Bangladesh speedster Mustafizur Rahman played his part as a Ben Cutting-inspired Sunrisers Hyderabad won their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title by defeating a star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight runs in Sunday’s final.
The game, played at RCB’s home ground, looked poised for a Bangalore win when openers Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli took the score past 100 in 9 overs chasing 209, but David Warner’s decision to keep Mustafiz and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the dying overs proved decisive in the end.
Gayle was in a buoyant mood as he smashed 76 off 38 balls thanks to four fours and eight sixes, but Kohli was not in his best form, adding 54 off 35.
Ben Cutting gave Hyderabad the break through by bringing an end to Gayle’s innings while Barinder Sran struck soon afterwards to send Kohli home.
Following the duo’s departure, it was all Hyderabad as none of the RCB batsmen could offer any resistance in front of a determined bowling.
The failure of key players AB de Villiers and Shane Watson to score big brought about their third defeat in as many finals as the IPL trophy remain a distant sigh for the Bangalore boys.
Mustafiz played a significant role when he made Shane Watson give a catch to Moises Henriques and he and Bhuvneshwar made sure RCB batsmen could not go berserk in the last overs.
Cutting bagged a brace while Mustafiz, Sran and Bipul Sharma grabbed one apiece in the historic win.
Earlier, the winners posted 208 for 7 riding on Warner’s 69 and Cutting’s 15-ball 39. Eyebrows were raised when Warner opted to bat first against an RCB team that are good in chasing, but he did have the last laugh.
The ever-green Yuvraj Singh’s 38 off 23 balls also proved vital to keep the Sunrisers run wheel going in the middle.
Chris Jordan was the most successful bowler for RCB with three wickets while Sreenath Aravind bagged two, but Watson conceded 61 off 4 overs, including 36 in his last two overs, which probably had made the difference.
The win means Mustafiz became the second Bangladeshi to win the IPL trophy, emulating the feat achieved by Shakib Al Hasan with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014.