The Sunrisers Hyderabad held their nerve in a tense IPL final at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore to clinch victory in the final over against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to win their first ever IPL Championship. This was the third time that RCB has made it to an IPL final and come out on the losing side.
Sunrisers captain David Warner surprised everyone by winning the toss and deciding to bat. Cricketing pundits expected Warner to put RCB into bat as Kohli is the best chaser in the game but Warner opted to play to his team’s strengths and that was their death bowling. Warner continued his fantastic form and scored 69 with a strike rate of over 180.
Warner received support from Yuvraj who scored 38 from 23 balls and from Ben Cutting who played an important cameo scoring 39 from just 15 balls. Cutting took apart Shane Watson who went for 61 from his 4 overs and remained wicketless. The Sunrisers set RCB a stiff target of 209 which would have been difficult for most teams but not RCB.
Gayle who had been in poor form decided to come good on the big stage and smashed 76 of just 38 balls and received good support from RCB skipper Virat Kohli who scored yet another fifty. RCB looked to be cruising at 114-0 before Cutting struck with the wicket of Gayle. The Sunrisers did not panic and Warner rotated his bowlers well and must have been very thankful for being able to call on M ‘the fizz’ Rahman who was able to put the brakes on RCB whenever it was required.
RCB continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and when AB Devilliers fell to left arm spinner B Sharma, the odds tiled in favour of the Sunrisers. Cutting also delivered with the ball sending down his four overs for just 35 runs and taking two crucial wickets in the process. Stuart Binny and Chris Jordan lost their wickets after being run out and from then it became a herculean task for the tail to be able to slog B Kumar and the fizz in the final overs. RCB fell 9 runs short but should be proud of the way the fight they put up in front of their home crowd.
In a statement, the winning captain Warner said “Fantastic team achievement. To lead this side and the support from the players, me pulling my weight with the runs, it has been a hard journey. It’s a team effort. To have the perfect game, we need to gel. For us, the key was team effort all the way. To win in Bangalore, we were underdogs. But, we batted well, bowled well, and fielded well.”