An outstanding all-round bowling effort, followed by Kane Williamson’s masterly unbeaten 50 (44b, 2x4, 2x6), ensured Sunrisers Hyderabad continued its winning run, beating Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in the Eliminator at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Electing to bowl, SRH restricted RCB to 131 for seven, led by Jason Holder’s brilliant spell of three for 25. Despite a hiccup during the chase’s middle phase, Williamson made sure his side will face Delhi Capitals in the second Qualifier on Sunday.
SRH more than kept pace with the asking-rate in the PowerPlay, scoring 48. But it lost two wickets, including the big one of captain David Warner. RCB leg-spinners Adam Zampa and Yuzvendra Chahal made a contest of it, giving away only 20 in the next six overs and picking up two wickets.
SRH looked shaky at 68 for four after 12 overs. But Williamson, who had started scratchily, hit two crucial sixes, one each against Washington Sundar (14th over) and Chahal (16th over). Holder gave him steady support, the duo forging a 65-run stand for the unbroken fifth wicket. Holder’s 20-ball 24 included three boundaries, two of which came in the final over to seal the win.
Holder had earlier set the tone with the ball, in partnership with Sandeep Sharma, in the PowerPlay before spinners Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem applied the squeeze in the middle overs. A.B. de Villiers (56, 43b, 5x4) and Aaron Finch (32, 30b, 3x4, 1x6) were the only top-order batsmen to get into double figures.
Skipper Virat Kohli opened the innings to lead from the front, but the move did not work. He gloved a rising delivery from Holder down the leg-side to wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami — in for an injured Wriddhiman Saha — in the second over. RCB managed only 32 in the PowerPlay and the spinners did not let the pressure ease thereafter, with Nadeem, in particular, keeping de Villiers quiet while Rashid was at his accurate best.
Just as Finch started to find his feet — he slogged Rashid for the only six of the innings — Nadeem had the Australian caught by the deep-cover fielder. After being reduced to 62 for four by the 11th over, de Villiers took charge. But just when the South African was set for a final push to get RCB to a fighting total, Natarajan (two for 33) produced another of his brilliant yorkers to remove de Villiers’ middle-stump and help SRH finish the innings strongly.
Scoreboard Sunrisers Hyderabad Innings:
David Warner c de Villiers b Mohammed Siraj 17
Sreevats Goswami c de Villiers b Mohammed Siraj 0
Manish Pandey c de Villiers b Zampa 24
Kane Williamson not out 50
Priyam Garg c Zampa b Chahal 7
Jason Holder not out 24
Extras: (LB-5, NB-1, W-4) 10
Total: (for 4 wickets in 19.4 overs) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-43, 3-55, 4-67
Bowling: Mohammed Siraj 4-0-28-2, Navdeep Saini 3.4-0-31-0, Washington Sundar 2-0-21-0, Adam Zampa 4-0-12-1, Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-24-1, Moeen Ali 1-0-4-0, Shivam Dube 1-0-7-0.