de Villiers had six runs to get off the last two balls but this time the ace finisher couldn’t pull it off
Sunrisers Hyderabad 141 for 7 (Roy 44, Harshal 3-33, Christian 2-14) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 137 for 6 (Padikkal 41, Maxwell 40, Malik 1-21) by four runs
AB de Villiers was left to get six off the last two balls. They were both full tosses but he failed to hit them as he usually does and so the Sunrisers Hyderabad were able to savour victory by four runs.
With 13 needed off the last over, bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, de Villiers drilled the fourth ball for six, but fell short in the end. The defeat means Royal Challengers’ chances of finishing inside the top two are all but over, as the eliminated Sunrisers pinched their third win of the season following contributions from pretty much all their bowlers, and Jason Roy and Kane Williamson.
Harshal’s hot run continues
Harshal was introduced just after the powerplay ended, with the Sunrisers sitting pretty at 50 for the loss of one wicket. His first over went for eight – including a boundary from Roy, who pulled him to deep midwicket – and he was taken off after that.
By the time he returned for the 12th over, Sunrisers had managed to maintain the momentum, with Roy and Williamson having added 67 runs together. But two balls and three runs later, Harshal foxed Williamson with an offcutter that landed bang on a good length, and took off to strike the top of middle stump.
WATCH – Williamson’s superb direct hit sends Maxwell back
Sunrisers lost track once that 70-run stand was broken. They made just 50 runs off the last eight overs. There were five wickets as well. Two of those went to Harshal, taking his tournament tally to 29. Brought back to bowl two of the last three overs, he beat Wriddhiman Saha with a lack of pace too, as another offcutter landed in the hands of long-off. And off the final ball of the innings, he went for a slow, dipping full-toss to Jason Holder, who found long-on with his slog.
Malik pushes the speed gun
Malik, brought on as a short-term replacement for the Covid-positive T Natarajan, attracted eyeballs with his ferocious pace and accuracy. Like Harshal, he too started immediately after the field restrictions were lifted; but contrastingly, he beat the batters with his extra pace. Malik began by hitting 141kph, and conceded just a single off his first four deliveries. The fifth one produced a wicket, KS Bharat caught behind off a searing short ball.
Malik continued to work the speedgun, cranking it up to 153 kph. His first over cost just a single. His second just five. Williamson took him off at that point and brought him back with the Royal Challengers needing 29 off the last three. The pressure was on but Malik was able to handle it well, finishing with 1 for 21 off his four overs.
Maxwell’s Big Show
Maxwell arrived at the crease with Royal Challengers at 38 or 3 in the seventh over. While Devdutt Padikkal at the other end was taking his time, Maxwell got stuck into Rashid Khan, launching the second ball he faced – and the first from the legspinner – over deep midwicket for six. That was followed by another maximum over long-on off a tossed-up ball as well as a four two balls later, when he hoicked Rashid to deep midwicket again.
Maxwell dominated pace as well, pulling Siddarth Kaul for four, and also stealing another four off the inside edge off Jason Holder. He tried attacking Bhuvneshwar in the 14th over, but tight lines from the bowler meant Royal Challengers could manage just six runs.
Then the game changed as Maxwell was run out for 40 off 25. It happened when Padikkal tapped the ball to cover and the batters set off for a non-existent single. Williamson was standing pretty close in, and swooped on the opportunity, his acrobatic direct hit catching the batter well short.
Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo