All of the matches were last-ball finishes with an additional drama attached to it. n IPL 2013, Ravindra Jadeja skied a catch on the last ball but still won the match for Chennai Super Kings as the bowler had bowled a no-ball © IANS
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen some great games in the past. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks five heart-stoppers in the tournament’s history.
Mumbai Indians did the unthinkable by chasing down 190 inside 14.4 overs to qualify for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. It was a heart-stopping thriller than went down to the last ball, with uncertainty over the exact fate of both sides in the tournament. Rajasthan Royals were edged out by an inspired Mumbai side on the day. This isn’t the first time the two teams have played a heart-stopper. Let us revisit five of the most exciting games in IPL history.
1. Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2014
This has to be one of the most dramatic thrillers with all the hard work put in the season coming down to that one ball. Going into the game, Mumbai knew that they needed to either with by 42 runs or chase the score down in 14.3 overs. Once Karun Nair and Sanju Samson took Rajasthan to 189, it was always going to be a tough task for Mumbai to get 190 in such a short span. But, Mumbai went about it in a spirited manner as they started smashing it from ball one. But at 108 for four in the 10th over, it looked as if it was slipping away and they held on to Corey Anderson. In company with Ambati Rayudu, Anderson started smashing it around and they brought it down to eight needed to qualify off two balls. James Faulkner crumbled under pressure and bowled a full toss on the legs and it was sent for a six over fine-leg. With two to get, Rayudu did not hit it well and was run-out by miles while going for the second. Some Rajasthan players celebrated as they felt they were through. But then came the word that Mumbai needed a boundary to qualify and shoot ahead of Rajasthan’s net run-rate. Faulkner bowled another full toss and Aditya Tare smashed his first ball for a six over fine-leg sparking wild celebrations at the Wankhede Stadium.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors India, IPL 2012
Chasing 183 for victory, Chris Gayle kept Bangalore alive with his typical aggression. He was almost smashing it at will and Rahul Sharma bore the brunt when he was hit for five sixes in an over. But, once he was out for 81 with 127 on the board in the 16th over, it looked bleak for Bangalore. But, AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary had other ideas and were ready for carnage. It came down to the last over with 21 needed for victory. De Villiers scooped a four behind square, then smashed a six down the ground. He followed that up with a scoop that went for six. However, a single was taken off the penultimate ball. With three needed off the last ball, Ashish Nehra erred and Tiwary smashed him over long-off for a six.
3.Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2010
This will go down as one of the best games in the IPL. It all happened because of one man’s daredevilry. Mumbai setup 213 on the board and were in firm control when they had Rajasthan at 66 for four in the 10th over. But, Yusuf Pathan they started smashing it all over with Paras Dogra holding fort. Pathan smashed everything, sending the ball into the stands and also finding the gap for boundaries. He raced away to a ton off 37 balls and Rajasthan needed 40 off the last three overs. However, Pathan was dismissed in an unfortunate manner when he was out of crease at the non-striker’s end with a bullet shot taking the bowler’s hand and hitting the stumps. Dogra still smashed 20 off the next four balls and it then came down to 12 off the last over. Malinga bowled a brilliant over to defend it and help Mumbai start the season well.
4. Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2013
Chennai were chasing 166 to win and Bangalore kept striking with a few wickets. With 29 needed off 12, Chennai lost MS Dhoni. Dwayne Bravo smashed a six and was then dismissed in the same over. It then came down to 16 needed off the last over and Ravindra Jadeja smashed a four and a six off the first two balls from RP Singh. The bowler came back and it came down to two needed off one ball. Jadeja then guided the last ball to third man and was caught. However, the batsman had crossed over to the other end and RP Singh had overstepped. This meant that Chennai got two runs and they celebrated. Then came the joke, “You give Sir Jadeja two runs to win with one ball to go, he will win it with one ball to spare.” The expression on Virat Kohli’s face said it all as he started celebrating when the catch was taken only to see the umpire signal a no ball.
5. Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2008
It was the day Yuvraj Singh silenced the Wankhede Stadium with a piece of fielding that would have made Jonty Rhodes proud. Chasing 189 to win, Mumbai were led by Sachin Tendulkar’s 65 before he was dismissed with three overs to go and the score on 159. Mumbai kept losing wickets and were reduced to 171 for seven with 19 needed off the last over. VRV Singh was called to bowl the last over. He started off with a full-toss, a no-ball, and Siddharth Chitnis smashed it for a six over third-man. Chitnis hit the next ball of the off-side and the fielder couldn’t get around to catch it as it went for four. But then he was run-out off the next ball while trying to get two. Later, there was another run-out as Dilhara Fernando was found short. Mumbai were down to the last pair with four needed off two. Vikrant Yelligati smashed a brace and took strike for the last ball. However, with two needed, he could only hit it to Yuvraj at cover who ran into the non-striker’s end and threw himself to the stumps like Rhodes and shattered the stumps. Punjab won by one run as Yuvraj ran around the Wankhede to celebrate.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)