David Warner, with a 38-ball 69, guided Hyderabad to their maiden Indian Twenty20 competition title, by beating Bangalore by eight runs in a tense final at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday.
Warner, the mainstay of Hyderabad's batting effort this season, amassed 848 runs from 17 matches - the second highest tally after Virat Kohli with 973. In the final, Warner struck an aggressive note from the onset and opted to bat first after he won the toss.
Warner and his opening partner, Shikhar Dhawan, got Hyderabad off to a solid start, with Warner registering consecutive fours in the third over. The Australia batsman then tore into Shane Watson in the fifth over and clipped him for a six and a four. Chris Gayle was brought on to curb Warner's attacking ambitions but he too met with the same fate, as Warner clubbed him for a six in the sixth over.
The Dhawan-Warner combine added a 63-run opening stand before Dhawan departed in the seventh over. The dismissal didn't affect Warner's tempo as he continued his attacking display. He smashed Iqbal Abdulla for a six in the eighth. Yuzvendra Chahal and Chris Jordan met with a similar fate in the next two over, as Warner hit them for two four's each.
Warner finally fell in the 14th over as he miscued a cut shot to short third man. His 69-run effort was studded with eight fours and three sixes. Hyderabad stood at 125 for 3 at that stage. Warner's 50 came from just 24 balls, the joint fastest in a final of the competition. Yuvraj Singh and eventually Ben Cutting added the late fireworks that guided Hyderabad to a sizeable 208 in their innings.
Gayle and Virat Kohli got Bangalore off to a flier with a 114-run opening stand that came from just 10.3 overs. Their departure two-overs apart, prompted a collapse from which Bangalore never recovered. They managed just 200 in reply.
"Fantastic team achievement. To lead this side and the support from the players, me pulling my weight with the runs, it has been a hard journey. It's a team effort," Warner said. "To have the perfect game, we need to gel. For us, the key was team effort all the way. Look we knew, we had to get 200. Virat Kohli, what a great leader! I can't take it away from him. He set the benchmark this season. We knew we had to win three straight games. To win in Bangalore, we were underdogs. But, we batted well, bowled well, and fielded well. In 24 hours, I will be off to the Caribbean. Time to have a beer."