Kane Williamson hit an unbeaten 50 to guide Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday and extend Virat Kohli’s wait for a first Indian Premier League title.
The win in the eliminator gave the Sunrisers one last chance to reach the IPL final in a knockout qualifier against Delhi Capitals on Sunday.
New Zealand skipper Williamson rescued his side as they struggled to reach the modest 131-7 off 20 overs set by Bangalore.
Williamson and West Indies’ Jason Holder put on 65 for the fifth wicket to take the Sunrisers to 132-4 with two balls to spare.
Holder hit two fours in the final over to ease his side’s nerves after they had been frustrated by Bangalore’s bowlers.
While Sunrisers’ relieved captain David Warner hailed his side’s gritty performance, Kohli was left to rue another failure in the world’s richest cricket tournament.
The India captain, who has been in three IPL finals in 13 years, said Bangalore had failed to score enough runs in their innings to hope to get another chance.
Kohli himself was out for six and Bangalore needed a patient 56 from A.B. de Villiers to boost their total.
Giving away soft wickets has also been the story of their season having finished with five straight defeats — two by the Sunrisers, who also beat Bangalore in their last final in 2016.
Kohli said young batsman Devdutt Padikkal, who has scored 473 runs in the tournament, had been a standout performer and the likes of de Villiers had been “solid as ever”.
“The others contributed but just not enough,” said Kohli, who added that 2020 has been “one of the most competitive ever” as no side had home advantage playing in the United Arab Emirates.
The tournament has been moved to closed stadiums in the United Arab Emirates because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The final is in Dubai on Tuesday and reigning champions Mumbai Indians have already booked their place.