Hyderabad rise to IPL throne
A late burst from Ben Cutting and disciplined death-over bowling led Sunrisers Hyderabad to the Indian Premier League Championship for the first time as they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight runs in the final at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29.
Needing 18 runs to eclipse the 208-run targer from the last over after Mustafizur Rahman’s last ball in the 19th over was hit for a six by Sachin Baby, Bangalore were fell eight runs short as Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a fine last over which also included the run-out of Chris Jordan.
Bangladesh pace sensation Mustafizur -- adjudged the emerging player of the tournament -- had a vital role to play in the win as he briefly stopped the Chris Gayle carnage by giving away only four runs in the fifth over, before picking up the crucial wicket of Shane Watson when he was threatening to cut loose at the death. Watson tried to hit a signature Fizz cutter into the stands, but only ended up skying it to extra cover in the 17th over.
The six off his last ball spoiled his figures somewhat as he finished with one for 37, his second-most costly figures of the season, but still less than what Bangalore needed him to concede at the high-scoring Chinnaswamy.
Chris Gayle gave Hyderabad a royal fright as he started to make the huge chase look like a cakewalk during his 38-ball 76. The Jamaican hit eight huge sixes and just four boundaries during a 114-run partnership with skipper Virat Kohli, whose spectacular talents were relegated to a supporting role.
Needing 51 runs from the last five overs with seven wickets in hand, it was up to the firm of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur, who were helped by a fine four-run 16th over from Cutting during which he got rid of KL Rahul, to ensure that Bangalore lose the IPL final for a third time.
Gayle’s onslaught started in the fourth over when he took Barinder Sran to two sixes and a four. The carnage only relented briefly in the sixth over when Mustafizur conceded just four runs, but otherwise carried on till the 11th over, when Gayle tried to hit pacer Ben Cutting for his ninth maximum but ended up edging to third man.
Kohli, in sight of being the first man to score 1,000 runs in a single IPL season, assumed the lead role, reaching his 50 with a six off Sran in the 13th over. But then the unthinkable happened and Kohli played on to Sran in the same over, falling 27 runs short of 1,000 runs but comfortably holding the record of the highest run-scorer in a single edition.
There was still AB de Villiers, but for once he could not create magic as he followed his partner in the very next over, caught off Bipul Sharma.
Earlier, Sunrisers Hyderabad blasted 52 runs in the last three overs after skipper David Warner hit a magnificent 38-ball 69 to post a mammoth 208 for seven.
Choosing to bat first, a surprising decision considering the results so far this season, Warner came out all guns blazing as he and Shikhar Dhawan added 63 for the first wicket in just 6.4 overs. Dhawan was the more sedate partner with 28 off 25 balls, hitting three fours and a six before falling to Yuzvendra Chahal.
Warner carried on, joined by Yuvraj Singh, who continued his recent good form with 38 off 23 balls, with two big sixes and four boundaries. Warner was third out with the score on 125 in the 14th over, his eight fours and three sixes giving Hyderabad a solid platform from which to explode.
And explode they did, in the form of Ben Cutting who blasted his way to a 15-ball 39 with three boundaries and four sixes. Three of those sixes came in the last over bowled by Shane Watson, one of the best bowlers of the tournament. Watson conceded 24 runs in an over which also contained a four, from Cutting's bat.
Hyderabad will have every hope of defending the title as they have arguably the best bowling attack in the tournament, especially after having been bolstered by the return of Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman, the most economical death bowler of the tournament.
SCORES IN BRIEF
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD: 208 for 7 (Warner 68, Cutting 39 not out, Yuvraj 38; Jordan 3-45, Aravind 2-30)
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: 200 for 7 (Gayle 76, Kohli 54, Baby 18 not out; Cutting 2-35, Sharma 1-17, Mustafizur 1-37)
Result: Hyderabad won by 8 runs