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by Saksham Mishra & Cricket World Thursday 28 May 2020
The Hyderabad franchise originally began their Indian Premier League journey as Deccan Chargers. The team won the IPL title under Adam Gilchrist in 2009 but did not qualify for the playoffs in 2011 and 2012.
On 14 September 2012, the IPL governing council banned Deccan Chargers permanently, terminating them for breaching contract terms. And, Sunrisers Hyderabad took their place.
The Sunrisers kicked off their stint in 2013. They had their moment of glory in 2016, beating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final to lift their maiden IPL trophy and have made it to the IPL playoffs each time since then.
Both SRH and RCB had finished the 2016 league stage with eight wins and six losses but it was Bangalore's qualification which was more dramatic. The Virat Kohli-led side lost 5 off their first 7 matches and then turned it around to make it to the final.
The RCB skipper led from the front with as many as four centuries in the season and a total of 973 runs, just 27 short of what would have been a mind-boggling 1000-run tally over just 16 T20 matches. Kohli plundered runs at an average of over 80 and a strike rate of more than 150.
His SRH counterpart David Warner was not far behind by much. The Australian scored 848 runs from 17 games at an average of 60+ and a strike rate of 151.42.
The final was set up as the battle between the two charismatic skippers. Both did not let their fans down and scored half-centuries, but it was Warner who had the last laugh.
As Hyderabad batted first on the miniature M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, they knew that they had to post a target north of 200 to have a shot at their maiden IPL title and Warner couldn't trust anybody but himself to do the job. The skipper clubbed 69 runs off just 38 deliveries at a strike rate of over 180 to give the team the ideal start.
A 23-ball 38 from Yuvraj Singh and a 15-ball 39 from Ben Cutting were crucial in taking Hyderabad to their objective. Sreenath Arvind, Yuzvendra Chahal and Chris Jordan were RCB's leading bowlers.
Chris Gayle, who had bowled his three overs at just 8 RPO, came back to blast a 38-ball 76 at a strike rate of 200. Virat Kohli, who had played the foil to him, began to come to his own after his dismissal but just when things looked in complete control with RCB at 112/0 at the halfway mark, Barinder Sran outfoxed the RCB Skipper.
Bangalore were still in a commanding situation with AB de Villiers, KL Rahul and Shane Watson to come. But the team made a meal of the run chase as Man of the Match Ben Cutting did the job with the ball as well, ending with figures of 4-35-2.
It came down to the last over with RCB needing 18 runs to win. Sachin Baby and Chris Jordan were at the crease and a win was tough, but within the realm of possibility. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had been the Purple Cap holder for a majority of the season with 23 wickets from 17 games, took the ball in the final over and ensured that SRH registered an 8-wicket victory.
The Sunrisers became the first team outside the top two to win an IPL title since the playoffs were introduced. RCB's wait for their first IPL title was extended, and continues to date.
© Cricket World 2020