Warner elected to bowl first in a do or die game for his team. Sandeep Sharma jolted the RCB lineup early on as he castled the in-form Devdutt Padikkal in the 3rd over. He followed it up with the prized scalp of skipper Kohli, for the record 7th time in IPL history. Phillipe, who was struggling big time to get his timing right, was joined by AB de Villiers. Spin was deployed once the powerplay got over to increase the pressure on RCB. Rashid and Nadeem were able to do that, with the latter nearly taking AB’s wicket, only to miss the tough return catch himself. AB then counterattacked, but after a four and a six, smashed a Nadeem delivery straight to Abhishek Sharma’s throat.
At 71-3 from 11 overs, RCB were looking set for a total to the north of 150, but four balls later, Philippe had a brain fade and threw his wicket to Rashid. Gurkeerat and Sundar then combined to do the rebuild work, but the run rate dropped considerably as a result of that. Sundar did show some intent by hitting a couple of fours, but got out at the hands of a brilliant return catch by Natarajan. Holder followed it up with a two wicket 19th over and Gurkeerat couldn’t do much on the other end, as RCB crawled their way to 120-7 at the end of their 20 overs.
SRH had to win this to stay relevant in the playoff race, and after a four run opening over by Morris, Warner decided to take on Sundar from the other end. His attack could last only two balls, as after a six, he hit one straight to Udana at mid-on. Pandey and Saha continued the attack started by Warner, as a superior run rate in the win would mean better chances for them. Pandey hit a six and a four in 3rd over against Saini and Saha replicated the feat against Siraj in the 6th over.
With their score reaching 58-1 at the end of 6 overs, SRH were in cruise mode, but it was Yuzi Chahal who came and brought life back in the match. Pandey miscued one to Morris, and that wicket led to a very quiet phase in the chase. Runs had dried down, but the situation still was well in control of SRH. Chahal, who had given just 5 runs in his first two overs, picked up the wicket of Saha in his third, and Udana got the crucial wicket of Williamson 6 balls later.
All of a sudden there was uncertainty where the match was headed, but Holder made light work of the task in hand as he played a blazing cameo of 26*(10), containing a four and three towering sixes. Only 25 runs were from 42 balls, but Saini was given the ball strangely ahead of Chahal, and the over itself cost 19 runs. With just six required, Holder smoked a six straight downtown as SRH won the match with nearly 6 overs to spare. Scorecard I Points Table
-- Jatin Shad