Aaron Finch once again threatened briefly before being dismissed cheaply for the Sunrisers Hyderabad as they came up against one of the great IPL innings from AB de Villiers.
After being dropped on 30, de Villiers smashed 89 off just 41 balls to see his side home by four wickets with two balls to spare.
In their first game back in India following the Dubai leg of this year’s tournament, SRH travelled to Bengaluru to face the Royal Challengers Bangalore in front of a vibrant home crowd.
After being put in to bat, Finch immediately looked in top form with two boundaries in the second over. The Australian’s six over cover was very similar to the shot that got him out against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, but this time he went through with the shot to send it over the ropes.
Having moved on to 13, Finch was beaten for pace by another Aussie with Yorkshire connections, fast bowler Mitchell Starc. The left-armer’s rapid short ball caught Finch on the gloves before going through to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.
Although Shikhar Dhawan looked more at home on the pitches in India, Lokesh Rahul soon followed Finch to the pavilion as he flashed at a wide ball from Ashok Dinda and was well taken by Chris Gayle as the ball flew to first slip to make it 29-2 after 4 overs.
David Warner joined his captain at the crease for a period of re-building and together they reached 72-2 at the halfway stage, having put on a partnership of 43 with Varun Aaron in particular struggling with the ball despite being voted as the emerging player so far of IPL 2014.
The pair continued with ease until the 13th over when Dhawan, attempting to push the scoring rate up, pulled Aaron to deep midwicket where AB de Villiers made no mistake to send the skipper back for 37 off 36 balls, his highest score of the competition.
With five overs to go, sixes from Warner and Darren Sammy signalled the intent to push the score beyond the projected 150 but Sammy soon holed out to the midwicket boundary for eight, having been deceived by a Harshal Patel slower ball.
Warner moved to 50 with a brutal six over long off and repeated the feat two balls later, this time taking aim at his team mates in the dugout and forcing them to scatter after launching Dinda over long on.
An excellent final over from Starc saw Warner bowled for 60 and reduced SRH to 155-6 off their 20.
RCB’s reply got off to a bad start when Bhuvneshwar Kumar clean bowled Patel without scoring to before having the star man Kohli caught behind five balls later.
Sunrisers v Royals, April 18, Royals won by 4 wickets
Kings XI v Sunrisers, April 22, Kings XI won by 72 runs
Sunrisers v Daredevils, April 25, Sunrisers won by 4 runs
Sunrisers v Super Kings, April 27, Super Kings won by 5 wickets
Indians v Sunrisers, April 30, Sunrisers won by 15 runs
Royal Challengers v Sunrisers, May 4, Royal Challengers win by 4 wickets
Royals v Sunrisers, May 8, 3.30pm BST
Daredevils v Sunrisers, May 10, 11.30am BST
Sunrisers v Indians, May 12, 3.30pm BST
Sunrisers v Kings XI, May 14, 11.30am BST
Sunrisers v Knight Riders, May 18, 3.30pm BST
Sunrisers v Royal Challengers, May 20, 11.30am BST
Super Kings v Sunrisers, May 22, 3.30pm BST
Knight Riders v Sunrisers, May 24, 3.30pm BST
Qualifiers, 27-30 May
Final, June 1, 3.30pm BST
Aaron Finch: 13 off 8; SR: 162.5; 1x4, 1x6 and 1 run out
After threatening to take off, Gayle was dismissed for 29 off 17 to leave RCB struggling on 38-3. Rilee Roussow and de Villiers attempted to rebuild but Roussow struggled and was eventually out LBW trying to reverse sweep a ball that went straight on from Karan Sharma.
Yuvraj Singh was out for cheaply but then de Villiers took centre stage to claim a dramatic win from an impossible position.
Finch had time to get a run out with a fantastic direct hit in the final over but it wasn’t enough for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Aaron Finch: 13 off 8; SR: 162.5; 1×4, 1×6 and 1 run out
Will Jackson, Finch Watch Correspondent
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