Jayson Holder's all-round game and Kane Williamson's innings helped Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by six wickets in a thrilling low-scoring match here on Friday to qualify for the Indian Premier League (IPL) qualifier. The Sunrisers will face the Delhi Capitals in the second qualifier on Sunday, which they lost to Mumbai Indians by 57 runs in the first qualifier.
Holder took three important wickets for 25 runs while T Natarajan took two wickets for 33 runs including the wickets of AB de Villiers (56 from 43 balls, five fours) which he bowled on the yorker. Apart from de Villiers from RCB, Aaron Fitch (32 runs off 30 balls, three fours, one six) could contribute something and his team could reach 131 runs for seven wickets.
RCB bowlers, especially spinners, made the score for the Sunrisers like a mountain but Williamson's positive batting made a difference. He held one end and scored an unbeaten 50 off 44 balls which included two fours and two sixes. He shared an unbroken 65-run partnership with Holder (24 not out off 20 balls) to help the Sunrisers reach the target, losing four wickets in 19.4 overs.
RCB spinners Adam Jampa (1 for 12) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1 for 24) took two wickets for only 36 runs in eight overs after a brilliant start from Mohammad Siraj (2 for 28). Sunrisers also did not start well. He missed the top order of Wriddhiman Saha who could not play due to injury. Srivats Goswami, who replaced him, had a good wicket-keeping but could not open the account at-bat.
Manish Pandey (24) hit Siraj for six but this fast bowler managed to take the second opener David Warner (17) wicket in Powerplay. The third umpire gave the verdict against Warner through a review. Initially, the effect of dew was less visible and the spinners tightened the screws as soon as they arrived. After the powerplay, only 24 runs were scored in seven overs. Meanwhile, the ball did not reach the boundary while two wickets fell. Jampa got Pandey caught behind the wicket while Chahal walked Priyam Garg (seven off 14 balls). Williamson increased the run pace by hitting Sundar and Chahal for sixes.
The Sunrisers needed nine runs in the final over. In such a situation, Holder hit fours off consecutive balls of Navdeep Saini to reach the team goal. Earlier, the Sunrisers bowlers vindicated Warner's decision to field first by winning the toss with a tight screw. Apart from Holder and Natarajan, both his spinners Rashid Khan (four overs 22 runs) and Shahbaz Nadeem (one wicket for 30 runs) and fast bowler Sandeep Sharma (four overs 21 runs) also bowled tightly.
Holder sent off captain Virat Kohli (six) and in-form Devadatta Padikkal (one) as the opener in their first two overs. There was some grass in the pitch and Holder took full advantage of the bounce he was getting. Even after this, the bowlers did not let the batsmen play freely. Fitch and de Villiers were at the crease but in the tenth over the only six of the innings, Fitch hit Rashid Khan. With this, Fitch also completed his 2000 runs in the IPL. Despite this, the score was 54 for two after ten overs and the pressure on the batsmen was palpable.