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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

IPL 2019, RCB vs SRH: Hetmyer, Gurkeerat shine as Royal Challengers Bangalore take down Sunrisers Hyderabad

Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets in Bengaluru on Saturday.

cricket Updated: May 05, 2019 08:17 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shimron Hetmyer celebrates after scoring a half-century against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Shimron Hetmyer celebrates after scoring a half-century against Sunrisers Hyderabad.(PTI)
         

On the eve of their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB) head coach Gary Kirsten talked about the need to identify weak areas and make structural changes for the next season. The overhaul started straightaway with the hosts making three changes – Colin de Grandhomme coming in for Marcus Stoinis, Washington Sundar replacing Pawan Negi and Shimron Hetmyer picked for Heinrich Klaasen. ((Full Scorecard))

Two of them proved game-changers as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Sunrisers by four wickets. It was mere consolation for Virat Kohli’s side, but it left the losers’ hopes of a playoff berth hanging by a thread. Sunrisers, with 12 points, are fourth and tied with Kolkata Knight Riders. A win will send KKR through as the last team ahead of Sunrisers.

SRH made 175/7, powered by skipper Williamson’s unbeaten 70 (43b, 5x4, 4x6), but Hetmyer (75- 47b, 4x4, 6x6) and Gurkeerat Singh (65 – 48b, 8x4, 1x6) revived the innings to carry the hosts to 178/6 with four balls to spare at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

RCB were reeling at 20/3 after Kohli, Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers fell inside the first three overs. But Guyanese batsman Hetmyer plundered runs to ensure the four-wicket win. The stand with Gurkeerat for the fourth wicket was worth 144 runs. After they were out, RCB looked shaky but Umesh Yadav hit back-to-back boundaries off spinner Mohammad Nabi to take the side home.

Earlier, Sundar, playing only his third game, made a telling impact with the ball as he claimed three key wickets to peg Sunrisers back after being 52/1 at the end of the powerplay overs.

ALSO READ: RCB vs SRH Highlights, IPL 2019 Match 53 in Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore win by four wickets

The young all-rounder got the dangerous Martin Guptill caught by Kohli at midwicket, for a 23-ball 30. He raised a 27-ball, 46-run stand with Wriddhiman Saha for the opening wicket.

After his dismissal, Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal were all over the batsmen. Together, they bowled seven overs and claimed four wickets for only 48 runs. Sundar dismissed Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar, the only Hyderabad players to have aggregated more than 200 runs this season after David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. Pandey fell to a controversial catch by Hetmyer at deep midwicket (replays looked inconlusive whether he grounded the catch). Shankar made an 18-ball 27 before paying the price for throwing caution to the wind.

Hyderabad needed someone to anchor the innings and their skipper stepped up. Going into the final over, they were 147/7, but Umesh lost rhythm and Williamson smashed two sixes and two fours off the first four deliveries of the over (it went for 28 runs). Umesh then bowled a no-ball and though the free-hit didn’t fetch much, Bhuvneshwar Kumar top-edged the final delivery for another four.

It was not the first time RCB bowlers had lost the plot in the death overs. On the eve of the match, Kirsten had lamented how losing the momentum in the last two overs cost them dear against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders early in the season.

When death-over blues again struck Umesh, it looked like it would cost RCB dear. Thanks to Hetmyer and Gurkeerat, it was not the case on Saturday.