IPL: RCB thumps Sunrisers to end six-match losing streak

Royal Challengers Bengaluru 206 for 7 (Kohli 51, Patidar 50, Unadkat 3-30, Natarajan 2-39) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 171 for 8 (Shahbaz 40, Green 2-12, Karn 2-29, Swapnil 2-40) by 35 runs


Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) rode on the success of their spinners – considered the team’s least-fancied department – to force big-hitting Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) into submission in Hyderabad.

Their 35-run victory on Thursday, the season’s second for RCB, also ended their six-game losing streak and kept them alive for playoff contention.

Favourites to chase 207 down, SRH lost their way right from the opening over when part-time offspinner Will Jacks won the tactical battle against left-hand batter Travis Head. Making his debut for RCB, Swapnil Singh and experienced wristspinner Karn Sharma then caused further damage.

By the time the tenth over rolled along, SRH were 85 for 6, and the result was pretty much decided.

RCB also had a strong day with the bat, banking on Rajat Patidar’s 19-ball half-century and quick-fire cameos from Cameron Green and Faf du Plessis. Virat Kohli also scored his 53rd IPL fifty, but his 51 in 43 balls came at a strike rate of 118.60, following a big slowdown.

Virat Kohli began with a flurry of fours•Apr 25, 2024•BCCI

RCB expose SRH’s weaker suit

SRH’s record-breaking totals in IPL 2024 have all come batting first. So RCB robbed them of that opportunity when du Plessis chose to set a target instead. He said he wanted to put SRH under scoreboard pressure, although 206 could have well been within SRH’s territory.

But that changed in the first half of the chase as SRH crumbled to RCB’s use of spin. Jacks’ offspin, turning away from the two SRH openers, had Head top-edge for 1 in the first over. Abhishek Sharma counterattacked with 31 in 13 balls, but in his bid to keep going hard, he fell to Yash Dayal in the fourth.

Even though the openers fell unusually early for SRH, Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen showed that they were in no mood to slow down. Together they struck 19 off Swapnil’s first over, but their aggression caused their downfall as the left-arm spinner removed both in the same over. Markram was lbw off a full toss coming down the track while Klaasen holed out attempting a big shot.

Du Plessis soon brought on legspinner Karn to attack SRH further, and in consecutive overs he removed Nitish Kumar Reddy and Abdul Samad. Pat Cummins hammered 31 off 15 and Shahbaz Ahmed remained unbeaten on 40, but by then SRH were basically looking to protect their net run rate. (ESPNcricinfo) 

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