by Willow Leathers
A rowdy evening at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru ended with a sombre home crowd as Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 runs.
It began so hopefully for first time finalists Sunrisers with Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner getting off to explosive starts with 28 and 69 respectively. However, with the wicket of Dhawan came a shaky follow up from the rest of the Sunrisers batting until Ben Cutting came in for an impressive cameo finish.
A magnificent knock from The Universe Boss himself Christopher Gayle got RCB off to a flying start, with captain Kohli, having been in fine form all tournament, providing patient back up. By the time Gayle got out on 76 off 38 balls Kohli was fully prepared to accelerate and AB de Villiers came in. However Kohli did not last long past his half century and de Villiers was gone for just 5.
“The pitch was good, the conditions were good. We set a good target, just over par. We know RCB are a great side, so we had to trust our bowling.” Warner said after the game.
“Really, we have to thank Sachin Tendulkar. Before the game I called him and asked if we could go have a pray at the Golden Underpants, he said it was fine. Between that and the powdered bat supplements of his I have been taking, there was no way I was going to lose this final.” He continued.
Kohli will now go into India’s international fixtures for the summer needing a bit of a pickup but there is no doubt a big future for the talented, but intense, young man. He is still only 27 and yet we talk about him as if he has been in the game for decades and the hunger for success he has demonstrated. Virat Kohli is a special talent and likely future captain of India.
“It was fun out there,” said Shikhar Dhawan after the match, “You know? We worked hard. I haven’t quite fired as well as I would like. It wasn’t a great performance from me today, but the side came together and put in an excellent performance.”
And of the Sacred Golden Underpants; “You know, I don’t think we could have done it without the blessing of the pants. They had the boss of the universe, but we had the blessing of its creator. Sachin Tendulkar’s underpants are made of gold and they are Holy Golden Underpants. We all love Sachin and thank him for letting him pray at the pants.”
Whether blessed by the Sacred Golden Underpants or not, Sunrisers have been a standout side this tournament. They had an inconsistent start to the season, but kept up their table pressure mostly thanks to some amazing bowling performances. David Warner has been a stable presence at the top of the batting and they have had plenty of cameos backing it up. Having only come into the tournament a few years ago, it is their first time final and a first IPL win for Sunrisers.
RCB will likely rue not taking advantage of when they were fully in control with the bat. After the wickets of Gayle and Kohli, who set an incredible platform, run making was slow and inconsistent and wickets fell regularly. Royal Challengers Bangalore went into this final with somewhat of an ‘always the bridesmaid’ attitude and one has to wonder if the two time runners up mostly need to deal with their psychological deficits, rather than any lack of talent in batting and bowling.
Special credit must go to Sunrisers bowlers, Cutting, Kumar and Mustafizur all bowled wonderfully and ensured SRH could defend their only slightly better than par score. An amazing, passionate and close final brought to a close by rightful winners – Sunrisers Hyderabad, congratulations.