Kane Williamson was at his usual best on Friday as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the low-scoring Eliminator to book the Qualifier 2 clash with Delhi Capitals in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Bowling first, Hyderabad had bundled Virat Kohli’s men for a paltry total of 131/7, thanks to Jason Holder’s 3/25. Natrajan (2/33) and Shahbaz Nadeem (1/30) also contributed to the team’s cause.
Chasing, Sunrisers Hyderabad faced a few problems at the beginning but Williamson’s (50 not-out of 44 balls) gritty knock at the middle ensured their survival. Holder (24 not-out of 20) played a crucial knock with the bat as well.
Warner (17) and Manish Pandey (24) shared a 41-run partnership for the second wicket before Siraj packed back the SRH opener in the sixth over.
It seemed RCB has tightened its grip in the contest as SRH endured a mini-collapse. After Warner, the ‘Orange Army’ went on to lose Pandey and Priyam Garg (7) within another 24 runs and were placed at 67/4 in 11.5 overs.
Williamson and Holder then took control of the proceedings, denying the RCB bowlers to make any further inroads. The duo’s brilliant batting in the middle ensured SRH crosses the line in the allotted time.
The contest however, turned a thrilling affair with SRH needing nine of the final over but Holder’s consecutive boundaries off Navdeep Saini (0/31) ensured the night belonged to SRH.
Williamson’s masterclass act contained two boundaries and as many sixes.
Earlier, all-rounder Holder scalped three wickets for 25 runs while T. Natarajan bagged two for 33 runs to restrict RCB at 131/7 wickets in the allotted 20 overs.
Put into bat, the RCB big names faltered when it mattered the most as Kohli (6), Devdutt Padikkal (1) fell cheaply as Holder accounted for both the wickets. It meant that Kohli’s ploy of opening the innings for RCB also backfired.
It was AB de Villers (56 off 43) gritty knock along with Aaron Finch’s 32 that saw RCB somehow limping to a moderate total. de Villiers knock contained five boundaries while Finch slammed three fours and a six.
Brief scores: SunRisers Hyderabad 132/4 wkts in 19.4 overs (Kane Williamson 50 not out, Jason Holder 24 not out; Mohammad Siraj 2/28) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 131/7 wkts in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 56, Aaron Finch 32; Jason Holder 3/25) by 6 wickets