Wrapping it up

Over 400 runs. Two 200+ totals. Some outstanding individual knocks. Sensational catches. And, a last over finish. The crowd at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium must have been thoroughly entertained. Definitely one of the best matches of this season. And, Royal Challengers, with this win, are fifth on the points table. On Sunday, they will face Rajasthan Royals – once again, that would be a do or die match for them. But they look more settled and look dangerous.

AB de Villiers is man of the match for a sensational knock and the ‘Spiderman catch’:

“It’s an amazing feeling when they chant my name,” he says as the Bengaluru crowd chants “ABD ABD”

“I look to put pressure on the bowlers. I’m human after all. If I get one or two away, I have momentum going my way.”

“With the catch, I made it look tougher than it was. It curved away late, luckily it stuck. I got into a bad position.”

Virat Kohli: Seen many of these games before. Have to stay calm, after a point, you have to understand the bowlers are in control. To be fair to them, it wasn’t easy. There was dew as well, hats off to them for keeping their composure. Now, we head to Rajasthan with momentum on our side. The team’s feeling great.

AB, Moeen and Colin were outstanding tonight. Moeen’s come in and done a great job for us, hats off to him for grabbing opportunities with both hands. He’s given us the balance. We’re happy with the XI now, it’s settled. Teams don’t want us to win, looking at the strength, they want us to not win. We sense fear and we pounce.

AB’s catch was spiderman stuff, you don’t do that as normal human beings. His shots still leave me in awe, the fielding unbelievable.

Kane Williamson: We missed the trick with the ball. RCB have a fantastic batting line-up and put us under pressure. When you’re chasing a total like that, you need to make right decisions, at key times in the chase. We didn’t. But there’s a lot to learn as we move forward.

19.6 ONE. Pandey takes a wild swing. He will get only a single. Even if it was a six, it wouldn’t have mattered, for RCB have won this match by 14 runs! They stay alive in the IPL!

19.5 TWO. Pandey cuts this over point. All he can get is a couple.

19.4 Looks like Kohli dropped a catch at long off. But the crowd roars “RCB RCB”

19.3 1lb. Full toss, but Pandey cant get it to the boundary. Unless Siraj bowls extras, RCB have this match on their pocket.

19.2 Dot. Pandey tries a ramp, misses.

19.1 OUT! Williamson’s out after trying to clear fine leg. Grandhomme remains steady to take that skier.

After 19 overs, SRH 199/2 (Williamson 81, Pandey 59): Southee doesn’t get his wide yorkers right like he did in his last over. 15 runs given away (a few due to some misfields – Kohli just laughed at them). Okay, 20 required off the last over.

After 18 overs, SRH 184/2 (Williamson 80, Pandey 46): Manish Pandey’s on fire! Plays two ABD-esque strokes to begin the over. First ball, he goes across the stumps and uses Siraj’s pace to loft the ball over square leg for a six. Then, off the next ball, he gets into the same position but after finding the ball pitched outside off, upper-cuts it over short third man. But Siraj keeps it tight in the next four balls. Just four off them. RCB need 35 off 12.

After 17 overs, SRH 170/2 (Williamson 80, Pandey 34): Wonderful over by Tim Southee. Just six off it. Nice mix of wide yorkers and slower deliveries. SRH need 49 off 18 now. Ooh, this is getting really exciting.

After 16 overs, SRH 164/2 (Williamson 78, Pandey 30): Pandey survives a close run out chance. Would have been a shame if he’d gotten out like that when, finally, he’s getting back to his best. We have an exciting finish on cards. Chahal finishes his fine spell of 1/28.

After 15 overs, SRH 152/2 (Williamson 76, Pandey 21): “If you give Kane Williamson an axe, he’d still cut down a tree so smoothly,” says Harsha Bhogle on air as the SRH skipper’s wristy flick sends a Grandhomme delivery over square leg. But Pandey has come to the party too. Two fours and a six he scored in that over. 22 runs off it. SRH is inching closer to the required rate.

