Royal Challengers Bangalore succumbed to the pressure of a mammoth run chase as Sunrisers Hyderabad clinched their maiden Indian Premier League title thanks to an eight-wicket victory in a thrilling summit clash on Sunday night. The likes of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and Ab de Villiers failed to steer their team to victory in the most important match of the tournament and thus, lost out on the opportunity to lift the title in front of their home crowd at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, which would have been the perfect end to their outstanding campaign this season. So what went wrong for Kohli and Co.? We list out five major factors which went against RCB in the final clash.
SHANE WATSON’S FAILURE WITH BAT AND BALL
RCB all-rounder Shane Watson had a torrid time with the ball first and then failed to live up to the expectations with the bat. Watson conceded 61 runs without taking a wicket in his quota of four overs including 24 runs in the final over of the first innings which completely shifted the momentum in Sunrisers’ favour. Ben Cutting took a liking to Watto and smashed three mammoth sixes and a boundary in the last over to power SRH past the 200-run mark. Watson then failed to deliver with the bat and could only manage 11 runs from 9 balls as RCB fell eight runs short of the target.
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RCB BOWLERS FAIL TO STEP UP
Royal Challengers Bangalore have always had world class batsmen in their lineup with the likes of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and Ab de Villiers forming the top three. The bowling lineup, although fairly decent, have failed to fire for the team on numerous occasions this season. Barring Yuzvendra Chahal, who finished as the second-highest wicket taker in the tournament, none of the other bowlers could step up and deliver for the captain when it mattered the most. SRH were 140 for 3 at the 15-over mark but from there on they capitalised on some poor bowling and scored 68 runs in the next 30 balls to deliver a heavy blow on the home team.
MIDDLE ORDER FLOPS FOR RCB
Chasing 209 for victory, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli provided a dream start for Bangalore scoring 114 runs in 10.3 overs. But then Gayle got out on 76 and Kohli followed suit getting castled by Barinder Sran on 54. Much was expected from AB de Villiers but he came a cropper, scoring just 5 runs. With the asking rate going above 10 an over, the middle-order comprising of Shane Watson, Lokesh Rahul, Sachin Baby and Stuart Binny succumbed to the scoreboard pressure and fell apart to leave their side reeling.
VIRAT KOHLI FAILS TO STEER RCB FOR ONE LAST TIME
Virat Kohli’s mind-boggling season came to an abrupt end when he got out on 54 and for once, the RCB skipper failed to steer his side to victory which was a major factor in his side’s loss on Sunday. Kohli finished the season as the highest-run getter with 973 runs in 16 matches at an average of 81.08. He also overtook Suresh Raina to become the all-time leading run-scorer in IPL with 4110 runs. But there is only so much that one man can do in a team sport. Kohli, against the run of play, played on a straight delivery from Barinder Sran on to his off-stump which led to RCB’s batting collapse and they ran out of steam towards the end.
OVERCONFIDENCE LEADS TO RCB’S DOWNFALL
Royal Challengers Bangalore deemed as the favourites coming into the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Afterall, they had everything going in their favour. The final was being played on their home ground, skipper Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers were in the form of their lives and bowlers Yuzvendra Chahal and Shane Watson were among the top three wicket takers in the tournament. Such was the mindset in the Bangalore dressing room that wicketkeeper Lokesh Rahul had said before the final that “we have already won the tournament in our mind”. To have confidence in your team and abilities is a good thing but overconfidence can bring about the downfall of even the best in the business. RCB and KL Rahul learnt it the hard way.