Sunrisers to face struggling RCB

MoM Kane Williamson on way to his 56 off 39 balls

Table toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad produced yet another spirited bowling effort after skipper Kane Williamson's crucial half-century to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by five runs and virtually assure themselves a place in the play-offs of the Indian Premier League yesterday.

By virtue of this win, Sunrisers have consolidated their position at the top of the table with 16 points from 10 games.

Williamson started off with a boundary but Shikhar Dhawan (13 off 19) at the other end found it hard to score. The return of their fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar only strengthens their attack.

Star Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has failed to justify his caliber. It was the cherry on top of a bowling performance led by Rashid Khan (1-31), Shakib Al Hasan (2-36) and Siddarth Kaul (1-25), with no Hyderabad bowler going for more than nine runs per over.

With 12 needed from the final over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar held his nerve to see his side home with five runs to spare. In the next over, he carted Shakib Al Hasan for a six over long on and thumped two more boundaries off him as the crowd went into a trance with chants of RCB. While on the other hand, the campaign has nearly ended for RCB as even if they win remaining all their matches, they will finish with 14 points which won't be enough for the qualification.

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Kane Williamson, stable at one end, saw Manish Pandey fall to Yuzvendra Chahal.

Colin de Grandhomme was key in the chase from thereon, and unfurled two sixes in Rashid Khan's last over before surviving a stumping appeal.

Umesh Yadav leaked runs in the 14th over as Williamson made a decision to shift gears. Then Yusuf Pathan came on when the partnership broke and he contributed 12 runs. Although there was little pace in the wicket, Williamson found a way, scoring a match-winning 56 from 39 balls to earn an unlikely victory and player of the match honours. Barring for Umesh Yadav, who has 13 wickets for RCB this season, other bowlers like Chris Woakes and Tim Southee have not risen to the occasion. It was the second time SRH lost all its wickets this season. Siraj bowled straight and clean bowled Yusuf and Wriddhiman Saha, both of whom went for glory shots.

The Hyderabad team will take on the Bangalore side for the very first time in this year's tournament.

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