New Delhi: Sunrisers Hyderabad stunned the cricket fraternity by defeating batting powerhouse Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016.
While other teams prefer picking maximum number of power-hitters for their squads, Hyderabad believe in playing with a balanced squad – a move which paid rich dividends as the Orange Brigade lifted their maiden IPL title at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
In the auction earlier this year, SRH signed two key players in Mustafizur Rahman and Barinder Sran. The duo wasn't in the radar of other franchises, who splurged money on swashbuckling batsmen. But Hyderabad, who already had a quality bowling line up, strengthened it further by picking these two pacers.
While Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been an integral part of the Hyderabad franchise in the last few years, he was given good assistance by Rahman, as the duo made life miserable for the most established batsmen in the death overs in IPL 2016. Bhuvi was deadly with his yorkers, and the young Bangaldeshi pacer continued to impress with his variation.
Despite not being a formidable batting unit, SRH posted a brilliant 208-run total in the final, courtesy a 15-ball 39 cameo from Ben Cutting. The chase was always going to be tough for RCB, against SRH's bowling attack, which was undoubtedly the best in the tournament.
But much to the delight of the local fans, Chris Gayle and skipper Virat Kohli got the team off to a flier yet again as they added 114 runs for the opening wicket in just 10.3 overs. Once the West Indian was dismissed by Cutting, bowlers helped SRH bounce back in the game as they ran through Bangalore's middle-order.
RCB needed 51 off the last 30 balls to win the final. While it is usually achievable, it proved a tough nut to crack against Bhuvi-Rahman duo, who were once again brilliant in the death overs.
After SRH's success this year, franchises will surely shift their focus towards bowlers in the next auction.