In a rain-interrupted contest in the Indian Premier League last night, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by six wickets to improve their playoffs qualification chances. They can now qualify by winning their next fixture, against Delhi Daredevils. They are likely to qualify even if they lose the next match, provided Kolkata Knight Riders defeats Rajasthan Royals in tonight’s encounter.

Sunrisers still retain a good chance to enter the next round too. A win in their final league game against Mumbai Indians is all they need to ensure a playoffs berth. It is interesting that six teams now have the chance to clinch the four playoffs berth.

Rain delayed the start of the match and reduced it to an 11-over affair. David Warner won the toss and decided to bat first. He and Moises Henriques biffed quick-fire fifties to propel Sunrisers to 135 for three. Warner scored 52 off 32 balls, while Henriques slammed 57 off 22 balls.

Rain interrupted again and the target was re-calculated to 81 in six overs. Chris Gayle (35 off 10 balls) and Virat Kohli (44 not out off 19 balls) threw fire and brimstone at Sunrisers’ bowlers. The first two overs produced 41 runs. RCB needed only 40 runs from four overs. But Henriques reversed the fortunes in the third over when he sent back Gayle and AB de Villiers in successive deliveries.

Kohli then took control of the chase. He managed to hit sixes whenever asking rate threatened go out of reach. RCB needed 14 runs from the final over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. First two balls resulted in only one run and a run-out. Kohli expertly hit two off-side boundaries in the next two deliveries. You rarely find such calm placement in the slog overs. Then he hit a straight six to seal the deal. Warner in fact managed to catch the ball, but in the process he crossed the boundary rope.

Virat Kohli is the man of the match.

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