Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Singh Mann engineered an incredible turnaround that will linger long in the memory of IPL fans, powering Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a four-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Both Hetmyer and Gurkeerat smashed blazing fifties as RCB recovered from a hopelessly placed 20 for three in the third over to reach the 176-run target with four balls to spare. The win meant RCB ended what has been a forgettable season on a positive note, while SRH’s hopes of securing a playoffs berth were kept on standby.
During their 144-run stand for the fourth wicket, Hetmyer hit 6 sixes and 4 fours in his 47-ball 75, while Gurkeerat made 65 off 48 deliveries with the help of eight fours and a maximum.
Earlier, Kane Williamson dealt in fours and sixes as SRH plundered 28 runs in the final over to reach a challenging 175 for seven.
The SRH skipper remained unbeaten on 70 off 43 balls, hitting four sixes and five fours at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
After the match, RCB skipper Virat Kohli was all praise for the Bengaluru fans who have kept coming in large numbers to support the unit irrespective of the results.
“If we focus on the second half, it is exactly what we wanted in the first half. After losing your first six matches, it is very difficult to come back in a tournament like IPL. We have a lot to learn from this season. The first couple of things matters a lot in setting the intensity. We are happy with the way guys have turned things around and the kind of cricket that we have played in the second half. We haven’t finished in the position that we wanted to. But it has been that bad a season for us. We have won last 6 off our 7 matches. We can be proud of the boys played in the final few matches.”
“Hats-off to this crowd. We are so thankful and so grateful to have fans like you all. I can certainly feel your pain. I am emotionally attached to this team like all of you. And next year we will definitely improve our performance. And give you guys what you deserve in return. Thanks again for coming out in huge numbers… They are the best fans in the IPL,” said the Indian talisman on the support provided from RCB fans.