Bengaluru: David Warner kept the hopes alive for an unlikely Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) win, but his dismissal signalled the end as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) won by a huge margin of 45 runs in Match 4 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Bengaluru. Warner smashed a 21-ball half-century but was out soon after, hitting Shane Watson down the throat of Adam Milne at deep midwicket for 58 off 25 balls with 4 fours and 5 sixes. At the time of his dismissal SRH were 86 for 2 in 8.4 overs. They were never in with a chance after that
Shikhar Dhawan, who was dropped from India’s playing XI in the T20 World Cup 2016, was the first man to be dismissed. He was clean bowled by Parvez Rasool for 8 off 9 balls. Moises Henriques came in at No. 3 but ended up scoring at a sub-100 strike rate. His innigns of 19 came off 23 balls. He was fourth out, hitting Milne to Rasool. Before him Naman Ojha had holed out to AB de Villiers off Yuzvendra Chahal for a duck.
Deepak Hooda was the next to go, swiping Chahal to de Villiers for 6. Ashish Reddy came in and played a few big hits, whacking 32 off 18 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes. Eoin Morgan, batting all the way down at No. 6, hit a few boundaries but by then the match was already out of SRH’s grasp. Karn Sharma offered a reminder of his batting prowess, actually out-scoring Morgan in their partnership. The RCB bowlers did not have a good outing, but their batsmen ensured that they still managed to win by a massive 45-run margin.
AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli laid the platform and Sarfaraz Khan put the finishing touches. Kohli, opening the batting for RCB, started slowly but once he hit his groove he proved unstoppable till his dismissal. His opening partner Chris Gayle suffered a rare failure, getting bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 1, but No. 3 batsman de Villiers more than made up for the early dismissal.
SRH’s problems were further compounded by the fact that their seniormost pacer Ashish Nehra had to leave the field with an injury and could not bowl his full quota of overs. Bhuvneshwar, who has traditionally troubled Gayle more than most bowlers, managed to take out the Caribbean giant in the second over of the match. Bhuvneshwar bowled one on leg stump and the ball went off Gayle’s pads onto the stumps. RCB were 6 for 1 in the second over at that stage, but the duo of de Villiers and Kohli soon ensured that RCB were right back on track. The partnership yielded 157 runs in a mere 14.3 overs. Bhuvneshwar later ended Kohli’s blitz with a terrific yorker on leg stumps. Kohli was dismissed for 75 off 51 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes.
Shane Watson, making his debut for RCB, came in to bat at No. 4 after Kohli’s dismissal. He got his innings off to a flying start, smashing Karn Sharma for 3 sixes in as many balls to end the 17th over. Mustafizur Rahman, by far the best bowler of the innings, came on to bowl the next over. After a couple of misses from de Villiers, Mustafizur managed to fox him with a slower ball and de Villiers ended up top-edging to Eoin Morgan for 82 off 42 balls with 7 fours and 6 sixes. Mustafizur struck with his next ball as well, getting Watson to trickle one down the leg side through to wicketkeeper Naman Ojha for 19 off 8 balls. Mustafizur was on a hat-trick, but new man Kedar Jadhav kept the delivery at bay.
Perhaps the best batting line-up of the tournament, RCB ensured that despite their four big guns getting dismissed, the lower order did not let the team down. The young Sarfaraz Khan and Jadhav kept the runs flowing, taking RCB past 200. Sarfaraz was nearly dismissed off the first ball he faced, getting a leading edge from Mustafizur that fell just short of point. He came back from that to play some scintillating shots off Bhuvneshwar in the 19th over.
Jadhav started the over with a cut to point for four off a no-ball before Sarfaraz took over. The 18-year-old batsman hit 4, 4, 6, 4, 4: a superb cover drive, a ramp over fine leg, a phenomenal guide over third man for six, another ramp over fine leg, and another cover drive to end with. Sarfaraz was not done yet, smashing Mustafizur over square leg for another six and finishing the innings with a boundary. Young Sarfaraz remained unbeaten on 35 off just 10 balls as RCB finished at a gargantuan 227 for 4.
Royal Challengers Banglaore 227 for 4 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 75, AB de Villiers 82; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2 for 55, Mustafizur Rahamn 2 for 26) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 182 for 6 in 20 overs (David Warner 58; Shane Watson 2 for 30) by 45 runs.
Man of the Match: AB de Villiers