In a must-win game, Sunrisers Hyderabad were on top of their game against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah on Saturday. They emerged victorious by five wickets to stay alive in the Playoffs race.
David Warner and his men have jumped from seventh place to fourth in the points table. Four teams are on 12 points, but a healthy net run rate has helped them stay above the other three teams.
It was a game, where Hyderabad dominated proceedings with both the bat and ball. After their bowlers restricted Bangalore to 120/1, they reached the target in the 15th over.
Such low scores tend to be tricky, but Wriddhiman Saha and Manish Pandey played important innings despite Warner being dismissed for eight runs.
Pandey decided to play the aggressor’s role to some good effect. The Karnataka man hit three fours and a six in his 19-ball 26, which put them in a good position.
Saha (32) was also dealing with boundaries from time to time and releasing the pressure if any. He looked in control during the chase.
Though Hyderabad did come under pressure in the middle overs as they slid from 60/1 to 87/4, they did not panic.
In fact, Holder counter-attacked and applied finishing touches with a 10-ball 26, which included three sixes and one four to see his team home.
Earlier, Bangalore never really got going in the first innings. Despite a couple of players getting some starts, they could not convert it into meaningful scores.
After Devdutt Padikal lost his wicket in the third over, Virat Kohli just managed just seven. AB de Villiers and Josh Philippe were trying their best to score runs in the middle overs. But, it was not an easy task against a top leg-spinner in the form of Rashid Khan, who took advantage of the slow conditions.
The duo were involved in a 43-run partnership as the South African was dismissed by Shahbaz Nadeem, and Philippe also followed him back the next over.
With two new players -- Washington Sundar and Gurkeerat Singh Mann -- at the crease, it was not going to be any easy on a slow batting surface.
The former managed a couple of boundaries in his 18-ball 21, but after his wicket, it was a struggle for the lower order batsmen. No one could make any impact and with Gurkeerat’s 24-ball 15, the total did not prove to be enough.
Bangalore might still be in second place, but they cannot afford to lose to Delhi Capitals in their last game else they might have to depend on other results going their way.