Kolkata: Even though it was Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) who pipped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to win season nine of the glitzy Indian Premier League (IPL), it was all about standing up and applauding a certain Virat Kohli. The Indian top order batsman and Royal Challengers captain had a scintillating tournament where he plundered 973 runs from 16 games at an average of 81.08. He scored four centuries and seven fifties en route to his record setting tally of runs.
The right hander deservedly was awarded the orange cap for being the top run-getter this time. Kohli hit the maximum (38) number of sixes in the competition. He was closely chased by De Villiers who clubbed 37 and Warner 31. The burly Jamaican Chris Gayle could not quite fire in the league but still had 21 strikes into the stands.
One of the key reasons why Sunrisers were able to lay their hands on the glittering trophy was because of an Australian going by the name of David Warner, who led from the front with the willow. Though he did not score as many runs as Kohli, the Sunrisers captain was phenomenal too. In the final on Sunday, he smashed his way to a 38-ball 69 which laid the foundation for his side, who were able to post a massive 208/7. The men in orange then restricted RCB to 200/7.
The Australian opener scored 848 runs at an average of 60.57 which included nine fifties from 17 outings. South African AB De Villiers of the Challengers came third in the list of top run getters with 687 runs from 16 innings.
In this season the bowlers have had a word or two to say as well. We saw a variety of new deliveries which were bowled, with the wide Yorker being the most popular. In a game dominated by batsmen it had to be a team with top class bowlers who would do the trick and that is why the Sunrisers emerged as the champions.
The outfit was ably led by pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar who grabbed 23 wickets in 17 games. RCB’s Yuzvendra Chahal and Shane Watson finished with 21 and 20 wickets, respectively. Bangladeshi speedster Mustafizur Rahman picked up 16 scalps for the Sunrisers and was Bhuvneshwar’s perfect partner in crime. The pair was brilliant in the death overs and delivered whenever they were pressed into action.
While Bhuvneshwar was awarded the purple cap for being the highest wicket taker, Mustafizur was adjudged the emerging player. The best bowling figures of this year’s IPL belonged to Australian leg spinner Adam Zampa. The tweaker returned figures of 6/19 against SRH in a group game for the Rising Pune Supergiants. Interestingly he also has the best bowling average of 9.58 in the league.
The only hat-trick of the season was pocketed by Axar Patel of Kings XI Punjab.