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Top 5 closest encounters in IPL history

The Indian Premier league is lit up with nail-biting finishes. Last ball finishes are one of the most exciting aspects of the IPL. Here is a detailed analysis of the top 5 close matches in IPL History.

Last updated: 12.09.2021
Closest encounters in IPL history | Sports Social Blog

The Indian Premier league is lit up with nail-biting finishes. The nature of this league is that you simply cannot predict the outcome of the match until the last ball is bowled. Last ball finishes are one of the most exciting aspects of the IPL.

With the IPL 2019 around the corner, let’s take a look at the top 5 closely fought matches from the previous editions that will be forever etched in the chronicles of IPL.

Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2014

The MI team had a terrible start to the campaign of IPL 2014. They had almost lost their way up to the qualifiers when they pulled off the impossible.

MI had to chase whatever was set by Rajasthan Royals in just 14.3 overs to up their net run rate. RR set a target of 190 with the help of some mighty blows from Sanju Samson and Karun Nair and it was a tough ask for the Mumbai batsmen. Not only did they need to win the match, but also had to maintain the net run rate so as to qualify in the next round of matches.

Corey Anderson, though, took matters into his own hands and started a full powered assault on the opposition. Helped by Michael Hussey and Ambati Rayudu, they reached a stage when they needed 9 off 3 deliveries. However, after three deliveries, the scores were only tied.

Everyone thought MI had come agonizingly close to achieving the impossible. However, the drama was not finished. MI still had a chance – they needed a boundary off the next delivery! That’s when Aditya Tare hit a huge six off James Faulkner to take his side into the playoffs. The scenes at the Wankhede Stadium at the end of this match were an absolute delight.

Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2009

The initial few years of KKR was really disappointing for the fans. The Kolkata Knight Riders were always at the receiving end. But in this memorable match, KKR pulled off one of the most exciting chases in the competition. This match was played in Centurion in 2009.

Assisted by catchy half-centuries from Brad Hodge and Brendon McCullum, KKR found the pace and rhythm to the victory. The thrill began when chasing 189, the Knights required 25 runs from 12 balls. In the last but one over, when most of the viewers considered KKR a weak side for CSK, the Kolkata batsmen clobbered Laxmipathy Balaji for 19 runs.

Hodge hit him for two sixes and in the last ball; the team India wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha dispatched the Chennai quick over the mid-wicket boundary.

Now came the last over, from which KKR needed only six runs. Captain Dhoni gave the ball to Suresh Raina, who leaked two runs from his first three balls. The fourth ball created a scare, in which Hodge narrowly survived a run-out.  Saha took two runs on the fifth ball and with one needed from the last ball, the Bengal-wicketkeeper hit a boundary to record a memorable win for KKR.

Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab , IPL 2016

The Rising Pune Supergiant were wooden spooners of IPL 2016, and by the time this game was played, they were down and out of the tournament. But just like their then-skipper MS Dhoni, the outfit wanted to finish off their 2016 campaign in style.

Chasing 173 for the win, the RPS was struggling as they lost wickets in quick succession. MS Dhoni found himself battling alone, with 23 needed from the last over. The ball was given to Axar Patel, and Dhoni refused a single on the first ball and the next ball was a wide.

The equation then looked daunting - 22 of 5, but then began the vintage finisher Dhoni’s sixes. Dhoni hit a maximum over long on in the 3rd ball. In the next, he flat-batted one over covers but Hashim Amla stopped the ball on the boundary to give no runs to Dhoni.

16 was needed in 3 balls and Dhoni hit four and two sixes to seal the deal. The captain finished with 64 off just 32 balls. which is one of the best finishes in cricket history.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2009

In the very first super over of the IPL, Rajasthan Royals triumphed over Kolkata Knight Riders in an intense fixture in Cape Town. RR chose to bat first and lost two quick wickets. However, Pathan came to the crease and scored a quick-fire 21-ball 42 to help his side post a respectable score of 150 on the board. Abhishek Raut acted as a catalyst, helped as well.

For KKR, Chris Gayle produced the initial onslaught but four quick dismissals halted their chase. Sourav Ganguly then played a captain’s knock and almost singlehandedly won it for KKR. However, in the penultimate ball, with two needed off two, he edged one to ‘keeper Kamran Akmal.

Ishant Sharma could manage only one run off the last delivery to take the match into the super over. As Gayle hit three boundaries, it once again seemed like KKR were on the cusp of victory, however, Pathan clearly had other ideas. Yusuf Pathan broke the tied match with two sixes and a boundary in the super over to chase down 16 runs in just four deliveries.

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Deccan Chargers, Final IPL 2009

It was the final match of IPL 2009. Ultimately, Deccan Chargers would go on to win against Royal Challengers Bangalore in a match that twisted and turned at every possible juncture. There was nail-biting tension and drama – everything that a final warranted.

DC were asked to bat first by RCB captain Anil Kumble and the decision turned out to be a good one. Adam Gilchrist was quick to depart and T. Suman soon followed. Herschelle Gibbs, though, held one end and kept the scoreboard ticking.

Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma chipped in with small cameos. But it was the former South African batsman who remained unbeaten on 53 and helped his side reach a respectable score of 143. Chasing 144, in a final, under the lights, was never going to be easy and it was made all the more difficult by RP Singh, who was bowling with fire.

RCB batsmen failed to build any substantial partnerships as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Despite Roelof van der Merwe and Ross Taylor’s fight at the end, they fell short by six runs.

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