David Warner, Virat Kohli and others stunned the spectators with outstanding knocks © AFP
David Warner, Virat Kohli and others stunned the spectators with outstanding knocks © AFP

The long trail of Twenty20 (T20) season comes to an end as the ninth season of Indian Premier League (IPL) concludes with a nail-biting final match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). This year, though there were crucial spells as well, it will not be wrong to say, the batsmen stole away the limelight with terrific performances. However, many batting heroics also came for a losing cause sadly. As the extravagant T20 tournament draws it curtain, here is a list of ten individual innings that were special looking at the importance of the knock in this season. READ: IPL 2016: Top 10 bowling spells of the tournament

1. Quinton de Kock 108 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: It was the initiation of a series that was waiting to see a lot more centuries come its way. The batting-heavy RCB team had already put up a massive total of 191 at their home-ground with the visitors Delhi Daredevils (DD) having lost two quick wickets chasing the target. De Kock, who saw Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson depart early without contributing much, knew that he had to take up responsibilities and go all guns blazing and so did he. Scoring a 51-ball 108 with the help of 15 fours and 3 sixes, de Kock took Delhi Daredevils (DD) to the much-wanted victory.

2. Hashim Amla 96 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad: From the very beginning, to the very end. It was Hashim Amla who the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) brought in as their final trump card. The player did justice to the decision and scored a brilliant 96 opening for KXIP. Though his team lost the match, the innings was highly praised.

3. Chris Morris 82* vs Gujarat Lions: One of the most tight game this season was between DD and GL at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. The Lions had done a good job putting up a total of 172. DD started off on a disappointing note, losing three wickets within initial four overs. JP Duminy provided a stability afterwards to the innings but it was Morris’ unbeaten 82 off 32 deliveries which brought them back into the game. Unfortunately, DD lost the match by a solitary run.

4. Karun Nair 83* vs Sunrisers Hydearabad: SRH skipper David Warner had played a captain’s knock, scoring 73 off 56 while the entire batting line-up failed and had pushed the score to 158 against Delhi Daredevils (DD) in Match 52. DD did not had a very fruitful start as well, as their star opener de Kock had already departed making 2. Young Karun Nair took the charge and scored a match-winning 83 off 59.

5. Steven Smith 101 vs Gujarat Lions: Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) failed to live up to the expectations of the fans. Of the very few positives the team had to take from their journey, one was Smith’s ton. After losing opener Saurabh Tiwary early, it was Smith along with Rahane who powered RPS to a total of 195 against GL. Smith’s 101 was studded with 8 fours and 5 sixes. However, GL’s strong top-order chased the massive target with ease.

6. AB de Villiers 79* vs Gujarat Lions: AB de Villiers is a name which reminds of many great knocks and not just one. Among the many match-winning ones, there is one that stands out from the rest and it is not his unbeaten 129 which came this year against Gujarat Lions. Though it was the highest individual score of IPL 2016, the knock that proved to be the most crucial is de Villiers’ unbeaten 79. It was the Qualifier 1 and RCB bowlers had did well, restricting the batting heavy GL at 158 but RCB’s start was not a desired one. RCB were 5 for 26 and the one name who took on the responsibilities is de Villiers. The batsman took 47 balls and scored 79 runs to take RCB directly to the final.

7. David Warner 93* vs Gujarat Lions: Just like de Villiers’ crucial knock in Qualifier 1, Warner took the charge in Qualifier 2 for SRH, against the same opponent. GL had put up an average target of 162 in an attempt to qualify for the final. It seemed a very easy a chase for SRH looking at the team’s batting line-up. But things turned in GL’s favour as SRH kept on losing wickets in regular intervals. But Warner stood there till the end, becoming the hero of SRH’s qualification for final.

8. Virat Kohli 109 vs Gujarat Lions: IPL 2016 definitely has to be the most fruitful of all the seasons Kohli has played so far. Amassing a total of 973 runs at the end of the season with 4 centuries and 7 half-centuries, Kohli has been phenomenal. The player scored his first Twenty20 (T20) century at Rajkot against Gujarat Lions (GL) but for a losing cause. Kohli took a sweet revenge, as he yet again scored a century against the same team and this time, the team won by 144 runs.

9. Chris Gayle 76 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad: Much had been said about the West Indian as he could not deliver in his usual batting style towards the start of IPL 2016. But the player proved his mettle later on in many innings, among which is his knock in the final match of the season. SRH put up a target of 209, which definitely was one of the biggest in IPL and it is never easy to perform in a pressure situation. Gayle provided exactly the start RCB needed, with a 38-ball 76 with the help of 4 fours and 8 sixes. Unfortunately, RCB went on to lose the match.

10. Ben Cutting 39* vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: It is never easy to leave a mark with your performance while stars like Virat Kohli and David Warner are performing alongside but Cutting proved to be different. In the all important final match, Warner provided a brilliant start to the team with his 69-run knock but the RCB bowlers made a brilliant comeback and did not let any other batsman fire until Cutting came in with his blistering 15-ball 39. The innings which included 3 fours and 4 sixes surely made the difference between RCB and the trophy.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)