The final two teams of IPL V have been decided. The final is just hours away. The three-time champions Chennai Super Kings will take on the challengers, Kolkata Knight Riders for the trophy.
But before the IPL V champion is crowned, it’s important to note that the season had some of the most thrilling nail-biters and entertaining matches.
With this being the fifth edition of the tournament, we pick five of the season’s most memorable matches in reverse order:
This game saw the powerful Royal Challengers Bangalore team put up a mammoth 205 total after opting to bat first with explosive opener Chris Gayle scoring 68. The match looked an open and shut case and despite Faf du Plessis’ quick-fire 71, CSK were in trouble. CSK needed 43 runs off the last 12 balls.
The most ardent of Chennai fans had given up, but not Albie Morkel. He smashed 28 runs in the penultimate over off part-time bowler Virat Kohli to steer his team to an unbelievable victory. This was the second highest IPL run-chase ever.
Lasith Malinga held his nerve to deny Pune an easy win. Pic/AFP
Pune Warriors managed to restrict Mumbai Indians to a paltry 120. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a brilliant spell, taking 2 for 9.
Pune went into the break feeling confident they could overtake the small target with comfort, but Mumbai weren’t giving up so easy. Munaf Patel provided the early breakthrough and then Lasith Malinga did his part. Needing 8 off the last two deliveries, Munaf was driven for a four by Bhuvneshwar but the latter could only manage two runs off the last ball handing Mumbai a win by just 1 run.
It was one of the many last-ball thrillers the tournament saw this year.
Chennai put up a competitive total of 173 thanks mainly to the efforts of Murali Vijay and Dwayne Bravo.
Having put up a challenging total of 173, Chennai would have been quietly confident. Mumbai started confidently with Sachin Tendulkar (74) and Rohit Sharma (60) stitching a century-stand. But after their departure in quick succession and a middle-order collapse meant the game was tilted in the visitor’s favour. Mumbai needed 16 off the last over and West Indian Dwayne Smith had a fairytale IPL debut. Smith hammered Ben Hilfenhaus for a six and a couple of fours, including a boundary off the last ball, to land Mumbai an unimaginable win!
The indomitable Chris Gayle was at his best. A Gayle storm destroyed Ferozshah Kotla and left Delhi too much to do. The highest run getter in IPL V, Gayle hit a blistering 128 off just 62 balls with 13 mammoth sixes. He was ably supported by Virat Kohli, who contributed 73 in a 204 run partnership, the second best in the league.
Delhi Daredevils, without talismanic skipper and opener Virender Sehewag, tried their best, but failed to reach the total. Ross Taylor’s 55 off 26 balls was the only decent contribution, but not enough to steer Delhi to victory.
What a match! Chennai needed five off the last ball, Dwayne Bravo was at the crease and Rajat Bhatia was the bowler. Bhatia had had a great night till then, but it all changed with this one delver. Bravo hit the delivery for a six and sealed an improbable win for Chennai.
Chasing the target of 159, CSK got off to a great start with Michael Hussey scoring a vital 56 runs as he and Murali Vijay put on a 97-run stand. But that was the time Sunil Narine was brought in and he was a mystery to the Chennai batsmen. The spinner claimed two wickets in the space of three deliveries and swung the game KKR’s way.
In the final over, Chennai required 9 runs, Bhatia gave away only four runs off his first five deliveries, but destiny had other plans and Bravo connected with the ball for a match-winning six!