After 13 overs, SRH 117/2 (Williamson 58, Pandey 4): And, Williamson gets to Fifty No. 11 in the IPL (eighth in this season). And, he’s gotten those many in just 28 games. King of consistency. Finishes the over with a six (off pull) to deep midwicket. But Williamson will need Pandey to fire at the other end.

After 12 overs, SRH 94/2 (Williamson 48, Pandey 2): Manish Pandey has started slow again. 2 off 7. But Williamson making up at the other end. A six (off a pull) over deep midwicket and a four to point. He’s just two short of his fifty.

After 11 overs, SRH 94/2 (Williamson 37, Pandey 2): Another fine, fine over by Yuzvendra Chahal. Just three runs off it. And four dots. That’s precious in this match that’s been dominated by the willow wielders.

After 10 overs, SRH 91/2 (Williamson 34, Pandey 2): That’s some superb batting by Kane Williamson. One whippy on drive that goes past wide long on, one ferocious pull and one six over deep midwicket.

After 8 overs, SRH 64/2 (Williamson 9): WICKET! To end the over. ABD takes a blinder at deep midwicket. That Hales hit, when it was struck, surely seemed to cross the ropes. But Superman de Villiers gets airborne puts out his right hand, holds the ball, lands, and gets ready to be smothered by his jubiliant teammates. Sunrisers chances of winning the game has dented with Hales’ wicket.

After 7 overs, SRH 60/1 Hales 35, Williamson 7): Brilliant over by Umesh Yadav after Dhawan’s wicket. Just four runs from it. The pressure of the mounting required rate will be there for the SRH. But the man in the middle, Williamson, has to soak in all that and hope for Hales to play a big innings tonight.

WICKET! It’s the big one of Dhawan. He’s been done in. Tries to go big over cover but has misread the ball and checks his short at the last second. The ball goes straight back at Chahal. RCB get the first wicket. SRH: 47/1

After 5 overs, SRH 47/0 (Dhawan 18, Hales 29): It’s a bird, it’s a plane... It’s Virat Kohli! The RCB skipper almost pulls off a stunner at mid on. Hales hit Siraj’s third ball very hard. Kohli ran in and dove, no, flew to grab the ball. But he can’t hold on to the ball once he lands. Hales survives again. But RCB should find other ways to dismiss him as he hit a six off that over and is looking good to hit more.

After 4 overs, SRH 32/0 (Dhawan 10, Hales 22): On a day when sixes are aplenty, Chahal quietly comes and bowls a four-run over. This is why Kohli values him so much.

After 3 overs, SRH 28/0 (Dhawan 8, Hales 20): Hales is getting into the act. First, he edges Umesh to the mid-wicket boundary. Then, he picks a good length ball and flicks it, in a Dhoni-esque way over deep-midwicket boundary (almost a helicopter). Two balls later, it seems like Southee picked a sensational low-catch. But the third umpire (after some multiple slow-motion viewings) thinks it’s not out.

After 2 overs, SRH 17/0 (Dhawan 8, Hales 9): Shikhar Dhawan began the over with an audacious lofted drive that soared over long on. It’s normal to see a lot of sixes on this ground, in this tournament. But not many batters hit sixes like that. Hales hits one too over long off. So, the Sunrisers are off to a start.

After 1 over, SRH 3/0 (Dhawan 1, Hales 2): Still looks a great wicket to bat on. But Umesh Yadav once again bowls a good first over for RCB. Just three runs off it. Hales and Dhawan can’t take a long time to get their eyes in this match.

Good, tight over by Sid Kaul. But RCB finish at 218/6. Their batting unit has clicked when it mattered the most. Kohli would think this will be enough to win the game.

WICKET! Wow! What. A. Catch! De Grandhomme tried to pull Kaul out of the ground. Rashid Khan didn’t seem to read the fast-approaching ball. But he puts out his right hand and pulls out a stunner. So many entertaining moments in this match. But this one surely will make the top three. RCB: 210/6.

