Almost a week and a half ago, Sunrisers Hyderabad were flying high. With five straight wins in their IPL 2022 campaign, it seemed like that everything had started to fall in place for the Kane Williamson-led side in the race to the playoffs.
On Sunday, the slide continued as Royal Challengers Bangalore outclassed them in all departments, handing Hyderabad a crushing 67-run loss at the Wankhede Stadium. It was a match where Williamson lost the toss and eventually ended up on the losing side; unable to get the match-changing momentum in their favour.
"We will have to get a bit more creative and come up with ways to change the momentum. We were outplayed, RCB are a really strong side, in fact all teams are strong. For us it's about looking to stay calm. We do need to improve, but don't need to overthink. The margin are always fine, but we need to show signs of improvement," were Williamson's words after the match.
There was a slight glimmer of hope when Virat Kohli was out for a golden duck, on the very first ball of the match, picking his third duck of the season. But from there, Faf du Plessis and Dinesh Karthik, with Rajat Patidar and Glenn Maxwell chipping in, didn't allow Hyderabad's bowlers to dominate them.
The middle and last five overs were all about Bangalore's batting as a Hyderabad bowling attack, missing T Natarajan and Washington Sundar due to injuries, was left wondering who to bowl as young pacers Kartik Tyagi and Umran Malik conceded 17 and 20 runs respectively in their opening overs.
It forced Kane Williamson into bowling two overs of Abhishek Sharma's left-arm spin, which didn't provide much relief as Bangalore's batters continued to score big against extra pace offered by Malik and Tyagi apart from thrashing debutant Afghanistan pacer Fazalhaq Farooqui.
In their last three matches, Hyderabad conceded 199, 202 and 207. The trend continued on Sunday as Bangalore, who were bowled out for 68 when these two teams met last time, made 192 against them on Sunday.
In the field, Hyderabad dropped catches at crucial time, which went for boundaries.
The scoreboard pressure of a daunting total worsened when Williamson was run out on the opening ball of the chase and Sharma was castled in the opening over. Rahul Tripathi waged a lone battle with a 37-ball 58.
But with Bangalore making regular strikes and asking rate steeping high, they were soon bowled out for 125, ending their misery on a hot Sunday afternoon and extending their losing run to four.