This season's IPL witnessed some incredible games that generated a wide array of instances, emotions and reactions. It involved some competitive, thrilling and exciting moments. Every team had a roller coaster ride throughout the tournament. There were some nail biting moments, crunch situations that changed the outcome, occasions. Here we present you with the top 10 cricketing moments of the IPL 2016.
10. Introduction of 2 new IPL teams
This IPL season saw the entry of 2 new IPL teams in the form of Gujarat Lions and the Rising Pune Super Giants.
RPSG began well versed to the tournament but suffered big time in the mid season. They also lost key players like KP, Smith, Du Plessis and Marsh due to injuries and failed to play as a settled unit. They didn't have a great first season as they finished just a notch above the bottom ranked team.
On the other hand, Gujarat Lions ended up being the table toppers in their very first IPL season. Players like Smith, Finch and Bravo set the tone for the Lions throughout the tournament. However, they lost both the close qualifiers and ended up as the third best team of the IPL.
9. Adam Zampa's 6/19
The Australian leg breaker made a merry of SRH batsmen as he registered the second best bowling figures in the history of IPL. The young Aussie bowled a phenomenal spell of spin on a pitch that had little turn.
Zampa bowled his first over after the powerplay. He was then introduced during the death overs where he first removed Yuvraj and later got the better of both Henriques and Williamson who were looking dangerous.
He was bought back in the last over as Hooda struck him for a maximum on the first ball. However, he got him stumped the very next ball. He bowled Naman with a quick delivery and later rounded off the innings as Bhuvanesh held out to long on to finish with figures of 6/19.
8. Axar Patel's hat-trick
Axar Patel joined the elite club of players with a hat-trick in the Indian Premier League. He arm balled the Gujarat Lions at their own den as he bagged consecutive wickets of Karthik, Bravo and Jadeja.
He was introduced right after the powerplay and had already taken the wicket of Smith in the over. An arm ball that skid on the surface and crashed on Karthik's leg stumps. He followed it up with another arm ball as Bravo inside edged it on to the stumps.
He later came back in the 11th over where Jadeja found a faint edge to the wicket keeper as he completed a wonderful hat-trick and set the game in Kings XI Punjab's favour.
7. Splendid Catches
There was some top action in the field like always and some stupendous grabs by fielders. Showing their dedication in the field, there were some mind blowing catches throughout the course of the tournament.
As far as assisted catches go, this IPL saw the Watson-Wiese stunner. Hit over long on, Watson sprinted to hold onto to the catch, flicked it back just as he was about to step into the boundary line as Wiese took a diving catch with hardly inches from the ropes.
Raina also grabbed a one handed stunner at slips. Russell and AB De Villiers known to be magnanimous fielders managed to pull of some absolute blinders. Binny and Mishra also held onto some of the fine catches of the tournament.
6. Youngsters shining in the IPL
IPL has always been an arena for fresh legs to show their potential at a bigger stage. The youngsters put up some fine performances as they gained accolades and grabbed eyeballs of many.
While youngsters like Nair and Pant flourished consistently for DD, Krunal Pandya made it large quite more than a couple of times for the Mumbai Indians. As Chahal continued his fine form for RCB alongwith ending up as the second highest wicket taker in the IPL, Rana and Bipul provided a glimpse of what they had to offer in the future. Murugan Ashwin, Kaushik, Baby were other players who seemed promising.
5. ABD-Kohli Record Partnership
Usually the term, 'teams batting the opposition out of the game' is generally used in Tests. Here, we saw 2 of the world's greatest batsmen in action demonstrate a magnificent display of pinch hitting.
The ABD-Kohli duo put on an unbelievable 229 run partnership for the second wicket in just 96 balls. Lambasting 12 sixes and 10 fours, AB De Villiers raced his way to 129 from just 52 balls while Kohli also slammed 109 off 55 balls with 8 maximums.
McCullum's post match interview pretty much summed up the partnership, 'We had two world class players, who played two of the greatest innings in T20 history altogether'.
4. Dhoni finishing off in style again
Dhoni didn't have a great IPL be it in terms of of captaincy or with the bat. But he erased all that with some extraordinary finishing skills. His hurricane metamorphized Punjab's fortune as they ended up languishing at the bottom of the table for the second time in succession.
With 23 runs required off the final over, Vijay made a shocker decision of giving Axar the ball with Dhoni on strike. Dhoni could only manage 7 off the first 3 balls. What followed relinquished the vintage Dhoni's avatar in an enthralling way. 4, 6, 6 as the crowd and commentators went bonkers over it. What was expected to be a wooden spoon match turned out to be a humdinger of a contest.
3. Orange Cap and Purple Cap
The winner of the Orange Cap, Kohli had a dream season as he slammed 973 runs throughout the tournament at a staggering average of 81.08. He also hit 4 centuries and 7 half centuries as he gave a tough time to the bowlers. Kohli was announced the most valuable player of the tournament for his sumptuous display with the bat.
The Purple cap winner, Bhuvanesh Kumar didn't begin IPL in the best fashion. However, he turned the tables around as the tournament progressed with an overall tally of 23 wickets. He did so at an excellent average of 20.21 and an economy of less than 8. Bowling alongside Mustafizur and Nehra, he outclassed both of them with some brilliant bowling performances especially at the death.
2. ABD and Warner special in qualifiers
Reeling at 29/5, RCB were in deep trouble in Qualifier 1. It took an absolutely astounding innings by ABD to take them through to the finals. Smashing 79 runs off just 47 deliveries, ABD batted throughout and was supported by Binny and Abdullah in the other end as RCB managed to achieve the target with 10 balls to spare.
Chasing 163 in the second qualifier, SRH needed a good start but lost Dhawan early. While Warner kept on accelerating with some magnanimous batting, he kept on losing partners from the other end. In the end, it was a sublime performance under pressure as Warner's rampage innings of 93 (58)* took SRH to their first ever IPL final.
1. Thrilling final to a thriller IPL season
In the final showdown, it boiled down to two of the best teams in the tournament to display their potential. Warner again led the charge with a 38 ball 69 while Yuvraj and Cutting's cameo in the end helped SRH post a mammoth total of 208/7 in their quota of 20 overs.
If there was any team in the world, who could chase that, it was none other than RCB. Gayle delivered a blizzard innings with 76 (38) balls along with Kohli who scored another half century. At 140-1 in 12.4 overs, RCB almost had one hand on the trophy. However, the moment Kohli got out, SRH bowlers cashed in and scripted a sensational victory for their team.
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