After 19 overs, RCB 189/5 (Grandhomme 30, Sarfraz 16): Basil Thampi would want to erase the memory of tonight with a Neuralyzer (that memory device Will Smith uses in Men In Black). For, he’s given away 70 runs in his four overs. Seventy is considered expensive in ODIs. So, this is just outrageous. Grandhomme and Sarfraz score 19 off that particular over.

After 18 overs, RCB 189/5 (Grandhomme 30, Sarfraz 5): Colin de Grandhomme’s been a bonus for RCB tonight. Sunrisers would have thought that they can contain RCB within 200 after getting rid of Ali and ABD. But the big-hitting New Zealander has destroyed the best bowling side in this IPL.

WICKET! Mandeep tries to go big against Kaul and holes out to Dhawan at long off (his second catch of the night) RCB: 176/5

After 16 overs, RCB 176/4 (Grandhomme 23, Mandeep 4): Grandhomme’s liking this wicket. He’s frustrating his New Zealand captain now with his big hitting. So, SRH hasn’t been able to contain RCB’s scoring rate after AB and Ali’s fall.

After 16 overs, RCB 163/4 (Grandhomme 14, Mandeep 0): Not a great over by Thampi. Williamson’s irked (you don’t see that very often). Gives 14 after the double-wicket over from Rashid. Williamson would not want RCB to cross 200 after this.

WICKET! Dial Rashid if you are in trouble. He’s produced a double-wicket over and has silenced a raucous crowd that was getting its money’s worth. Ali tries a reverse-sweep but Goswami is alert enough to catch it. RCB: 149/4

WICKET! And, the mad, mad de Villiers show comes to an end! Who else to end it but Rashid Khan. And, it takes a great catch from Dhawan at deep square leg to dismiss the great one. RCB: 145/3

After 14 overs, RCB 144/2 (ABD 69, Ali 60): This is carnage. A boundary and a six seem to be guaranteed every over. Ali hits a six, AB a four. They have crossed 100 together. It’s taken just over half the number of balls to score as many runs.

After 13 overs, RCB 130/2 (ABD 64, Ali 52): Ho ho ho! Classic AB. Bet he can time travel. How else would he know precisely where Thampi will bowl. Two pre-meditated strokes. One he swept over short fine leg for four. The other, well, he swept it out of the M Chinnaswamy stadium. (Note: Thampi is a fast bowler) AB’s shots aren’t a result of guesses, it is genius. Oh, and Moeen Ali has got to his 50 too.

Odd. No sixes in an ABD fifty! How many times have that happened?

After 12 overs, RCB 112/2 (ABD 53, Ali 46): FIFTY FOR ABD! Fifth in this IPL. He gets there with a superb (I mean, all shots of AB are superb) pull off Sid Kaul. He got a four off the previous ball as well. And, Ali worsens Kaul’s bowling figuers with a six over the square leg ropes. This is brilliant batting by RCB.

After 11 overs, RCB 94/2 (ABD 42, Ali 39): Highlight of the over: without a doubt, the six Ali hit off Rashid’s googly in the first ball of the over. He hits it with the spin over long off. Rashid smiles wryly. Ali’s not content playing second fiddle to ABD. He’s matching him shot for shot.

After 10 overs, RCB 84/2 (ABD 41, Ali 30): Sandeep Sharma gets Ali... almost. The penultimate ball of the delivery, Ali struck (hard) straight to Dhawan at long on. But Dhawan loses his balance a bit. After holding on to the catch, he backtracks a bit and crosses the boundary ropes. So, it’s a Six!

After 9 overs, RCB 73/2 (ABD 40, Ali 20): Excellent over by Shakib Al Hasan. Just three runs off it. ABD was on strike for four balls. Alright, it’s strategic time out.

After 8 overs, RCB 51/2 (ABD 39, Ali 18): Wow, Moeen gets into the act now. Smashes Basil Thampi for two sixes with shots that de Villiers will be proud of. One he lofts over mid off, the other he gets one over square leg. ABD gets a boundary as well. Another big over for RCB. 19 runs off it.

