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  5. IPL Time Travel Part 1: RCB's 2016 Heartbreak

IPL Time Travel Part 1: RCB's 2016 Heartbreak

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. IPL 2016 final. A packed Chinnaswamy Stadium. The stars couldn't have aligned any better for RCB to win their maiden title.

Kartik Mehindru Written by: Kartik Mehindru Mumbai Updated on: May 27, 2022 16:16 IST
RCB lost to SRH in the IPL 2016 final by 8 runs.
Image Source : IPL

RCB lost to SRH in the IPL 2016 final by 8 runs.

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. IPL 2016 final. A packed Chinnaswamy Stadium. The stars couldn't have aligned any better for RCB to win their maiden title. 

Although the final itself was a rollercoaster ride, it pales in comparison to the journey they took to reach there. 

Fasten your seatbelts, the ride is about to begin. 

Disaster struck even before their campaign started. Mitchell Starc and Samuel Badree were out injured. With two of their best bowlers out, RCB's bowling had a big task at hand.  

They started the tournament by winning against SRH. 

Irony?

The win against SRH was followed by a string of losses. Five out of six to be precise. It all came down to the last four games of the tournament. The equation was simple for RCB. Four wins in four matches were what they needed to book a place in the playoffs. 

"This is exactly the kind of situation we thrive on', said Kohli. Well, Virat Kohli could do no wrong in 2016. Whatever he touched turned gold; 24-carat gold. They won all the remaining league matches, defeated Gujarat in the first Qualifier and booked a place in the final. It was like a script straight out of a Hollywood thriller. 

Then came the D-day. May 29, 2016. SRH vs RCB. The final. Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and opted to bat. 

David Warner came out all guns blazing. Shikhar Dhawan played the anchor to perfection, and SRH was off to a flier in the final. The first moment of relief for RCB came during the 7th over when Chahal sent Dhawan packing. 

Moises Henriques was the next batsmen. He came in when the score was 63-1 in 6.3 overs. Having played just five balls, he was dismissed with a mere score of 4 runs. But the team score read 97-2 in 9.5 overs. Warner was dismantling the RCB attack from the other end. 

Warner was finally dismissed at a score of 69 off 38 deliveries. Yuvraj Singh came in and scored a quickfire 38 off 23 balls. But, the real storm was yet to come in the form of Ben Cutting. He came in and scored 39 off 15 deliveries, and RCB had no idea what hit them.

Sunrisers Hyderabad ended with a monstrous score of 208. Add to it the pressure of the final, and RCB were looking at a steep climb. 

RCB had one of the most destructive batting lineups of the tournament. If any team could pull this off in the final, it had to be RCB. 

In case anyone forgot, Universe Boss Chris Gayle reminded everyone why he calls himself that. He took apart everyone that came to bowl at him. 

In a knock that lasted over 10 overs, Gayle smashed eight sixes, and four boundaries and ended up making 76 off 38 deliveries. When Gayle got out, the score read 114-1 at the end of 10.3 overs. 

To put it in two simple words. Dream Start. Virat Kohli continued the good work and made 54 off 35 deliveries before being bowled out by Barinder Sran. The score read 140-2 at the end of 12.5 overs. 

Cricketing sense would allow us to think that the match was in balance, for some, it even meant that RCB was ahead. But on that day, that was it for RCB. KL Rahul wasn't the same batsman he is today. He, along with Watson, made 11 each and went back. 

If Gayle's innings gave RCB a dream start, Warner's dismissal meant all those dreams came crashing down. 

No RCB fan can forget the image of Sachin Baby crying while batting. Sachin Baby knew it. The fans knew it. The dug-out knew it. It was all over. SRH defeated RCB by 8 runs to win the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League. 

The cup had to wait. The fans had to wait. Virat Kohli and ABD had to wait.