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The most thrilling games in IPL history

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IPL_Indian_Premier_League_T20_CricketEvery season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) brings with it some truly thrilling, nerve-wracking and memorable contests. The intensity of the competition in the tournament is such that we get to witness countless such exhilarating games.

As the 12th season of the IPL marches on, it is a good time to look back at some of the most memorable and thrilling matches from the tournament’s history.

Dhoni’s last-over heroics - Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab at Dharamsala, 2010:

The 2010 season of the IPL was a topsy-turvy ride for the Chennai Super Kings. By the time they faced Kings XI Punjab at Dharamsala in their final league game, they had managed only six wins out of 13 matches. Chennai needed to win this do-or-die game to progress to the knockout stages.

After winning the toss, they let Punjab bat first. The Kings XI side put on an imposing 192-3 in their 20 overs. Chennai had a scratchy start, but Suresh Raina (46) and S. Badrinath (53) put them back on track. With 44 runs needed in the last 3 overs, things looked difficult for Chennai.

Captain MS Dhoni (54* off 29 balls), however, displayed his finishing prowess and struck some vigorous blows in the last two overs before finally bludgeoning Irfan Pathan for two back-to-back sixes in the final over to win Super Kings the game and earn a spot in the Playoffs in emphatic fashion.

Mumbai manage the mother of all heists - Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals at Wankhede, 2014:

In what remains one of the mot surreal matches of IPL, the Mumbai Indians pulled off a stunning jailbreak that will be remembered for ages. In a must-win game against the Rajasthan Royals at home, Mumbai needed to chase down the opposition’s target of 190 in exactly 14.3 overs to get ahead of them on net run rate and make it to the final four.

The task looked improbable, but Corey Anderson (95* off 44 balls) led the charge to take Mumbai close. However, when nine was required off three deliveries, to win in 14.3 overs, Anderson could manage only a single off Faulkner's first ball.

Ambati Rayudu then smacked a leg-stump full toss over the long-leg boundary for a six in the very next ball to bring things back. Unfortunately, in going for a second run off an overthrow in the third ball, Rayudu was run out. The scores were now tied and confusion prevailed. It was then announced that if Mumbai hit a boundary off the next ball, they would make it.

Faulkner then bowled a terrible full toss which Aditya Tare smashed over deep square leg for a six to clinch the game for his team. The Mumbai Indians went bonkers on the field. Beyond the boundary, the Royals’ coach Rahul Dravid threw down his cap in frustration. This was the mother of all heists.

Albie Morkel destroys Kohli - Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, 2012:

Chennai and Royal Challengers Bangalore have always produced some memorable games in the IPL and this is one of the best between the two. A regular league game between the two sides at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in 2012 turned out to be a real thriller. Chasing a mammoth target of 206 set by Bangalore, Chennai was almost out of the game at 163-4 in the 18th over after the dismissal of captain MS Dhoni.

With 43 runs needed off 12 balls, Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori, perhaps as an experiment, decided to give part-timer Virat Kohli the 19th over. Unfortunately for them, Albie Morkel, the batsman on strike, loved the medium pace of Kohli, and carted him all over the ground. The hard-hitting South African left-hander whacked Kohli for 4, 6, 4, 6, 2 and 6 in the over, thus taking him for 28 runs and completely turning the game around.

With some powerful striking from Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja in the last over, Chennai won the match on the very last ball, making the crowd go wild. Royal Challengers Bangalore did not know what hit them and Kohli was left completely shattered.   

The first IPL Super Over - Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals at Cape Town, 2009:

The very first Super Over of the IPL was in a highly memorable low-scoring game that took place in the 2009 edition of the tournament at Cape Town. After being asked to bat first, defending champions Rajasthan Royals put on a decent 150-6 on the board, with Yusuf Pathan (42 off 21 balls) being the highest scorer. On a Newlands pitch that was assisting seam bowling, the Kolkata batsmen struggled to get going. Sourav Ganguly’s 46, however, put them on track. With just 7 runs needed off the last over, Ganguly took 5 runs off Kamran Khan’s first four balls but was dismissed on the 5th ball. Ishant Sharma was run out on the final ball without scoring and the game was tied, making way for the first ever Super Over of the IPL.

Kolkata batted first and scored 15 in the one over they got, bowled by Kamran Khan. Rajasthan Royals thus needed 16 runs for victory and Kolkata chose off-spinner Ajantha Mendis for the vital job of bowling their Super Over. Yusuf Pathan, who was on strike, stayed put at the crease and smashed Mendis for 6, 2, 6 and 4 to win this nail-biter for Rajasthan.

Yuvraj does a Jonty - Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians at Wankhede, 2008:

The inaugural edition of the IPL saw what still remains one of the most thrilling and iconic games of the tournament. In this league match at the Wankhede Stadium, Kings XI Punjab was asked to bat first. Led Shaun Marsh’s terrific 81, they posted a formidable 189-4 in their 20 overs. Needing 190 for victory, Mumbai, who were desperately short of wins in the tournament, were coasting at 159-3 by the 17th over with captain Sachin Tendulkar (65) leading from the front. But a flurry of wickets saw them being reduced to 170-7 by the 19th over.

19 runs were required off the last over and a young Siddharth Chitnis smashed a six off a no-ball on the very first delivery and then got a boundary off the next ball. Mumbai now needed 8 runs off 5 balls and victory was in sight. However, they could manage only 6 runs off the next four deliveries and lost two wickets in the process. With 2 runs needed off one ball, Vikrant Yeligati, the batsman on strike, attempted to steal a single off the final delivery to tie the game. However, Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh sprinted from cover and ran the batsman out in remarkable fashion – reminiscent of Jonty Rhodes’ extraordinary run out of Inzamam-Ul-Haq in the 1992 World Cup. Punjab thus won this exhilarating contest by a mere 1 run.



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