Royal Challengers Bangalore's hopes of reaching the Indian Premier League play-offs took a hit with a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad, who kept their own slim hopes alive.
Bangalore won the toss, and Virat Kohli chose to bat first, but 160-6 was a middling score rather than a daunting one in Deccan.
The Sunrisers made a rapid start in reply, led by Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner, only to lose their way a little and find themselves chasing 20 from the final two overs.
The finishing of Darren Sammy and Aaron Finch, however, got them over the line.
|Royal Challengers Bangalore Scorecard|
|Chris Gayle||c Parveez Rasool b Karan Sharma||14||20||70.00||1||0|
|Parthiv Patel||lbw Bhuvneshwar Kumar||4||4||100.00||1||0|
|Virat Kohli||c Dale Steyn b Irfan Pathan||67||41||163.41||4||4|
|Yuvraj Singh||c Dale Steyn b Parveez Rasool||21||25||84.00||2||1|
|AB de Villiers||b Bhuvneshwar Kumar||29||17||170.58||2||1|
|Sachin Rana||NOT OUT||12||7||171.42||2||0|
|Mitchell Starc||run out (Naman Ojha)||6||6||100.00||1||0|
|EXTRAS||(w 4, b 2, lb 1)||7|
|TOTAL||(6 wickets; 20 overs)||160||TOTAL|
It was a match the Royal Challengers will rue, but with Chris Gayle out of form and struggling, the innings got off to an all-too-familiar sluggish start.
He fell for 14 from 20 balls, with Parthiv Patel already bested by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, perhaps the seamer of the tournament so far.
Kumar and Dale Steyn were frugal in their spells, which meant that even though Virat Kohli (67 from 41 balls) and AB de Villiers (29 from 17) threatened to take the game away from Hyderabad, neither quite managed it.
|Sunrisers Hyderabad Scorecard|
|Shikhar Dhawan||run out (Yuvraj Singh)||50||39||128.20||7||1|
|David Warner||c Yuvraj Singh b Varun Aaron||59||46||128.26||3||4|
|Naman Ojha||c Yuvraj Singh b Varun Aaron||24||20||120.00||0||2|
|Aaron Finch||NOT OUT||11||9||122.22||1||0|
|Darren Sammy||NOT OUT||10||4||250.00||0||1|
|EXTRAS||(w 3, b 2, lb 2)||7|
|TOTAL||(3 wickets; 19.4 overs)||161|
In response, Dhawan and Warner were paired together for the first time in the tournament. With Dhawan finally hitting some form and Warner at last restored to the top of the order, it worked.
Dhawan passed 50 to get the innings off to a breezy start, while Warner crunched four maximums in a 46-ball 59.
By the time the openers fell, there was still 35 required from the final 23 balls, and a chance for RCB to strangle the chase and steal victory emerged.
But the Sunrisers have some powerful finishers, and Varun Aaron and Mitchell Starc could not prevent the final push from Sammy and Finch to get the home team over the line.
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