De Villiers and Moeen inspire Bangalore to victory
BENGALURU: Kane Williamson's 81 off 42 balls proved in vain as Royal Challengers Bangalore won a run-fest against Sunrisers Hyderabad to keep its Indian Premier League playoff bid alive on Thursday.
AB de Villiers scored 69 and Moeen Ali made 65 to power Bangalore to 218-6. Hyderabad then stayed in the game until the last over before finishing on 204-3 to lose by 14 runs.
Put into bat in a must-win game, Bangalore lost openers Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli cheaply but De Villiers and Moeen added 107 off 57 balls for the third wicket.
Rashid Khan (3-27), who clean bowled Kohli earlier, got rid of De Villiers and Moeen before Colin de Grandhomme (40) blasted one four and four sixes in 17 balls.
"It was a crazy game of cricket and we pulled through. I look to put pressure on the bowlers and take it forward if I get one or two (sixes) away," said man-of-the-match De Villiers.
In reply, Shikhar Dhawan (18) and Alex Hales (37) provided a solid platform for Hyderabad.
The score was 64-2 after eight overs when Moeen dismissed England teammate Hales thanks to a brilliant flying catch by De Villiers at deep mid-wicket.
Williamson took over and caressed his way to a quickfire half-century. Overall, he hit seven fours and five sixes while Manish Pandey kept him company with 62 not out off 38 balls in a stand of 135 for the third wicket.
Williamson finally holed out to fine leg off the first ball of the final over and Pandey was unable to take his side home.
"We missed a trick with the ball. Bangalore were brilliant with the bat and put us under pressure from ball one," said Williamson.
Hyderabad has already qualified for the playoffs but needs to win on Saturday against Kolkata Knight Riders to finish top of the standings.
Bangalore must win against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday to have any hope of making it to the playoffs on run-rate.
"Hats off to the bowlers for keeping composure and giving us two points. We head to Jaipur with momentum on our side. Teams don't want us to win. We sense fear and pounce," said Kohli.