This is last post of the 5-part series on close counters in Indian Premier League history. It has been 12 years since its inception, and the IPL has provided numerous exciting, thrilling and heart-breaking matches.
Here’s a detailed look at another three close counters in Indian Premier League history where teams battled it out till the last minute.
Close counters in Indian Premier League history
1. Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) v Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
In their last match up, CSK won the battle from an impossible position when Virat Kohli decided to bowl the 19th over and Morkel took him apart. In this match, thanks to a steady 58 off 47 from Kohli and a quick fire 64 off 32 from De Villiers, RCB managed to score 165/6.
Chasing a total of 166 at Chepauk, CSK required 29 runs off 12 balls to seal and stamp a win. It was not an easy ask but Dhoni was more than capable of doing it. Rampaul bowing the first ball of penultimate over to Dhoni, it was a length ball outside off, Dhoni goes hard at it trying to drive it through covers, but only manages a thick inside edge as the ball shattered the stumps.
Dhoni was gone, it was undoubtedly a decisive breakthrough. Third ball of Rampaul’s over, Bravo moved across the stumps but was struck on his pads. There was a loud appeal for an LBW and Bravo was given out. Rampaul went for a hefty 13 runs but managed to bag two very crucial wickets.
RP Singh had to defend 16 runs from six balls to ensure an RCB win at Chepauk. But Jadeja made things really tense, first ball went past short third man for a four and the second ball was launched over long-on from a good length for a maximum!!
6 more required from 4 balls, talk about down to the wire! The next three balls were a single, a double and another single respectively. Now then, 2 needed from one ball with Jadeja on strike, surely CSK would fancy their chances of a win here.
As RP Singh bowled a short ball outside off stump, Jadeja went for a flashing cut, but the ball went towards third man and Jadeja was caught out. Kohli was running in for a mega celebration, but he stopped in agony when he saw umpire call it a no-ball.
RP Singh had overstepped the crease by a margin of about 6 inches. CSK batsmen were running hard in hopes of it being a drop catch and finished a single. So, it meant that they had scored the 2 required runs, one from running and another as an extra.
Surely, RCB fans were frustrated and as much as Kohli backed RP Singh in public and in front of media, one can only wonder whether things would’ve been same behind closed doors.
2. Mumbai Indians(MI) v Pune Warriors India(PWI)
Mumbai Indians were batting first, but after a steady start they failed to convert it into a big score. They lost 5 of their wickets for just 12 runs as the middle order imploded and eventually managed to score only 120 runs in 20 overs.
Mumbai wasn’t ready to give up though, as Munaf Patel did early damage and later came on their spinners to even things up a bit. In the last two over, Warriors needed 16 more runs to win this match.
Malinga stayed true to his reputation as he bowled a magnificent 19th over in which he gave away only 4 runs and managed to bag a wicket.
Last over and Warriors needed 12 more runs. Mithun Manas and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were at the crease with Munaf Patel on attack. Mumbai Indians had done a fantastic job of taking this match to till the last over defending a small total of 120.
Warriors were under heavy pressure, they surely did not want to lose this match chasing down a modest target of 121. Warriors could manage only 5 runs off the first 4 balls. They now needed 7 runs of the last 2 balls.
On the fifth ball, Bhuvneshwar Kumar hit a beautiful inside out shot through covers for a four past long off. The equation got interesting again with just three runs required off last ball.
Munaf missed his yorker length and bowled a full toss as the ball was flicked away to deep mid-wicket, but batsmen could only manage to complete two runs and failed to reach their target.
It has to be said that Mumbai deserved its two points for defending a small total of 120 runs away from their home and managing to win this match by a mere margin of one single run.
3. Kings XI Punjab(KXIP) v Chennai Super Kings(CSK)
Kings XI scored a mammoth 192 runs thanks to some powerful hitting display from Shaun Marsh as he scored not out 88 runs from 57 balls with 8 fours and 5 sixes. The duo of Marsh and Irfan Pathan added 99 runs from last 8 overs to put up a winning total on board.
CSK’s chase got off to worst possible start as off-spinner Ramesh Powar got rid of Super Kings’ openers Matthew Hayden and Murali Vijay cheaply. Then Raina and Badrinath calmed their innings and after Raina’s wicket, Dhoni walked in to bat.
Badrinath scored 53 runs with a strike rate almost touching 150 and when Piyushh Chawla bowled him in 17th over, the fate of CSK was left to Dhoni and his finishing ability and he did not disappoint!
Kings XI had their noses in front with 29 runs to defend from last 2 overs. Rusty Theron was to bowl an all important 19th over with Dhoni taking strike. Dhoni slapped first ball past mid-wicket for a boundary and clobbered the second for another boundary over bowler’s head.
The Super Kings managed to get 13 off this over and final equation now read 16 runs needed to win from 6 balls. Irfan Pathan was bowling and Dhoni was on strike and in a situation where he would always back himself up.
Pathan aimed his first ball at a yorker length as Dhoni went deep in his crease and drived it wide of long-off for a boundary. Thanks to an odd bounce in front of Piyush Chawla, batsmen complete two more runs on the second ball.
10 needed to win from 4 balls, but for Dhoni it was a little too many balls. Third ball of this over, Pathan misses his yorker length and MSD murdered this ball over wide long on and sent it miles into the air and out of the stadium. It was one of the most powerful sixes ever televised!
Under pressure, Pathan was shook and bowled a length ball this time. Sure enough, Dhoni bludgeoned this ball toward long-on again. He muscled this ball outside the stadium once more.
MS Dhoni, the best finisher in business managed to take CSK over the finishing line with two monstrous hits. The whole CSK dugout came in to celebrate with a visibly pumped up Dhoni, he scored 54 runs from 29 balls and was awarded Man of the Match award.
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