AB de Villiers expressed his disappointment after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s heavy defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad as they have now lost three games in a row. It wasn’t too long ago that RCB were cruising towards a top half finish for the first time since 2016 but a string of losses in the past week or so have put them in an extremely uncomfortable position.
Their last game against DC will thus be a crucial fixture and they will have to be at the top of their game to win it and finish in the top 2. However, they may still qualify with a defeat provided a host of other results go their way.
“It’s a terrible feeling to lose three in a row, you never want to do that,” de Villiers said. “But that’s the nature of this tournament, anything can happen: if you lose three in a row, you can win three in a row as well. The Delhi game is a big game we all know that. We’re going to have to come out with our best cricket on the day. If we do, things will look up very well for us.”
Batting first, RCB got off to their worst start of the season, losing both Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal and managing to score just 30 runs in the powerplay. Phillippe and AB de Villiers began to rebuild the innings thereon striking a healthy partnership between them before the latter mishit the ball straight into Abhishek Sharma’s hands while attempting to clear him at deep cover for a boundary. In the very next over, Phillippe too was caught at deep mid-wicket while trying to accelerate the innings.
De Villiers acknowledged that the loss of his wicket and that of Josh Phillippe’s in quick successions was the turning point in the game for SRH.
“It cost us 20-30 runs now if you look at it,” de Villiers said. “At the end of the day, it might have not been enough anyway. The field got very wet in the second innings which changed the conditions quite a bit and maybe 140 would have been short as well.
“Yes, we were initially talking about 160 which I think was a bit high. Right at the end there we were starting to talk about 140 would be a good score. Credit to them they bowled exceptionally well. From the word go they didn’t give us a lot of boundary balls. Their seamers particularly started well in the PowerPlay. They didn’t make a lot of mistakes. After the PowerPlay it didn’t get much easier with Rashid, who didn’t bowl a lot of bad balls either tonight. I think they applied a lot of pressure.”
He heaped praises on the Hyderabad side for their all-round performance and admitted that they were better on the given day as they did exceptionally well to contain RCB’s star-studded batting line-up.
Banglore batsmen found it extremely difficult to score runs on a sluggish surface and had difficulty finding the middle of the bat as they stuttered to a below par total of 120/9. Their bowlers did fight really hard to take the game as deep as possible but a Jason Holder cameo at the back end of the innings made sure they stood no chance as SRH defeated them by 5 wickets with 35 balls to spare.
“I thought we did everything we could do out there,” he said. “They bowled very well. They got a couple to sneak a few through bat and pad, a couple of good catches. They didn’t make a lot of mistakes. Maybe we could have played better, I would never shy away from saying that. But they put a lot of pressure on us tonight.
“The Sharjah wicket was very slow, the outfield was slow as well so punching through covers didn’t go for four, it went for one or two. That also put a lot of pressure. I thought they were quite boring out there which was what was required on this wicket. There was enough in the wicket to do the basics well, they hit top of the wicket with the odd cutter on a good length. They backed that up with very good fielding.”
Featured Image: Twitter/@IPL