Teams who have already been knocked out of the IPL have bounced back of late to shock the better placed ones. On Wednesday, Delhi Capitals produced a superb performance to upset Punjab Kings.
In Hyderabad on Thursday, Heinrich Klaasen made 104 off 51 balls as Sunrisers Hyderabad reached 186 for five against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The crowd in Hyderabad has probably been the most vociferous in this IPL and they were supporting RCB. When they saw Faf du Plessis had won the toss, they cheered so loudly that the RCB captain had to wait for a few seconds to announce what they had chosen to do.
Royal Challengers Bangalore players rush in to celebrate with Michael Bracewell (left) on his dismissal of Sunrisers’ Rahul Tripathi on Thursday. PTI picture
But Klaasen’s stupendous innings prompted them to switch allegiance quickly. Klaasen was in his element from the start. He was lethal on anything dropped short by the spinners and never allowed them to settle into a length. The South African reached his hundred off 49 balls with a straight six off Harshal Patel.
RCB did well to restrict Sunrisers below 200 with some disciplined bowling towards the end. While Mohammed Siraj gave away only four off the final over, Wayne Parnell’s 18th over produced only seven. This was after 21 runs had come off the 15th over by Karn Sharma.
Klaasen displayed his big-hitting prowess, smashing eight fours and six sixes during his scintillating knock. He forged a 76-run partnership with Aiden Markram (18) before adding another 74 off 36 balls with Harry Brook (27 not out) to take the Sunrisers to a competitive total.
Sunrisers once again had a poor start after being asked to take first strike. As has been the case this season, Rahul Tripathi (15) and Abhishek Sharma (11) frittered away reasonably good starts, leaving the Sunrisers at 28 for 2 in the fifth over.
They scored just 11 in the first three overs before the openers milked Parnell for 16 runs. However, off-spinner Michael Bracewell struck twice, removing both the openers in his first three balls. While Abhishek hit straight to Mahipal Lomror at cover, Tripathi found the fine leg fielder off his slog paddle sweep.
Klaasen hammered three fours off Shahbaz Ahmed to power the Sunrisers to 49 for 2 in the Powerplay. Klaasen rocked back and pulled every time the ball was short as Bracewell and Harshal was sent across the ropes, while Karn was dispatched for a 74-metre six.
The South African completed his fifty in 24 balls.