SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Sunrisers Hyderabad stayed in the hunt for a place in the Indian Premier League playoffs after a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday with almost six overs to spare.
Hyderabad will take on IPL leader Mumbai Indians in their last league match and a win could take it through to the playoffs because of its healthy net run-rate.
Mumbai had earlier demolished Delhi Capitals by nine wickets at Dubai. After Bangalore’s defeat, defending champion Mumbai is assured of No. 1 spot with 18 points.
With one round of matches left, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders can still make one of the three remaining playoff spots in the eight-team league.
Hyderabad's Sandeep Sharma (2-20) and Jason Holder (2-27) grabbed four wickets among them to restrict Bangalore to 120-7.
Sharma dealt two crucial blows in successive overs during the batting powerplay as the fast bowler got rid of Bangalore’s two in-form batsmen cheaply, claiming Devdutt Padikkal (5) and captain Virat Kohli (7).
Another seamer, Thangarasu Natarjan, took a sharp return catch to dismiss Washington Sundar (21) and tied down Bangalore in the middle overs by conceding only 11 runs off his four overs.
Rashid Khan further strangled Bangalore with his sharp leg-breaks and also had top-scorer Josh Philippe (32) caught at deep mid-wicket before Holder took two wickets in the penultimate over to restrict the opposition.
In reply, Hyderabad reached 121-5 in 14.1 overs to further improve its net run-rate to 0.555 with Wriddhiman Saha making 39 and Holder hitting three sixes off the back foot in his unbeaten 26 off just 10 balls.
Yuzvendra Chahal took 2-19 before Holder lofted the leg-spinner for a straight six as second-place Bangalore (14 points) lost its third successive league game.
At Dubai, fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah took 3-17 and Trent Boult 3-21 as Delhi was restricted to a dismal 110-9.
Mumbai swiftly reached 111-1 in 14.2 overs as Ishan Kishan, promoted in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma, struck an unbeaten 72 off 47 balls.
“Nice to take wickets at the start and we didn’t really let that pressure off,” Boult said. “The wickets are getting nice to bowl on.”
Delhi is still third despite its fourth consecutive defeat and will take on Bangalore in the last league game.
“The situation is straightforward: Win the last game and finish in the top two,” Bangalore skipper Kohli said. “It is going to be a cracker of a game with two teams locked at 14 (points). I have always been a Bangalore boy when it comes to the IPL, and never drifted towards Delhi.”
Boult removed Shikhar Dhawan for his second successive duck when Suryakumar Yadav took a sharp catch at backward point off the New Zealander’s third ball of the match.
Captain Shreyas Iyer (25) and Rishabh Pant (21) were pinned down by Mumbai spin and pace after Boult had Prithvi Shaw caught behind on 10 in his second over.
Iyer finally fell to a smart stumping by Quinton de Kock off legspinner Rahul Chahar (1-24), and Bumrah knocked a final blow when he removed both hard-hitters Marcus Stoinis and Pant in one over.
Bumrah earned his 23rd wicket this season when he had Harshal Patel leg before wicket in his return spell that took him to joint leading wicket-taker in the tournament with Kagiso Rabada.
Rabada couldn’t add to his wickets tally as Kishan smashed two fours and a six over extra cover against the South African fast bowler.
Kishan hit eight fours and three sixes in all, and clinched Mumbai’s first win at Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium this season with a six off paceman Anrich Nortje.
“We fell short at reading the wicket,” Iyer said. “We weren’t up to the mark. Those wickets in the powerplay took down the momentum. It was important that we built partnerships but it happened in bits and pieces.”
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