With just a solitary match remaining in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 all heads have turned from the Qualifiers and are now focused on the final between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Unstoppable RCB will fight for IPL supremacy against an immovable SRH at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday. RCB stumbled against Gujarat Lions (GL) in Qualifier 1 only to come out of it a more stronger and blithe full side. On the other hand SRH mirrored absolutely the same trajectory against GL in the Qualifier 2 game, lumbering their way only to finish it with a dash of confidence to book a place in the final. For anyone who saw both the matches, could not only make out similarities but some what relive both matches at the same time which acted as a perfect prelude to the tantalizing final that awaits us. Vishal Mehra, takes you though a handful of gentle reminders that how indistinguishable Qualifier 2 and Qualifier 1 were.
Gujarat Lions batting: GL batting first managed to put up 162 for 7 against a spirited RCB bowling show, where Shane Watson wrecked havoc over the lower middle order batsmen. GL were only survived by Dwayne Smith whose 41-ball 73 somewhat brought respectability to their total. GL against SRH were no different this getting bundled out for even a low score of 158. Aaron Finch came to the rescue for GL, notching up a rather slow half-century according to his standards but none the less valuable to the cause.
Batting collapse: RCB requiring just a modest total of 158 to win made a complete mess of the chase. Their most unwavering batsmen Virat Kohli got out int he second over for a duck. Kohli’s wicket started a downward destruction of the batting line-up with Chris Gayle (9), KL Rahul (0) and Shane Watson (1) contributing peanuts to the team’s total. Sachin Baby matched footstep of his top order and departed for zero, leaving his team at 29 for 5. SRH in their got off to a shoddy start as well with Shikhar Dhawan getting out on a duck in the second over, much like Kohli. With Dhawan’s wicket SRH batting line-up came crashing down much a high build Jenga tower. Moises Henriques (11), Yuvraj Singh (8), Deepak Hooda (4) quickly accompanied their team-mates in the pavilion. Ben Cutting and Naman Ojha failed to show any signs of resistance departed for 8 and 10 respectively.
AB de Villiers: RCB stayed in the hunt because of one man and one man only AB de Villiers. De Villiers came into bat at No.3 and quickly found himself devoid of any partners as wickets kept failing left and right. De Villiers unfazed remained passive aggressive throughout the chase and batted with complete control till the very last ball. De Villers scored a 47-ball 79 which included 5 fours and 5 sixes. De Villiers in his behavior was unlike the belligerent himself but proved to be enough to guide RCB to the final of IPL 2016.
David Warner: David Warner needed to bat out of his skin to get SRH into the final of IPL 2016 and he batted his heart out. Warner showed no signs of trepidation even as wickets kept tumbling down like a pack of cards. Warner who has been the batsmen for SRH this season proved why is much more dangerous than he actually looks. His patience and steadiness with the bat was to be seen to be believed as one might not recall Warner play such a knock. Warner struck an unbeaten 58-ball 93 to out-do GL who would feel unlucky for the second time.
Magicians at No.8
David Warner- Bipul Sharma: With David Warner soldiering like a lone warrior for SRH it was youngster Bipul Sharma who took centre stage at India’s capital Delhi. Bipul who was hardly known by a cricket fan till date announced him self and helped Warner reach the final of IPL 2016. Bipul played sensibly, defending when it was most required and striking with brute force. Bipul’s onslaught of Dwayne Bravo was one of the highlights of the game. Bipul remained not-out on 27 hitting 3 massive sixes in just 11 balls he faced. Warner and Bipul added 46* runs for the 7th wicket in just 3.3 overs striking at 13.14 runs per over.
ABD- Iqbal Abdulla partnership: AB de Villiers who was running out of partners found the perfect foil in Iqbal Abdulla, who coming in at No.8 played a blinder of a knock. Abdulla,who till now had hardly batted whiled his bat as a top order showing batting prowess and skills that Kohli could be envious off. With de Villiers to advise and guide Abdulla batted with responsibility and grit. Abdulla ended up scoring 33 off 25 balls and also hit the winning runs much to delight of RCB. De Villier and Abdulla added an invaluable 7th wicket stand of 91 runs.
1. In both matches Gujarat Lions had one wicket falling to a run-out.
2. In both matches Suresh Raina managed only 1 run to his name.
3. Both matches were completed with difference of one over between them, GL vs SRH (19.2) and GL vs RCB (18.2)
4. Margin of victories were same for both RCB and SRH by 4-wickets, also both times it was achieved while batting 2nd.