James Faulkner and Steve Smith pulled off an unlikely victory for Rajasthan Royals © IANS
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen some thrilling run-chases. Nishad Pai Vaidya revisits five other run-chases that remain etched in memory.
Rajasthan Royals completed an unlikely run-chase against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. The manner in which James Faulkner and Steven Smith took on the bowling is proof of the fact that no total can be safe and that teams have to be on guard at all times while defending. They cannot let the opposition even the slightest chance, for that could prove costly. In the past, we have seen similar finishes. Let us revisit five run-chases in previous years, that left everyone shell-shocked:
1. Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2012.
Bangalore had amassed 205 on the board and looked on course to beat Chennai in their home turf when they strangled by dismissing the captain MS Dhoni. In 18 overs, Chennai were 163 for four and needed 43 off the last two. For some bizarre reason, Virat Kohli was handed the ball with the dangerous Albie Morkel on strike. Morkel smashed Kohli left, right and centre as he milked 28 runs off the over. That over accounted for two fours and three sixes and Chennai now needed a gettable 15 in the last over. Things only got tighter when Morkel was dismissed off the second ball. But then Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja calmly took Chennai across the finish line with a few big hits, although it did go to the last ball.
2. Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2012
Chasing 169 to win, Mumbai were in trouble at 137 for six after 18. They needed 32 off the last two with Ambati Rayudu and Robin Peterson in the middle. Punjab was expected to win this quite easily. However, Punjab then brought on Piyush Chawla and it was carnage. Peterson changed his footing and reverse swept one for four over third man. Off the next ball, he did the same and he did much more square, this time it almost went for six. And, then he went for the conventional sweep and slogged it over square-leg for six. Rayudu then carted two sixes off the last two balls of the over, leaving Mumbai with five to get off the last over, which was achieved quite easily.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors India, IPL 2012
Bangalore were chasing 183 for victory and they kept stumbling during their run-chase. Chris Gayle maintained his calm and soldiered them through. In over, which was bowled by Rahul Sharma, he even carted five sixes. But when he was out for 81 in the 16th over, Bangalore were in huge trouble. They needed 55 off the last four, which then came down to 21 off the last over. AB de Villiers then got into the act. He scooped a boundary down to fine-leg off Ashish Nehra and then smashes two sixes, one of which was also a scoop. Needed three runs off the last ball, Saurabh Tiwary smashed a six down the ground to win them the game.
4. Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2013
This was Sachin Tendulkar’s last IPL game as he walked out injured. Mumbai were chasing 179 to win and at 99 for three in the 14th, Hyderabad were supposed to win. But, in walked Kieron Pollard. When Mumbai needed 62 off the last four, Thisara Perera came onto bowl. Pollard carted Perera all over the ground, smashing four sixes and milked 29 runs off the over. Amit Mishra came on for the next over and he was smashed for another 21 and Pollard found the stands three times. It then boiled down to 12 off the last two and Pollard got there with ease.
5. Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2011
Mumbai were chasing 176 at Eden Gardens and Kolkata had kept them in check with regular wickets. Kolkata strangled them to a point that they needed 30 off the last two and then 21 off the last over. James Franklin came to face and had to deal with Lakshmipathy Balaji. The first ball was hit through cover for four. The second was edged over the keeper for another. The next two balls saw similar results as two more fours were achieved. Franklin then took a single and Ambati Rayudu came on strike with four needed off the last ball. It was a full toss and Rayudu pulled it for a six over square-leg to achieve the improbable.
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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)