Bengaluru: For Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH), winning the Indian Premier League (IPL) title for the first time was like sun rising at midnight, as they beat three-time finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by eight runs in an exciting contest at the Chinnaswamy stadium here on Sunday night.
Winning the toss and putting up a challenging target of 209 for Royals, Hyderabad bowlers showed their mettle by halting RCB's star-studded batting line up at 200 for 7 wickets in 20 overs, though they were plundered by RCB openers Chris Gayle and skipper Virat Kohli, who posted 114 in first 10 overs.
Powering into the IPL final for the third time after knocking two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator by 22 runs on May 25 and taming debutant Gujarat Lions in the second qualifier by four wickets on May 27 in New Delhi, Sunrisers had won the title on sheer self-belief, grit and determination.
"When Gayle was going great guns, we knew it was difficult to stop him. The hardest thing for us was to maintain composure and have belief in ourselves. We know once he was gone, it would be difficult for the second and the third batsmen to pick up the momentum," a beaming Sunrisers captain David Warner told reporters on early Monday with the golden Trophy glittering next to him.
Crediting his whole team for the dramatic win after a marathon run to the final, Warner said they would like to first enjoy the victory tonight (Sunday night) and thank everybody for supporting SH throughout.
Owned by Kalanithi Maran of the Chennai-based Sun television network, Sunrisers replaced Deccan Chargers, whose franchise was terminated by IPL in 2012.
Hailing Warner for leading a talented team to lift the trophy, Sunrisers' head coach Tom Moody said the Aussie southpaw had an enormous influence on the players, as he was a world class cricketer, hard working and very disciplined.
"I enjoy working with him. He has been phenomenal with his batting and an incredible captain, providing leadership and being one step ahead of others. David has been very supportive of his team and backed them fully to give their best," Moody said on the occasion.
Interestingly, Warner is the third Australian cricket player to lift the IPL trophy after Shane Warne did in the opening edition of the IPL in 2008 as captain of the now suspended Rajasthan Royals and Adam Gilchrist as skipper of Deccan Chargers, who beat RCB in the second edition of the IPL at Johannesburg in South Africa in 2009.
RCB again lost to now suspended Chennai Super Kings in Chennai in 2011 final.