RCB stay alive in royal run-fest
Royal Challengers Bangalore keep finals hopes alive after a batter-dominated contest in Bengaluru
18 May 2018, 05:43 AM AEST
The result: Royal Challengers Bangalore 6-218 (De Villiers 69, Ali 1-21) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 3-204 (Williamson 81, Khan 3-27) by 14 runs
The match in a tweet: RCB's powerful batting order run riot after setting mammoth total to down Sunrisers and keep playoff hopes alive #SRHvRCB
Phew! A last over thriller and @RCBTweets have beaten @SunRisers by 14 runs iin their final home game this season. They stay alive in the battle for 2 Playoff spots. #RCBvSRH #VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/Af4oUHs21I— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 17, 2018
The AB explosion: Having lost captain and fellow superstar Virat Kohli in the fifth over, there was plenty riding on AB de Villiers to produce with the bat and keep RCB's season alive. But with the heat on, the Protea great delivered in a big way; smashing 69 off just 39 deliveries to power the hosts to a mammoth 218-run total. The Protea superstar carved 12 fours as part of his blistering knock and one enormous six after dropping down on one knee and launching a Basil Thampi delivery over the roof of Chinnaswamy Stadium to the delight of the crowd. It took a brilliant catch on the rope from Shikhar Dhawan to dismiss the South African superstar, who now sits eighth on the IPL leading run-scorer's table, despite missing two matches due to illness.
The Catch: It was almost a month ago that Trent Boult's effort in the deep at Chinnaswamy Stadium was all but declared catch of the tournament, but another piece of brilliance from AB de Villiers may have thrown a spanner in the works as the competition reaches it's closing stages. With Sunrisers cruising at 1-64 in the eight over, the South African superstar again turned the match with a phenomenal effort on the rope to prevent a certain six and see off Alex Hales, hauling in an unbelievable, mid-air, one-handed effort at long-on. The catch sent the commentary box and even local Sunrisers fans into meltdown, and it was pretty clear AB had even impressed himself as he celebrated with his teammates.
Khan's consolation haul: On a tough night for the bowlers Rashid Khan again proved why he's one of the competition's premier spinners; claiming 3-27 from four overs amid a flood of boundaries, including the all three big wickets for RCB. Khan got the party started when his infamous wrong'un deceived Virat Kohli in the fifth over and clattered into the woodwork for just 12 runs, before later returning to dismiss both danger men in De Villiers (69) and Ali (65) within three balls to keep his side in the match. He then added a brilliant catch of his own in the field to ensure he play a hand in the wickets of all four of RCB's major run-scorers after hanging onto an incredible flat-batted attempted six from Colin de Grandhomme in the final over.
The scenario: The win may have kept RCB's finals hopes alive, but at 6-7 they're still only an outside shot at qualifying for finals, relying on a host of results to fall their way. Conversely, despite the loss Sunrisers Hyderabad remain ensconced in the top four with nine wins to see them remain atop the IPL ladder, though they'll be hoping to knock off Kolkata in their final regular-season match of the season to ensure they finish that way and take some much-needed momentum into the finals.
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