A highly intensive match was expected when the Warner's Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) met on Sunday (29th May) to fight for the cup in Bengaluru, with SRH finally lifting the trophy.
Beofre the match RCB, had a slight advantage over Sunrisers as they had the experience of playing in an IPL final twice in the past -- 2009 and 2011, but on both occasions, they had finished runners-up and this year too was also not an exception for them.
For SRH, Captain David Warner hit 69 off 38 balls and Ben Cutting a brutal unbeaten 39 off 15 in Hyderabad's 208-7, while England's Chris Jordan took 3-45. But it was it was a nerveless Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who was on the hot-seat at the Chinnaswamy. Finally, the SRH bowlers kept rampaging RCB batting line-up in check to win IPL. For RCB, Chris Gayle (74 off 38) and Virat Kohli (54 off 35) added 114 for the first wicket in reply, before Cutting (2-35) removed Gayle.
Kohli had been in his greatest form since the recent World Twenty20 where he was instrumental in taking India to the semi-finals before the hosts’ heartbreaking loss to the West Indies. Prior the match, Kohli had shattered the previous best aggregate in a season by scoring 919 runs, including four centuries and six fifties.
Rated as the number one T20 batsman in the world, he has also gained kudos for his captaincy during Bangalore’s rollercoaster ride to the final which is being played on their home ground. He had just rare failure in the tournament. His team partner, De Villiers, on the other hand, was the third highest scorer in the league with 682 runs under his belt with, including one century and six half-centuries. In fact Kohli and AB de Villiers have been the cynosure of all eyes for RCB with their boatmanship. But the duo could not seal the final for the RCB.
Just like RCB, Sunrisers were banking on their skipper Warner, who led from the front to ensure a maiden IPL final berth for the Hyderabad outfit. They came into the final on the back of two high-profile wins -- first against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders by 22 runs in the Eliminator and then against Lions in the Qualifier 2.
Warner has been in explosive form for Sunrisers. He is leading by example and has so far amassed 779 runs from 16 games with eight fifties, next only to Kohli in the run-getters' list in IPL 9. The match-winning 93 not out against Lions in the Qualifier 2 last night was Warner's highest score.
Finally, this was so very nearly Royal Challengers Bangalore's IPL that one has to say so close, so far for Kohli-led RCB and Kudos to Wanrer for his inspirational leadership, throughout the tournament. It was boisterous and aggressive disposition of leadership, which made all the difference in the most important final match.