Indian Premier League is the grandest cricket league in the world without doubt and the 9th season of IPL came to a close with a worthy final. A match where players like David Warner, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli displayed their range and put up some serious fireworks for the crowd at Bangalore.
It was a run fest at the Chinnaswamy Stadium with more than 400 runs scored in 40 overs. A match which swung more often than a pendulum and went right down to the wire. A match where the batsmen ruled for all but the last few overs and then the bowlers stood up to turn the match and give us the new and first time IPL champions – Sunrisers Hyderabad.
It was the super sunday clash for the viewers at the ground and all over the world. The stadium was jam-packed well before the match started.
The crowd was one-sided for sure backing the home team RCB with the Sunrisers supporters a distant minority. Warner won the toss and elected to bat first, a move that was quite contrasting to their strategy for the whole tournament. Probably they wanted to get away from the pressure of chasing in a final whereas RCB skipper Virat Kohli was quite happy he got to chase. Warner backed his decision to bat first with a bang. He completely unleashed himself to smash the Bangalore bowlers all over the park. Dhawan gave him good support as both of them put together a half century partnership in quick time to add 63 for the first wicket inside of 7 overs.
Warner kept going from one end as a man possesed. He knew they needed a really big score to defend from the dangerous batting order of RCB to make a match of it. New man Moses Henriques did not get going but Warner kept hitting boundaries to keep the run rate going at almost 10 runs an over. Henriques departed for just 4 runs and it happened for the best as Yuvraj Singh came in to give Warner much needed support. Yuvraj started attacking the bowlers soon with his trademark drives for fours and sixes.
Warner was again the top scorer for his Team with 69 runs from 38 balls while Yuvraj smashed 38 from just 23 but the most important thrust came from the big Ben Cutting as he smacked an unbeaten 39 runs from mere 15 balls to propel the final score to a massive 208 in 20 overs.
Sunrisers scored 52 runs in the last 3 overs, all thanks to some humongous blows from Cutting which included a 24 run last over bowled by Shane Watson.
A target of 209 runs in the finals would take nothing less than a miracle and it was there, almost. With a batting lineup that has Gayle, Kohli, Devillers and Watson as their top 4, targets are never out of bounds. RCB is team which never bogs down and they showed how. Chris Gayle unleashed his fury of sixes on the Sunrisers bowlers while Kohli preferred to watch at the other end, as a total of 208 runs started to look small. They came out all guns blazing and scored at more than 11 runs an over to stitch together an match building opening partnership of a whopping 114 in mere 10.3 overs with Gayle doing the bulk of the scoring with 76 runs off just 38 balls including 8 mammoth sixes.
Gayle’s wicket brought some respite to Sunrisers but it was short lived as Kohli now took matters in his hands and started going after the bowlers to bring up yet another half century but he tried to do too much too soon as he came down to wicket to left arm quick Barinder Sran to see his stumps disturbed for 54 runs off 35 balls.
Devillers failed this time and followed Kohli back to the pavilion soon. Despite the wickets, RCB was well-placed by the end of 15th over, needing 51 off 5 overs with dependable KL Rahul and Shane Watson at the crease. 10 an over in the last overs is pretty much an average score but the Sunrisers are at their miserly best in the last overs with Mustafizur and Bhuvaneshwar bowling consistent and immaculate yorkers. Ben Cutting bowled a fantastic 16th over giving away just 4 runs and taking the wicket of Rahul. 47 required off the 4 overs from the Fizz and Bhuvi. And then started the similar story of Sunrisers bowling in the last 4 overs for all this season. There were majorly yorkers, some slower balls, fewer runs and some wickets. Sunrisers yet again pulled the choke on the chasing team. RCB fell short by 8 runs in the end giving Sunrisers their maiden IPL title.
There were grand celebrations from the Sunrisers lead by an ecstatic David Warner who undoubtedly has carried the team on his shoulders. RCB were obviously dejected but should hold their heads high for the performance and character they have shown to reach the finals of the tournament. Sunrisers were the better team today and deserved every bit of this win. Till next year.. Sunrisers Hyderabad…. You are the CHAMPIONS!!