IPL 7: Sunrisers' win over RCB opens up race for play-off berths
A clinical performance by the Sunrisers Hyderabad top-order ensured a seven-wicket victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore which kept them in the hunt for the play-offs in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League on Tuesday
Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad spiced up the race for the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs with a thrilling seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, at Uppal, on Tuesday.
Sunrisers win has opened up an interesting race for the fourth place in the play-offs and also assured Super Kings' place in the last four.
David Warner, who was back in the opening slot, smashed his way to 46-ball-59.
Electing to bat, Royal Challengers scored 160 for six in 20 overs thanks largely to skipper Virat Kohli's 67 off 41 balls. This Kohli's first half-century of the tournament.
Chasing a target of 161, Sunrisers knocked off the runs in 19.4 overs as Shikhar Dhawan returned to form with a stroke-filled 50.
While Shikhar started the chase in right earnest, David Warner, back in the opening slot, smashed his way to 46-ball-59.
It was skipper Darren Sammy, who smashed a six off the penultimate over by erratic Varun Aaron to decisively turn the game.
Both Sunrisers and RCB have 10 points from 12 games each but Virat Kohli's men are a place ahead at fifth with a better net run-rate.
During the chase, Dhawan's 39-ball innings had seven fours and a six and Warner hit three fours and four huge sixes.
The opening duo sealed the match with an even-100 stand in 12.3 overs.
It was Dhawan, who attacked from the onset with some flowing cover drives and a hooked six off Aaron. The 50 came in the last over of the Powerplay as Warner took off after that.
Out of his sixes, the first was a charge to Muttiah Muralitharan followed by a couple of clean hits off the half-trackers that Yuzvendra Chahal had on offer.
The fourth six off Abu Nechim Ahmed was over long-off. Warner was out off a full-toss from Aaron but Naman Ojha (24, 2x6), along with Aaron Finch (11 no) and Sammy (10 no) saw to it that there were no hiccups in the end.
Earlier, Chris Gayle (14) once again failed for the Royal Challengers and Parthiv Patel (4) fell early too.
Captain Virat Kohli took it upon himself and along with India partner Yuvraj Singh (21) strung together a 57-run stand for the third wicket.
Kohli and AB de Villiers (29) gave the innings the much needed impetus and at 141 for three in the 17th over, it seemed Bangalore were on their way to an imposing total.
Virat Kohli scored his first 50 of IPL 7.
But both Kohli and de Villiers fell in the space of four balls to take the momentum off the Bangalore innings.
Sachin Rana (12 not out) struck a couple of boundaries to take Bangalore to a fighting total.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 160 for six in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 67, AB de Villiers 29; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-27)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 161 for three in 19.4 overs (David Warner 59, Shikhar Dhawan 50; Varun Aaron 2/36).