IPL 2024: Bengaluru Beat Hyderabad By 35 Runs

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) recorded their second win at the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 with a 35-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad witnessed a dominating batting performance by RCB, which was backed by an incisive team effort by the bowlers to defend 206 against a dangerous batting side.

RCB got off to a fantastic start with Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli setting the tone. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled the second over and was greeted by du Plessis with three fours. The intent was clear in the third over when Pat Cummins brought himself on. Kohli danced down the track and flicked one over mid-wicket for a four. Later in the over, Du Plessis scooped one for a six. The opening stand raced to 48 within four overs, when T Natarajan got SRH their first breakthrough when du Plessis found Aiden Markran at mid-off.

The wicket of du Plessis helped SRH put the brakes on the scoring. In that phase,  a shot that stood out was when Kohli made room to Natarajan and lofted him down the ground for a six. SRH got their second breakthrough when Will Jacks was bowled by Mayank Markande in the seventh over. That brought Rajat Patidar to the crease.

Patidar’s knock injected life into the RCB innings as he started off with a four off Shahbaz Ahmed. When Markande pitched it up in the ninth over, he went down the ground for a six. The 11th over saw Patidar thump four consecutive sixes off Markande. The shot that stood out was the fourth. Markande pitched it really wide but Patidar moved his feet and smashed it over cover. Eventually, Patidar got to his fifty in 19 balls.

With RCB threatening to push on as Kohli was set and Patidar attacked everything in sight, SRH turned to Jaydev Unadkat – who was playing his 100th TATA IPL match. To mark the special occasion, Unadkat delivered a crucial spell that helped dent RCB in the middle overs. To begin with, Patidar holed out to square-leg in the 13th over for 50. Kohli, who got past his fifty, was dismissed two overs later when he tried to clear deep square-leg off Unadkat. The left-armer then finished his spell by dismissing Mahipal Lomror in his last over. In 17 overs, RCB were 167 for five.

It required some spirited batting by Cameron Green to help RCB go past 200. The all-rounder hit an unbeaten 37 off 20 balls and rallied RCB’s cause in the slog overs.

He also had some help thanks to small contributions by Dinesh Karthik (11) and Swapnil Singh (12) – who came in as an Impact Player in place of Patidar. Swapnil showed why he was sent in when he hit his first ball for six in the last over. RCB got 206 for seven – a good total, but considering SRH’s batting heroics this year, many would have felt the hosts had a good chance.

RCB’s bowlers had to be on song from the beginning and they got a fantastic start in their defence. To begin with, the dangerous Travis Head tried to slog across the line in the first over to Jacks’ off-spin. However, he got a top-edge and was caught at third-man. It was a huge psychological boost for RCB.

Head’s partner, Abhishek Sharma, batted as he has done through this season – with freedom and aggression. In the third over, Abhishek attacked Jacks and picked two sixes and a four. Yash Dayal was brought in for the next over, and although Abhishek attacked him soon, the left-armer got rid of him. Abhishek top-edged one while trying to pull and was caught by Karthik.

Then came one of the most eventful overs of the match. Swapnil was brought in for his left-arm spin. The first ball was cut for a four by Markram. Markram then danced down the track but was hit on the legs off a full-toss and given out LBW. The review confirmed the umpire’s decision and Markram had to walk back. Nitish Reddy started his innings with a six down the ground off a free-hit. Heinrich Klaasen then smashed a six down the ground. Swapnil had the last laugh when he got Klaasen to go aerial again, but he only managed to find Green at mid-on. The over went for 19 but cost SRH two wickets. They were 56 for four in the fifth over.

RCB’s bowlers continued to pile on the pressure with Karn Sharma leading the way. In his first over, Karn bowled Reddy, who was beaten while attempting a reverse-sweep. Abdul Samad walked out and started well with a six off Lockie Ferguson. Karn ended Samad’s innings when he deceived him into lobbing a catch right back at him. At the half-way mark, SRH were 89 for six.

Cummins fought during his cameo of 31 off 15 balls – clearing the boundary thrice during his stay. With Cummins still in the middle, SRH may have held on to a ray of hope as he also had Shahbaz Ahmed at the other end. Cummins’s fight ended when Green got him to edge one high to backward-point.

From there on, Shahbaz (40 off 37 balls) continued to fight and extended the innings through to the 20th over. There was no doubt about the result even as the game went into its dying stages.

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