IPL: RCB's Southee, Siraj restrict Hyderabad to 146

Indian Premier League leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad sent the star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore to another defeat on Monday, as the hosts claimed a five-run victory. Alex Hales departed for 5 runs while Shikhar Dhawan went down after scoring 13 runs. There have been so many ups and downs in the game that the points table keep shuffling as each match passes by. His innings was laced with a total of five fours and two sixes.

But after the dismissal of Vohra, RCB lost few wickets in quick succession and were reduced to 84/5.

It was a much improved bowling performance from Royal Challengers as Southee and Siraj finished with three-wicket hauls despite being hit for a couple of lusty blows in the death overs - a phase which also saw some brilliant fielding by Kohli who effected two run-outs. His side having lost three early wickets, Williamson played sensibly to put up a steady partnership of 64 for the fourth wicket with Shakib al Hasan to shore up the innings. The RCB bowlers, led by Mohammed Siraj and Tim Southee, delivered in tandem and restricted the run-flow. Not once thus far have their opponents managed a run rate of 10 runs per over in the first 5 overs of the game.

Shakib and Rashid then dismissed Kohli and the dangerman AB de Villiers (5) off successive overs to leave RCB's chase in a mess. RCB looked stable until the seventh over when they were cruising at 60/1, owing to the two dropped catches off Rashid Khan's (1/31) spin. SRH v RCB is scheduled to be played at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium located in Hyderabad as it's a home match to Sunrisers. "If you have strong characters, you will always do well", Virat Kohli said after the match. They understand strengths, know their limitations. Spinner Rashid Khan, pacers Siddharth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma, and spin all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, have been very effective. Needing 12 runs to win off the last over, with Colin de Grandhomme out in the middle, the batting team would fancy their chances on most occasions.

Sunrisers Hyderabad has been on a roll this season but same could not be said for their opponent of the day.

"As an all-round team Chennai and Punjab are good". On a hard pitch, the 27-year old showed he had the game and the temperament to adapt to the demands of the situation, and helped himself to his fifth half-century of the season. Table-toppers Hyderabad will have an eye on a playoff spot when they take on RCB.

  • Santos West