The Indian Premier League (IPL) witnessed one of the best matches in its history when Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) clashed at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday. It was one heck of a game as the champions players put their hands up for their respective teams and a high-class entertainment was on show for the jam-packed crowd.
However, it was the home side which prevailed in the thriller and won the game by 14 runs to stay alive in the tournament.
After losing the toss, Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel were dismissed early but very few knew what was going to come later.
AB de Villiers was in the flow as he just went berserk from the word go to slam a fifty off just 32 balls.
He got an able partner in Moeen Ali who finally came to the party with the bat and smashed the ball to all the parts of the ground to score a 25-ball half-century.
The heroic partnership between them was followed by a crazy period of hitting by Colin de Grandhomme and Sarfaraz Khan.
While the former hammered 40 runs off just 17 deliveries, Sarfaraz smashed a quickfire 22 off 8 cherries which came his way. RCB posted a gigantic total of 218 runs for the loss of 6 wickets after 20 overs.
The chase was, however, completely on with the way the openers of the Sunrisers started hitting the ball. They added 47 runs for the first wicket and then the mantle was taken over by Kane Williamson.
Meanwhile, De Villiers turned into a Superman to take a wonderful and jaw-dropping catch of Alex Hales at the deep mid-wicket who was looking dangerous.
But the skipper of the Orange Army was high-class today who single-handedly kept them in the chase until the 14th over. His partner Manish Pandey the came to the party with his T20 pyrotechnics.
Both made it look so simple and the equation was brought down to 35 off the last two overs. Once again, it was the duo of Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj who defended the runs and only conceded 20.
It was the latter who gave away only 5 runs in the last over to keep the hopes of the playoffs qualification alive for RCB.
Man of the Match, AB de Villiers said:
It is an amazing feeling. Crazy game of cricket. The crowd got behind us and we managed to pull it through. I felt I was in a bit of a puddle when I got out there. At times we were average.
I was very happy that I pulled off that nice catch off. I look to put a bit of pressure on the bowlers and I am human after all. I am either going to falter under pressure or they are. So, I always try to put them under pressure.
If I get one or two away and take it forward. I made it look better than actually it was. Got into a bad position, the ball had a bit of a curve on it.
The minute I took the jump, I realized a little bit of my body was outside. I just had to put that right and luckily it stuck. It would be great to make the knock-outs.
Hopefully, we do get through. Lots got to happen. First of all, the most uimportant thing is we need to win the next game. Then it comes down to the run rate and who knows.
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, Virat Kohli said:
I have seen many of these games before. Just had to stay calm at the end of it. After a point of time, you need to understand that the bowlers are in control of what they want to do. We have two games like this. The one against Mumbai was something similar.
The wicket was very good and in the second innings, there was a lot of dew. Hats off to the bowlers for maintaining the composure and giving us two points. The last three games have been like this with our backs against the wall.
We head to Rajasthan with momentum on our side. The team is feeling great. Someone stepping up every time and that is what you expect in a team game. Tonight ABD and Moeen were superb with the bat with Colin chipping in. We are pretty comfortable with the side.
Moeen has come in and done very well for us. Tonight his knock was superb and hats off to him for grabbing his opportunity. He is providing us with the balance that we require. Teams don’t want us to win. That is a great position to be in. We sense fear and pounce. That has been the case.
That was Spiderman stuff (about ABD’s catch). You don’t do that as normal human beings. I thought it was going for a six but he pulled it off. I thought it was going for a six, but he pulls it out, then the jump and then the balance. I mean he can do freakish things but I am used to it now. His shots still leave me in awe but his fielding I am pretty used to now.
Need to thank the crowd as it is our last home game. They have been brilliant and the support is something that we are grateful for.
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, Kane Williamson said:
I think if we are honest, we missed the trick a little bit with the ball. RCB were fantastic in batting, put us under pressure from ball one and got a good total. When you’re chasing, a lot needs to go your way and you need to make very good decisions.
At key times towards the end, the runs didn’t come. The boys fought hard, and we’ll move forward from this. (Thoughts during the innings break) The surface here is tough generally; today was a good wicket obviously. It was important for us to not get carried away early on.
The ball flies at this ground, so you can make up. We were close but not close enough. (On what he’s done about his consistency) It’s about playing your role for the team, as well as you can. We played on a number of tough wickets.
We have to find that balance and get some momentum. Credit to RCB again; they deserve to win. They bowled nicely towards the end.