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10 highlights of IPL 2017

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IPL_moments_Cricket_T20The tenth season of the IPL has seen it all - the lows and the highs. It has made the people cheer, laugh, cry or even scream. The stirring performances, the unbelievable energy, the hilarious moments, the incredible efforts applied and the time spent together as a team between the breed of youngsters and internationally renowned players is what has made the IPL such a huge spectacle. Here are 10 highlights from the tournament.

10. Hat-trick Day

Samuel Badree and Andrew Tye joined the elite club of players with a hat-trick in T20s. What was unique was that both of them accomplished the feat on the same day.

Samuel Badree looped a delivery outside off which Parthiv Patel drove straight to Chris Gayle at extra cover. Next, Mitchell McClenaghan, promoted way up, lodged a full toss in the hands of the fielder at long on. The third delivery, he bowled a googly to rattle Captain Rohit Sharma's stumps, thus completing a hat-trick and delighting the Chinnaswamy crowd.

The other hat-trick followed in the same evening. Bowling the last over of the innings, Andrew Tye got Ankit Sharma's wicket thanks to a splendid catch by Brendon McCullum. The next delivery was a good slower one as Manoj Tiwary failed to connect, giving a catch to the backward square leg. On the hat-trick ball, Andrew Tye bowled a knuckle delivery that uprooted Shardul Thakur's leg stump go, making it 3 in 3. Thanks to some lovely deceptive bowling.

9. Mr. Purple Cap

Bhuvneshwar Kumar won the Purple Cap for being the leading wicket taker in the tournament for the second year running. He undid the opposition with his subtle variations at the start with the new ball or during the death overs. With 26 wickets at an economy rate of 7.05, Bhuvneshwar set the tournament ablaze for SRH, constantly taking wickets and applying pressure on the opposition. His stupendous figures of 5/19 against Kings XI Punjab displayed his value in the SRH bowling ranks.

8. Mr. Orange Cap

David Warner continued to have another awesome season with the bat. While he couldn't guide his team to the podium unlike last year, he grabbed the Orange Cap for some stellar performances with the bat. A staggering aggregate of 641 runs with an astounding batting average of 58.27, David Warner displayed his hard hitting prowess with a strike rate of close to 142. His century off 47 balls against KKR singlehandedly lifted his team to a giant total, ensuring victory. He continued to lead from the front as the skipper.

7. Youngsters delivering time and again

IPL has always been an arena for young players to show their abilities at a bigger stage. The youngsters gained recognition for their spectacular display in the IPL. The Delhi duo of Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant took the IPL by storm through their exploits with the bat. There was Rahul Tripathi with numerous knocks at the top order for Rising Pune Supergiant. Shreyas Iyer and Nitish Rana also flourished time and again, coming to their teams’ rescue.

The bowling department also saw some youngsters leaving batsmen stunned. Basil Thampi, who won the emerging player of the tournament award, displayed excellent use of the yorker at the death. SRH had two young exciting prospects in the bowling department: Siddharth Kaul proved his effectiveness with both the old and new ball while Mohammed Siraj also showed glimpses of his ability with some exceptional bowling. Krunal Pandya continued from where he left last season with some splendid all round performances.

6. The Sunil Narine experiment

From being a mystery bowler to a pinch hitting opener at the top, Sunil Narine's wild journey was one of the more interesting stories of this year's IPL. In the absence of Chris Lynn during the middle of the tournament, KKR took the bold step of opening with Sunil Narine. The decision worked wonders as he made a powerful impact as an opener.

Taking full advantage of the powerplay, Sunil Narine didn't allow KKR to feel the absence of a hard hitting batsman. He registered the fastest fifty in the IPL history, off just 15 balls, against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He continued the carnage at the top with some lusty blows, helping lay a foundation for the KKR innings. A strike rate of 172.31 was a clear proof of his menacing form.

5. 49 all out

KKR vs RCB games have always managed to generate spectacular levels of intensity from both the sides. Sunil Narine started things in style as KKR smashed 65 runs in the power play overs. However, what followed was a turnaround as the KKR batting lineup faltered. Like a house of cards, they were all out, failing to last even 20 overs.

They set a target of 132 runs. Give that to any batting lineup in the world and they will happily embrace it. Especially to a team that boasts players like Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB De Villiers. Sounds like a cakewalk doesn't it? It wasn't for RCB, that day. Not a single player managed to reach double figures as one of the most explosive batting lineups in history was in tatters. They were all out for a paltry 49 runs, in what was the lowest total in IPL history.

4. 200 run chased like it was nothing

After Gujarat Lions’ openers were dismissed early in a do-or-die game, some sensational batting by Captain Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik saved them. Both struck lightning fifties as they guided the Gujarat Lions to a total of 208/7 in 20 overs.

In response, Delhi Daredevils unleashed a slaughter at the expense of the Gujarat Lions bowlers. It was two young guns, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, who displayed some extraordinary finesse in chasing this mammoth total. Together, they put up a scintillating partnership of 143 runs from just 63 balls. Delhi Daredevils chased the target with 15 balls to spare. Sachin Tendulkar described Pant's 97 (43) as one of the best IPL knocks ever.

3. The Mother of all Super Overs

In a match where both teams raised their games to a splendid level, the Gujarat Lions effected some brilliant run outs to take the match to a super over. Mumbai Indians began well as Kieron Pollard greeted James Faulkner with a boundary and a six. However what followed was consecutive dismissals resulting in the end of MI's super over.

In such a high pressure situation, it was Jasprit Bumrah who was given the responsibility of defending 11 runs against the duo of McCullum and Finch. Bumrah began with a wonderful yorker only to find out that it was a no ball. He made it up with back to back sensational yorkers aimed at Finch and McCullum as the world witnessed two amazing batsmen failing to put bat on ball off Jasprit Bumrah. Conceding just six runs in the over with only 2 coming from the bat, Bumrah displayed his steely determination at the death. Mumbai Indians won the super over game by 5 runs.

2. Resurgence of RPS

After a poor season last year, the Rising Pune Supergiant were in dire straits. The start this year was abysmal, as they lost three games in a row after a win in the first game. That is when the team came together as a unit and displayed some wonderful performances. They ended up as runners up in a closely fought final. 

Led by Captain Steve Smith, the Rising Pune Supergiant produced some stellar performances in both the departments. Scoring 316 runs with the bat and also accounting for 12 wickets, Ben Stokes was their most valuable player. Consistent performances from the likes of Rahul Tripathi, Imran Tahir and the captain himself helped the RPS team change fortunes. MS Dhoni, Manoj Tiwary and Jaydev Unadkat also made stellar contributions with the bat and ball to contribute to their team's outstanding campaign. 

1. The thrilling finale

The final boiled down to two of the best teams in the tournament. Rising Pune Supergiant had already defeated Mumbai Indians thrice so far in the tournament. Batting first, Mumbai Indians had a horrible start as they were reduced to 79/7. Krunal Pandya's late charge of 47 (38) took the MI total to 129/8, giving the bowlers something to defend.

Rising Pune Supergiant began slowly but steadily. At one stage, they were comfortably placed at 71/1 with one hand almost on the trophy. Rahane's dismissal gave the Mumbai Indians bowlers some momentum as Smith and Dhoni went down a gear. Both Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga unleashed some fiery yorkers. 

It all went down to the final over and eventually to the final ball where Mitchell Johnson had a task in hand. With a boundary required off the last ball, RPS could only manage a couple as Mumbai Indians won their third IPL title under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma.

 

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