In a tense finish at the Chinnaswamy, Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 runs to win their maiden IPL title. Chasing 209, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli had put the hosts in the driver’s seat with a century stand, before RCB lost their way in the middle overs.
In the grand finale of the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore took on Sunrisers Hyderabad in search of their maiden IPL title. In the last eight matches at the venue, teams batting first have won just thrice. But, Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner still opted to bat first and allowed the opposition to chase at the Chinnaswamy.
“Had I known, I wouldn't have come for the toss. I wanted to bowl first anyway,” said Kohli, after accepting the invitation to chase from Warner. RCB went in with the same starting lineup that played against Gujarat Lions in the first qualifier, while Mustafizur Rahman came back into the side for SRH in place of Trent Boult.
Same old, same old for David Warner
Virat Kohli has been the star of the season, scoring a truckload of runs everywhere he has batted. But, if one man has caught up to the standards of the RCB skipper, then it has definitely been David Warner. The Aussie, who scored a 25-ball 58 the last time he played at the stadium, continued his tremendous form in the IPL, and thrashed the RCB bowlers left, right, and centre after a relatively quiet first four overs.
Warner’s Aussie team-mate Shane Watson faced the brunt of the southpaw, as he went after the all-rounder to smash him for 19 runs in the fifth over. The over opened the floodgates and Warner cashed in on every given opportunity to take the team forward. There was no stopping of Warner, but Chahal removed Dhawan in the 7th over to bring some respite for the RCB bowling attack. But, Warner continued in the same vein and brought up his fifty in the ninth over, off just 24 balls.
Warner departs and SRH stumble, before Cutting blitzkrieg
SRH made 97 runs in the first ten overs, and a 200+ score was expected with nine more wickets in hand. But, it all depended on Warner’s innings. With wickets falling around him, the pressure to score quick runs fell on the shoulders of Warner, and it led to his downfall in the 14th over. The Aussie attempted to cut a ball outside off-stump from Aravind, only to slash it into the lap of Abdulla at short third man.
With Warner gone, RCB sensed an opportunity to puncture the Hyderabad side’s innings, and slowed them down by taking wickets. But, Yuvraj Singh gave them something to worry by playing a cameo of 38 from 23 balls. The southpaw played a vintage innings, reminding fans of his famous knock at the Wanderers back in 2008 while hitting Chris Jordan for a six and a boundary in the 12th over. Chahal received the same treatment in the 15th over with Yuvraj hitting a 107-meter monster six over long-off. But, SRH continued to lose wickets with Hooda, Yuvraj, Ojha, and Bipul Sharma falling in quick succession. But, Ben Cutting was still there.
The Aussie, who pulled off an amazing save near the boundary in the last match, sent six after six into the stands today as he powered SRH past 200. After smashing a six and a four in the 18th over, Cutting took centre stage in the final over and sent Watson into the stands thrice in the over, to help his team post 208/7 on the board.
No rain, only Gayle storm at Chinnaswamy
Weather reports had predicted showers in the Garden City, but the only rain that happened in Chinnaswamy was that of sixes and fours. After a first innings, which saw 10 balls flying into the stands, Chris Gayle came out in a mood to add to the maximums, and he did it emphatically by adding 8 off his own. When the Orange Cap holder Virat Kohli started his innings with singles, Gayle dealt in fours and sixes. An outside edge over the slips was Gayle’s first boundary, but everything after that found the middle of his bat.
The Caribbean batsman sent bowler after bowler into the stands, and left Warner scratching his head for an answer. Apart from Bhuvneshwar, who gave just 12 runs in his first two overs, and Mustafizur, who gave four runs in the 6th over, all other bowlers went for plenty as RCB raced ahead. Gayle brought up his half-century off just 25 balls in the 7th over, when Kohli had made just 10 off 12 balls. It looked all too easy for Gayle in the middle as RCB made 112 runs in 10 overs. SRH needed a wicket to keep their hopes alive, and they received it in the 11th over after Cutting removed the Caribbean batsman for 76 off 38 balls.
Gayle and Kohli depart; RCB stutter
Although Gayle departed, Virat Kohli was still at the crease to take the RCB innings forward. The skipper upped his gear and brought up his seventh fifty of the season in the 13th over. But, Barinder Sran silenced the crowd at Chinnaswamy stadium two balls later by removing the right hander. Kohli tried to cut a ball too close to the body only to drag it back to the stumps. With two of their superstars back in the pavilion, RCB’s chase looked like stuttering for the first time in the match, and they found themselves in real trouble in the 14th over after AB de Villiers also departed to the pavilion.
With Kohli, Gayle, and de Villiers back in the dugout, RCB faced an uphill task in the last five overs with 51 runs still needed for a win. Rahul, Watson, and Binny all perished in the search for quick runs as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur strangled them. Needing 30 runs off the last two overs, Sachin Baby and Chris Jordan scored 12 runs off the penultimate over to leave RCB needing 18 runs for a win in the last six deliveries. With 18 runs needed off the last over, RCB faced an uphill to task to win the title. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled the final over and found the perfect yorker after yorker to stop the batsmen from finding the ropes. By the time, the home team found a boundary in the over it was too little too late for them. Bhuvneshwar conceded just nine runs in the over and destroyed RCB’s hopes to guide SRH to their maiden IPL title.
Image Courtesy: © IPL
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