Sunrisers Hyderabad managed an 8-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore to become IPL champions for the first time. The nail-biter final saw an incredible performance by Hyderabad bowlers who prevented the batting-heavy side from getting to 208 runs.
The clash between the best batting of the IPL and the best bowling side tilted in the favour of the bowling side after the first 11 overs.
All credit to the Hyderabad bowlers who restricted the in-form Virat Kohli (54 off 35 balls) and AB de Villiers.
The Hyderabad bowlers, especially Mustafizur Rahaman (1/37 in 4 overs) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/25 in 4 overs) made it difficult for even the big-hitter Chris Gayle (76 off 38 balls) to run away with the match.
Hyderabad captain David Warner’s batting (69 off 38 balls) and astute captaincy also had a big role to play in the final. Warner’s side magnificently defended their total of 208/7 after electing to bat first.
Gayle and Bangalore skipper Kohli had a scintillating opening stand of 114 in 10.3 overs. At that point it looked like a cakewalk for the home team. But from there on, the match slowly slipped away from their hands. Trouble mounted when AB de Villiers was dismissed quickly in just 6 balls. The home team finally managed to only muster up 200/7.
Many say the turning point of the match certainly was be the 24 runs that Hyderabad’s Ben Cutting got in the final over off Shane Watson’s bowling that took the Sunrisers past the 200-run mark.
Cutting who blasted a brilliant 39 off 15 balls with the bat, came back as a bowler later in the game to dismiss a rampaging Gayle. He picked up 2 wickets conceding only 35 runs.
On the other hand, the Royal Challengers needed 18 runs off the last over. Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept his cool and conceded only 9 runs to win the match for Sunrisers. He bowled 13 dot balls in his 4 overs.
The brilliant 18th over by Bhuvneshwar where he conceded only 7 runs, stole the match away from the hosts.
As the last ball was delivered, the entire team broke out into wild celebration.
It was indeed a tragic end to Kohli’s dream run. He finished the tournament with an astounding 973 runs with an average of 81.08 and an equally impressive strike-rate of 152.03. He hit four hundreds and seven half-centuries, not to forget the 83 boundaries and 38 sixes.
“Definitely proud of the way we played this season. This was for people of Bengaluru. They have supported in worst of seasons. We would have been loved to be on other side of result. We went for a few but wicket was nice. Me and AB getting out close to each other was a big blow. Had I stayed with AB a little longer, it would have been different,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.