After 7 overs, RCB 51/2 (ABD 34, Ali 4): One four off that Rashid Khan over. The rest of the runs are all singles. Not a bad start by RCB this. But it’s all in ABD’s hands now. He has to stay till the end.

After 6 overs, RCB 44/2 (ABD 29, Ali 2): Whatever happens, de Villiers goes on. Continues attacking the SRH bowlers even as they get two wickets before the Powerplay. It’s like he knows where the bowler will bowl his next delivery (or he definitely has powers of mind control). The fourth ball of that Sid Kaul over he dismisses it to long on.

WICKET! King Kohli’s gone! Guess who’s taken the wicket? Who does Sunrisers count on when they need to break a dangerous partnership? Who’s the world’s top T20 bowler? Who’s the best cricketer that Afghanistan has produced till date? Yep, Rashid Khan it is. Castles Virat with a straight, quick one.

After 4 overs, RCB 34/1 (Virat 6, ABD 25): And again, ABD starts the over with an outstanding boundary. Shakib pitches it full, just outside off stump. Not a bad ball. But too good a shot. The rest of the runs come in singles.

After 3 overs, RCB 26/1 (Virat 6, ABD 19): Excellent batting by de Villiers again. He starts with two fours – two authoritative lofted cover drives – off Sandeep Sharma. Looks like we are in for a show tonight. ABD’s looking for a big one. Kohli will just look to support him here.

After 2 overs, RCB 17/1 (Virat 6, ABD 10): De Villiers gets off the mark with a boundary to the point. Follows it up with a lofted drive to the covers. Then, gets an edge. Shakib, the bowler, smiles at him.

After 1 over, RCB 6/1 (Virat 5): Two dropped chances, a beautifully struck straight drive by Virat Kohli and the wicket of Parthiv Patel in that over by Sandeep Sharma. Parthiv slashed at a short of a length delivery and gets top edge. Sid Kaul at third man takes a skier.

Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel are at the centre. Sandeep Sharma with the new ball... oh, and he almost struck off the first delivery. Parthiv played a flashy cover drive. Deepak Hooda at short cover fumbled. After one ball, RCB: 0/0.

Oh, almost forgot. Here are the Playing XIs:-

RCB: Kohli (C), Parthiv (W), Moeen, De Villiers, Mandeep, Sarfaraz, De Grandhomme, Southee, Umesh, Siraj, Chahal.

SRH: Dhawan, Hales, Williamson (C), Manish, Hooda, Shakid, Goswami (W),Rashid, Kaul, Sandeep, Thampi.

07:41 pm Bengaluru’s been witnessing evening showers of late. It might rain at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. But the home team would pray for the rain to stay away.

TOSS: Sunrisers Hyderabad have won the toss and they will bowl first. They have got Basil Thampi in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. “Managing workload” is the reason given by Kane Williamson for his key bowler not playing.

07:20 pm Just a few minutes to go for the toss. What would Kohli and Williamson want to do? The RCB skipper would want to put a plenty of runs on the board and put pressure on the Sunrisers’ batsmen. But then, teams prefer to chase at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Head to Head

Overall: Matches: 11, RCB won: 4, SRH won: 7

  • The last four encounters between the two sides have been won by SRH. This includes their win in the final of the 2016 season.
  • No one has scored more runs against SRH than Virat Kohli. The RCB skipper has scored 473 runs against this side in 10 innings.

Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad in another must-win Indian Premier League encounter on Thursday.

The consecutive victories over Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab have revived RCB’s hopes, while SRH has been on a roll, having won nine matches out of 12.

RCB are still languishing at the second last position on the table, while SRH are on top of the table with 18 points.

Virat Kohli’s RCB has endured a tough season, having lost seven of its 12 matches so far but the recent turnaround has rekindled hopes of a possible shot at the playoffs berth provided some other results go the team’s way.

Given their consistent run, SRH would be expected to pull it off on Thursday but RCB, having rediscovered some form, might just spring a surprise.