With 12 points to their name, Hyderabad's playoffs fate now lies in the hands of Mumbai Indians. If the Rohit Sharma-led side defeat Kolkata Knight Riders in the last group match, Hyderabad will make it to the last-four on the basis of superior NRR. However, if Kolkata get the better of Mumbai, they will move forward as the fourth-placed team.
Earlier, Washington Sundar scalped three wickets to leave Hyderabad in a spot of bother before Williamson came to his own and hit an unbeaten 70 off 43 deliveries to lead them to 175 for 7. In reply, the big guns failed but Hetmyer (47-ball 75) and Gurkeerat (48-ball 65) came up with a stunning response to help their chase down the total with four deliveries to spare.
Asked to bat first, Wriddhiman Saha and Martin Guptill got Hyderabad off to a rapid start, adding 46 runs in just 4.3 overs. The two batsmen wasted no time and straightaway went after Navdeep Saini in the second over accumulating 19 off it.
Saha smashed Yuzvendra Chahal for three consecutive fours and was looking in fine form before Saini got his revenge by having the wicketkeeper-batsman caught at mid on for 11-ball 20. Washington then removed Guptill (23-ball 30) and in-form Manish Pandey (9) in the space of four deliveries to swing the momentum back in Bangalore's favour.
Vijay Shankar (18-ball 27) then did his thing - got off to a solid start. Slammed a couple of lusty blows. Then once again threw his wicket away.
There was hardly any contribution from Yusuf Pathan (3) and Mohammad Nabi (4) and Hyderabad needed their skipper to stand up. Having scored just 58 runs in seven innings this season, Williamson returned to form when his team needed him the most.
The 28-year-old took his time and was on 20 off 22 balls at one stage. Williamson then started the classy assault by smoking Kulwant Khejroliya for two maximums over deep square leg. The right-hander made sure he was there till the final over in which he hit Umesh Yadav for 28 runs, including two sixes and as many fours, to propel his team to a pretty solid total.
Bangalore needed a decent start but Khaleel Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed their top order in no time to derail the chase very early in the second innings. After Bhuvneshwar got rid of Parthiv Patel in the first over, Virat Kohli (16) welcomed Khaleel with a couple of voguish shots before the left-arm paceman had him caught behind with a delivery that was angling away from the batsman.
Before the dust had settled, Bhuvneshwar managed to move one away from AB de Villiers and induced an edge that went straight into the hands of Guptill at first slip.
Having been reduced to 20 for 3, Hetmyer looked unfazed with the kind of situation they were in but didn't shy away from playing his natural game. The West Indian was aggressive against both Afghanistan spinners - Nabi and Rashid Khan - and mostly targeting the leg-side boundary. While Hetmyer was going all guns blazing from one end, Gurkeerat ensured that the left-hander had most of the strike.
Hetmyer blasted Rashid for a six over deep square leg to bring up his maiden IPL fifty and that's when even Gurkeerat started to open his shoulders. Hetmyer survived three very close calls in the 13th over but ensured that there was no drop in his energy level. Even someone like Rashid looked unsettled against Hetmyer.
Gurkeerat, who was playing the role of an anchor in the partnership, too started playing freely and that kept adding pressure to Williamson and Co. The 28-year-old brought up his second IPL fifty by smashing Vijay for three fours in one over.
Needing 30 runs in the last four overs, Hetmyer and Gurkeerat brought Bangalore very close to the target but perished in quick succession to leave nine runs for the remaining batsmen. While Hetmyer slammed four fours and six maximums before his departure, Gurkeerat fell after crafting eight fours and a six.
Just when it looked like it was all over, Khaleel dismissed Washington for a golden duck, leaving six to get off the last over. However, Umesh smashed two consecutive fours to made sure Bangalore ended the season on a high note.
First Published: May 5, 2019, 8:31 AM IST