Sunrisers Hyderabad 146 (Williamson 56, Siraj 3-25, Southee 3-30) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 141 for 6 (Kohli 39, De Grandhomme 33*, Shakib 2-36) by five runs
Sunrisers Hyderabad lost their last seven wickets for 34 runs in four overs, but their bowling attack bailed them out again to put Royal Challengers Bangalore on the brink of elimination.
Kane Williamson was front and centre in Sunrisers' innings, making 56 off 39 balls on a two-paced pitch, where most other batsmen struggled. He later dropped Virat Kohli on 33, and fell on his back, but came away smiling in the end.
RCB's chase of 147 fell apart when Kohli and AB De Villiers fell in successive overs for the second game in a row and even though Colin De Grandhomme struck some late blows, the asking rate and the skill of Sunrisers' attack was too much to overcome. Bhuvneshwar Kumar defended 11 runs off the last over to help Sunrisers open up a two-point lead at the top of the table.
RCB's bowlers quickly read the Hyderabad pitch, and ventured cross-seamers and a variety of slower balls. One such cross-seamer from Tim Southee stuck in the pitch and floored Alex Hales' middle stump in the third over. Moeen Ali, who was making his IPL debut, and the seamers straightjacketed Shikhar Dhawan by offering very little room. Only three out of 19 balls he faced finished wide outside off. He laboured to 13 before splicing a Mohammed Siraj short ball to deep square leg. Kohli made life more difficult for the batsmen with smart field placements. He posted himself at short cover for Manish Pandey, who simply chipped a catch to the RCB captain. It was Yuzvendra Chahal's first wicket away from home in IPL 2018.
Williamson rises above another tough pitch
On a similar sluggish pitch in Jaipur last week, Williamson made a masterful 63 off 43 balls. He may not have the raw power but his ability to manoeuvre the ball into the gaps makes him such a good player even on bad pitches. On Monday night, he got his eye in and then forced the pace. He scored 31 off his first 29 balls before cranking up the tempo and hitting 25 off his next nine balls. Umesh Yadav, ultimately, had him holing out to long leg but not before the Sunrisers captain had brought up his fifth fifty of the season. The shot of the night came when he fetched a wide legbreak and slog-swept it against the break over the midwicket boundary. RCB came back at the death courtesy two late wickets from Siraj, and went into the break with momentum.
Rashid v Kohli and De Villiers
After a cameo from Parthiv Patel, Kohli launched the chase with a flurry of boundaries, including a fierce short-arm jab through midwicket off the left-arm spinner. By the end of the Powerplay, RCB had shaved 55 off the target. Enter Rashid Khan, who was bowling to Kohli for the first time in T20s. His sixth ball to Kohli drew an outside edge, but Williamson dropped a simple catch at slip. On 33 then, Kohli could add just six more before Yusuf Pathan plucked a one-handed catch that he initially misjudged at short third man off Shakib.
Rashid's first ball to de Villiers drew a review for caught behind from Sunrisers, but he survived as replays showed no bat on his leg-side swipe. Then came a fizzing legbreak, which de Villiers edged past short third man. Then came the wrong'un, which he chopped onto his stumps. For the second time in successive games, RCB's big two had fallen in successive overs.
Siddarth Kaul then had Moeen feathering one behind to leave RCB at 84 for 5 in the 12th over. It took a period of calm from Mandeep Singh and de Grandhomme to bring it down to 39 off 24 balls. Williamson summoned Rashid, and he was welcomed with two muscular hits for six from de Grandhomme. Off the next over, Bhuvneshwar was picked off for a boundary to narrow the equation to 19 off 12 balls. Kaul and Bhuvneshwar, however, closed the game out with a slew of yorkers, giving nothing away to the set pair at the crease.