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RCB surge after Gayle, Kohli ace six-over chase

Royal Challengers Bangalore 83 for 4 in 5.5 overs (Kohli 44*, Gayle 35) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 135 for 3 in 11 overs (Henriques 57, Warner 52*) by six wickets (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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O'Brien: One heck of a finish by RCB

Despite Mosies Henriqes' all-round brilliance, Sunrisers fell short thanks to Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli's scintillating stroke-play in a rain truncated match

Rain has followed Royal Challengers Bangalore wherever they have gone this season. It denied them the opportunity to defend 200 against Rajasthan Royals. It reduced two of their games to 10-over slugfests. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad it showed up in spurts, first causing a curtailment to 11 overs a side, and resurfacing to reduce their task to scoring 81 in six overs.

It's hard to tell if it's easier to score 136 from 11 overs or 81 from six. In any event, Royal Challengers had Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Two of them fired. Gayle gave them the explosive start they needed, and Kohli batted through the six overs to finish the job. It came down to 12 off 4 balls, and Kohli took his side over the line with a couple of stunning placements - opening his bat-face to steer two Bhuvneshwar Kumar yorkers through a tightly packed off-side ring - and a fortuitous winning six - David Warner caught the ball at long-off but stepped on the boundary cushions while doing so.

You could say the six-over chase almost reduced the game to pure probability. Gayle cleared his front leg and went hard at everything. This is what you do when the resource allocation - 10 wickets to play with in six overs - allows you to take a risk every ball and the required rate - 13.50 runs per over - demands that you do so. Gayle, being Gayle, connected cleanly more often than not, and after two overs - delivered by Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar- he had moved to 35 off 9 balls and Royal Challengers were 41 for 0.

A risk is still a risk, though, and Gayle picked out deep midwicket off the third ball of the third over. Next ball, AB de Villiers lifted one straight into long-on's hands, and Moises Henriques - without doing anything more than simply run up and bowl - had dismissed Royal Challengers' two most dangerous batsmen in two balls. Henriques had also smashed 57 off 22 - helped along by three lives - to power Sunrisers to 135 for 3 when they had batted.

It could have been a match-winning all-round performance, and the likelihood of that increased when Dinesh Karthik ran himself out in comical fashion in the final over - he set off from the non-striker's end after his bat deflected a straight drive from Kohli straight to the bowler - but Kohli ensured that wouldn't be the case.

It isn't often that David Warner makes a 30-ball half-century and the batsman at the other end overshadows him. It is even rarer that David Warner makes a 30-ball half-century, the batsman at the other end overshadows him, and he finds himself on the losing side. Sunrisers might console themselves with the thought that they simply found themselves at the wrong end of the lottery that is a curtailed T20 game.

Sunrisers made an average start to their innings after choosing to bat, losing Shikhar Dhawan while moving to 27 in their first three overs. Warner picked up a couple of fours in that time, but the seamers were using the slower ball well and forcing a few plays-and-misses.

Henriques upped the tempo as soon as he arrived. He did so by keeping a still head and hitting down the ground. He showcased these virtues with two monster sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal's legspin and a skimming hit over long-off when Ashok Dinda slightly misdirected an attempted yorker. He also enjoyed massive slices of fortune. Mandeep Singh dropped a straightforward chance at long-off, Sarfaraz Khan put down an even easier chance at point, and Harshal Patel, swooping in his follow-through to find Henriques turning back halfway down the pitch, under-armed hastily at the stumps and missed.

Henriques moved to his fifty in the next over and Warner, not at his most fluent in the beginning, joined in the fun, switching to a right-handed grip to muscle Chahal for a slog-swept six over point. The rain was beginning to intensify by now, and Kohli and Karthik protested animatedly when the umpires kept the players on the field even when it became palpably heavy during the final over. Royal Challengers were clearly frazzled. Their fielders were finding it difficult to run over the outfield, their bowlers were struggling to grip the ball, and Sunrisers were setting them an outlandish target. But they always knew they had the batting to pull it off.

A Landmark

2519

Runs scored by David Warner in the IPL, the second-most by any overseas batsman after Chris Gayle (3099).

Smoking Moises

259

Moises Henriques' strike rate (57 off 22), the highest by any Sunrisers batsman in an IPL game (min. 50 runs)

Finally!

205

Balls bowled by Mitchell Starc this IPL before conceding his first six (by Eoin Morgan)

True T20 Style

240

Strike rate during the Henriques-Warner partnership (103 off 43 balls), the second-highest for any 50+ 2nd-wicket partnership in IPL history.

Quick off the blocks

48

Balls in which Sunrisers got to 100, the second-fastest of this IPL after Super Kings (41 balls)

No Rub of the Green

4

Number of rain-affected matches that Royal Challengers Bangalore have now been part of this season.