s score to a respectable 118/3 before he departed trying to hit Umesh over the fine leg boundary once again. His only mistake in the match was dropping Kohli’s catch which didn’t turn out to be costly in the end. He was also deservedly adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’.
Shakib Al Hasan
The Bangladeshi all-rounder has been a regular starter for Hyderabad throughout this season and has made a valuable contribution in every game either with bat or with ball if not with both. Monday was no different as he provided his skipper Williamson able support with the bat to bail the team out of trouble and then returned to pick up two crucial wickets to help defend a low score. His 35 runs with the bat and bowling figures of 2/36 in four overs which included the wicket of Parthiv Patel and the prized scalp of Kohli turned the game on its head.
Siraj hasn’t had the best of outings with the ball in recent times. However, he was excellent in this match, breathing fire with his pace on a slow pitch and foxing the SRH batsmen with his variations as well. And if those were not enough, he showed considerable improvement in his bowling with his use of yorkers. He finished with figures of 3/25 in his four overs which included the crucial wickets of Dhawan, Pathan and Wriddhiman Saha.
Southee continued his impressive run with the ball in this match as well. He gave RCB an early breakthrough in the form of Hales in only the third over of the innings and then returned at the death once again to claim the wickets of Shakib and Sandeep Sharma. The New Zealand pacer registered figures of 3/30 in his four overs which helped his team to bundle out the Sunrisers for just 146 runs.
Sandeep started this campaign as a back-up bowler for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, he grabbed his opportunity once Bhuvneshwar got injured and has produced some impressive performances with the ball. His contribution with the ball was invaluable in this match too. He didn’t let Bangalore’s batsmen get away easily and also claimed Manan Vohra’s wicket, ending up with figures of 1/20 in his four overs.
Bhuvneshwar was once again instrumental in defending a modest total for the Sunrisers. He bowled upfront, in the middle overs and also the very last over and kept everything at check on all three occasions. He registered bowling figures of 4-0-27-1 with the wicket coming off the very last delivery of the last over in which he successfully defended 12 runs.
Kaul, like Bhuvneshwar and Sandeep, bowled his heart out. He bowled some impeccable yorkers and his knuckle balls were totally on the mark every time he bowled them. He claimed the wicket of debutant Moeen Ali and registered economical figures of 4-0-25-1.
Chahal has been extremely unlucky this season. He has bowled some excellent spells yet hasn’t got his rewards, and wickets have tended to elude him. He picked up his first wicket in three matches on Monday when he tricked Pandey into poking at a flighted delivery straight to the hands of Kohli at short cover. Chahal returned bowling figures of 4-0-25-1 and thus tightened the screws on the Sunrisers’ scoring rate.
Colin de Grandhomme
De Grandhomme tried his best to get the Royal Challengers over the line. The main highlight of his innings was when he hit Rashid Khan for two sixes in quick succession in the 18th over, taking the game right down to the wire. He was there till the last delivery when Bangalore needed six to win but Bhuvneshwar turned out to be too good for him as he was clean bowled for a fighting knock of 33 runs. He had also bowled a good over earlier on in the match conceding just eight runs.
Kohli began his innings with some scintillating shots leaving the spectators absolutely spellbound. He seemed like batting on a totally different pitch as compared to the other bowlers as he played with ease and timed his shots to perfection. However, his innings of 39 runs off 30 deliveries was brought to an end by a one-handed stunner from Pathan in the 10th over of the innings off Shakib’s bowling.
Rashid continued his habit of picking up the most crucial wickets and turning the match in his team’s favour. He put an end to Bangalore’s hopes of chasing down that total when he cleaned up de Villiers with a well-disguised googly. Although he was hit for two sixes in his final over by de Grandhomme, he still registered decent bowling figures of 4-0-31-1.
When read on the scorecard, Pathan’s contribution of 12 runs off seven deliveries and one catch might not seem too significant. However, those runs towards the end were absolutely valuable and were probably what gave the Sunrisers the edge in the match. Moreover, his one-handed catch to dismiss Kohli changed the course of the match completely in the Sunrisers’ favour.
Moeen’s debut Indian Premier League (IPL) match didn’t go quite well despite a decent performance with the ball. He opened the bowling attack for Bangalore and conceded just four runs in that over. Later he bowled two more tight overs and ended up with figures of 0/19 in three overs. He also made a promising start with the bat, hitting two boundaries in quick time, but was dismissed soon as he nicked a delivery from Kaul straight into the big gloves of Saha behind the wicket.
Patel began his innings nicely, hitting some sweetly-timed boundaries. He got Bangalore off to the start they wanted as he took the attack to the Sunrisers bowlers, scoring 20 runs off 12 deliveries before Shakib outfoxed him and trapped him plumb in front of the stumps in the third over of the innings.
Mandeep tried his best like de Grandhomme but his unbeaten knock of 21 runs at less than a-run-a-ball wasn’t enough to see his team through. He struggled to get the boundaries when required due to some tight bowling from the Sunrisers bowlers. But he didn’t try to be innovative in his approach which could have changed things for the better.
Saha’s contribution to the Sunrisers total was only eight runs off five deliveries. However, he was neat and tidy behind the stumps in such a tight run chase. Wicketkeepers with his abilities and skills are of utmost importance to back up a good bowling side having quality spinners like Rashid. And Saha reiterated that in this match.
Umesh was pretty wayward in this match. He was not at all effective with the new ball nor did he turn out to be lethal at the death. He was taken for runs by Williamson before luck smiled on him to hand him the wicket of the man who smashed him to all parts of the ground. He leaked runs at a rate of nine, while the Sunrisers scored at a rate of just over seven runs overall. His figures were a very unimpressive 4-0-36-1.
When batsmen consume too many deliveries in T20s, they have to make sure that they convert the start into a big score. Dhawan, however, couldn't do that. He departed after consuming 19 deliveries for his 13 runs and thus helped Bangalore gain the early momentum in the match.
After two consecutive scores of 45 in the previous two matches, Hales departed cheaply on Monday having scored just five runs. He started off with his usual attacking mindset, hitting a four over mid-off. However, he was clean bowled a little later by a beautiful in-dipper from Southee.
Pandey was beautifully set up by Kohli and Yuzvendra Chahal. Pandey has a habit of playing a lot with his bottom hand. Since the wicket was slow, Kohli placed himself at short cover and the plan worked to perfection as Pandey poked at a slow and flighted delivery from Chahal straight to the safe hands of Kohli. Five runs was all that Pandey could contribute to the team total.
Vohra hasn’t had the best of outings in Bangalore colours except in his previous innings. He struggled in this match as well and was ultimately bowled by Sandeep Sharma in the eighth over of the innings for a contribution of eight runs.
AB de Villiers
De Villiers hasn’t had the best of times after returning from illness into the playing XI. He was once again out cheaply as he misread a googly from Rashid, went back and tried to cut, only to see the ball crash straight into his stumps.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor