Royal rumble, SRH fumble

Hetmyer & Gurkeerat propel Bangalore to consolation win, keep Hyderabad waiting for playoff spot

Published: 05th May 2019 01:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2019 11:04 AM   |  A+A-

RCB skipper Virat Kohli celebrates after the dismissal of KXIP batsman KL Rahul. (Photo | PTI)

RCB skipper Virat Kohli celebrates after the dismissal of KXIP batsman KL Rahul. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU : Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson was staring at the pitch before Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli had even arrived for the toss. One could sense the tense mood in the Hyderabad camp, as they had to win to ensure a playoff spot. The home team had only pride to play for.

It looked like Bangalore’s wretched season would have a disappointing end when they lost their top three for 20 chasing 176. That’s when Shimron Hetmyer (75 off 47, 4x4, 6x6) played his first substantial knock of the season. He had Gurkeerat Mann (65 off 48, 8x4, 1x6)for company. Their 144-run partnership handed Bangalore a consolation win and kept Hyderabad waiting. They will qualify if Kolkata Knight Riders lose to Mumabi Indians in the last league match of the competition on Sunday.

One did not expect the situation to come to this, especially after Hyderabad had dismissed Kohli, AB de Villiers and Parthiv Patel early on. But, little did one know that Hetmyer and Gurkeerat had other plans. Bought for `4.2 crore and having made 0, 5, 9, 1 in the previous innings he had played, Hetmyer was in his zone, hitting back-to-back fours in the fourth over. It seemed the left-hander was up to something special when he hit Rashid Khan for a six soon after.

Credit goes also to Gurkeerat, who was not only giving the strike to the West Indian, but also hitting boundaries to release pressure. The combination worked well. If Hetmyer made the home team believe, Gurkeerat raised hopes in the latter half of the partnership.

Even though Hetmyer and Gurkeerat were out in the 18th and the 19th over, respectively, Bangalore held their nerve with Umesh Yadav hitting boundaries off the first two balls of the 20th, when they needed six. It was redemption of sorts for Umesh, who had been hammered for 28 in the last over of the first innings.

The combined effort of Hetmyer and Gurkeerat undid the splendid work of Williamson. The New Zealand captain played calculated cricket to score a 43-ball 70 not out. He came in at 60/2, after openers Martin Guptill (30) and Wriddhiman Saha (20) fell in quick succession. He did not play shots early on, which was understandable as the player wanted to get his eye in. After losing another wicket, Hyderabad had to rebuild. Vijay Shankar did that job with his skipper. The duo did not take risks, hitting the occasional boundary and relying mostly on singles to keep the runs flowing.

Vijay opened his shoulders afterwards, smashing three sixes in 10 balls, but he went for one shot too many to become Washington Sundar’s third victim. Williamson shifted gears around the 15th over. He unleashed his best in the final over, hitting Umesh for two fours and two sixes to help his team reach 175.


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