After winning the toss, RCB chose to bowl first. Kohli wanted to win this game particularly for RCB fans and made the right choice of including Shimron Hetmyer in the playing XI. Umesh Yadav bowled amazing first over, giving just two runs but Navdeep Saini conceded 21 in the second over with two fours and a six. Saha smashed 3 boundaries in the next over off Chahal. RCB got their first success as Saini removed Saha in the fifth over and restricted SRH to 52 for 1 in 6 overs. Washington Sundar struck twice in the 8th over removing Guptill and Manish Pandey. SRH allowed just 19 from overs 7-10 but conceded more than 50 in next five overs. They removed Pathan, Nabi and Rashid quickly but could not remove Williamson till the end. Yadav’s last over was the most expensive with 28 runs and RCB received the target of 176.
RCB started the chase poorly as Patel, Kohli and de Villiers were back in the dugout in first 3 overs at the total of 20. What transpired then was a magical partnership between Gurkeerat Singh and Hetmyer. Both provided the match’s highest partnership of 144 runs 89 balls and snatched the game away from Sunrisers Hyderabad. They added 29 in overs 4-6. At halfway, RCB still needed 99 runs and a wicket here could have been disastrous, but both fought bravely and continued the chase. Hetmyer got saved in the 13th over when his catch was dropped when he was on 60. He got out finally in the 18th over and Gurkeerat followed him in the 19th over. But Yadav with his two boundaries off Nabi in the 20th over sealed the match with 4 balls to spare.
Shimron Hetmyer is the Man of the Match with 75 off just 47 deliveries that included 4 boundaries and 6 sixes. Gurkeerat scored 48 balls 65. Earlier, Sundar took 3 wickets for 24 runs and Saini bagged 2 for 39.
SRH were asked to bat first in the match which was vital to reach the playoffs. Guptill and Saha attacked Saini in the second over with two fours and a six. An overthrow from Kohli gave them an extra five runs too. Saha’s 3 boundaries in a row took SRH to 44 in four overs but he got out to Saini in the next over. Guptil and Pandey could not stay longer and after 10 overs, SRH only managed 71 runs with 3 wickets. Shankar got out to Sundar after hitting two sixes in the 14th over, which broke their 45 runs partnership. Only Williamson stayed till the end and ensured SRH a healthy total of 175 by fetching 28 runs from Yadav’s 20th over that included 2 sixes, 3 fours, and a no-ball.
Bowling and especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s opening spell has always been SRH’s strong point. Kumar got Parthiv Patel on a duck in the first over. And Khaleel Ahmed got the scalp of Kohli in the second over. SRH started visualizing the playoff’s ticket with Kumar removing de Villiers’ wicket in the third over. But they might not have envisaged what the next pair - Gurkeerat Singh and Hetmyer - could do. SRH gave just 49 runs in first 6 overs and 28 in overs 7-10. The required run rate was close to 10 at midway, but with a few misfielding, a few dropped chances they failed to break the partnership between Hetmyer and Gurkeerat. Finally, Rashid removed Hetmyer in the 18th over but it was too late as RCB needed just 12 off next 14 balls. Even Ahmed’s two wickets in the 19th over could not turn the match as Nabi was smashed with two boundaries by Yadav to close the match.
Kane Williamson scored solid 70 off 43 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes. Martin made 30 in 23 balls with 2 fours and 2 sixes, while Shankar scored 27 off 18 with 3 sixes. K Ahmed took 3 wickets for 37 runs and B Kumar got 2 for just 24 runs.
It was Royal Challengers Bangalore’s last match of the group stage as they are not qualified for the playoffs. With 5 wins, 8 losses and one abandoned game, they concluded at the 7th rank in the points table, which could change after the Match 55 between KXIP and CSK.
Sunrisers Hyderabad also played all their group-stage matches and despite losing the match they can still qualify for the playoffs, but for that, they are dependent on the outcome of the Match 56 to be played between MI and KKR on 5th May 2019.
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