Hyderabad [India], May 8 (ANI): Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) continued to maintain their dominance with the ball as they contained a strong star-studded batting line-up of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to eke out a narrow five-run win at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Monday and further strengthened their position at the top of the points table.
Earlier, RCB won the toss and elected to bowl first on a sluggish pitch.
Hyderabad lost openers Alex Hales (5) and Shikhar Dhawan (13) within the first six overs.
Batsman Manish Pandey (5) soon followed suit and it was then skipper Kane Williamson (56) and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan (35), who together stitched a crucial 64-run partnership to keep the hosts afloat.
Williamson showed his class as he played extravagant shots and did not take any undue risk during his 39-ball innings. He hit five fours and two sixes.
RCB’s Umesh Yadav then broke the partnership and soon there was a procession of batsmen coming and going.
Pacers Mohammad Siraj (3 for 35) and Tim Southee (3 for 30) then ripped through the middle and the lower order of SRH, not allowing them to score late runs in the death overs. In total, Hyderabad lost their last seven wickets for just 34 runs.
The duo was the pick of the bowlers for Bangalore, taking three wickets apiece.
Chasing 147, SRH had already defended four low scores in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
Shakib provided the first breakthrough for the 2016 champions when he dismissed Parthiv Patel for 20 runs.
Virat Kohli (39) then took center stage and played various shots to keep the scoreboard ticking for Bangalore and score at the required run rate.
His opposite number Williamson dropped a sitter when Kohli edged a Rashid Khan delivery. He was then on 33.
Shakib and Rashid then dismissed Kohli and the dangerman AB de Villiers (5) off successive overs to leave RCB’s chase in a mess.
While batsmen Mandeep Singh (21*) and Colin de Grandhomme (33) tried to match with the asking run rate by striking some lusty blows, the accuracy of Hyderabad’s bowling proved to be the difference in the end.
For Hyderabad, Shakib took 2 for 36, Rashid took 1 for 31, while the pacers took a wicket each.
Williamson was adjudged the Man of the Match for his splendid batting.
This was SRH’s fifth consecutive win. They are almost through to the playoffs, while RCB are almost out of contention for a spot in the last four with just three wins and seven losses on the board.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) will lock horns with Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Jaipur on Tuesday. (ANI)
This is published unedited from the ANI feed.