After much speculation and a long wait, IPL finally returned to our TV screens. Though struck by the Covid-19 pandemic and new protocols surrounding it - it still came in as a sigh of relief for most fans. IPL has been a mega entertainer, and rightfully so. In the thirteen-year history of the tournament, we've witnessed some stellar performances and quite a few nailbiting games.
With the IPL 2020 finale right around the corner, we take a look at the most thrilling IPL finals of all time:
1. Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - IPL 2019
It isn't a rare sight to witness a thriller when 2 giants of the IPL lock horns - and this match was no exception. With 3 IPL titles under the belt for both teams, this was a fight to become the most successful team in the tournament.
Mumbai opted to bat first after winning the toss. The top order stumbled, but Kieron Pollard made sure he picked his team up with a quickfire 41 off 25 balls. MI managed to score 149/8 at the end of 20 overs.
The ever-dependent Faf du Plessis gave CSK the fiery start that they were looking for. However, it was all about Shane Watson - who batted despite having a bleeding knee. It was his heroics that made the IPL 2019 final worthwhile!
2. Rising Pune Supergiant vs Mumbai Indians - IPL 2017
After a modest season in 2016, RPS came back stronger with a change in leadership, booking a date in the final with a third win of the season against MI in the first qualifier. Mumbai Indians won the toss on the day of the final and decided to bat first.
The MI top order failed to perform on the day it mattered the most, but Krunal Pandya played a crucial knock - scoring 47 important runs to take his team to 129/8 at the end of their 20 overs.
But as they say, never write MI off. Even after a brilliant start by Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane - Mumbai managed to not let the game slip out of control. RPS required 11 runs to win off the last over, but Mitchell Johnson's spectacular spell ensured that the Mumbai franchise marched towards victory!
3. Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore - IPL 2016
IPL finals have never failed to thrill us, and the 2016 edition was no exception. RCB were definite favourites to win their maiden IPL title, but SRH had other plans in store!
With power-packed performances from SRH's top order, they managed to post a mammoth total of 208/7. RCB were clearly under pressure, but thanks to a 100+ run partnership between captain Kohli and Chris Gayle, they seemed to be well on track to chase down the target. But once Gayle was dismissed, RCB suffered a shocking collapse. Eventually, they fell short by just 8 runs, and SRH went on to lift the glittering trophy.
4. Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings - IPL 2012
CSK were on a complete roll. They were playing their 4th consecutive final, and were on the cusp of winning their 3rd consecutive IPL title. KKR on the other hand were relatively inexperienced, being first-time IPL finalists.
CSK went in to bat first, and managed to post a huge total of 190/3 in their quota of 20 overs. KKR lost the big wicket of captain Gautam Gambhir early in the chase, but Manvinder Singh Bisla and Jacques Kallis stitched together a 136-run stand to help KKR get close. Kallis scored a match-winning 69 off 49 deliveries to help KKR win their maiden IPL title.
5. Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings - IPL 2008
In the inaugural IPL final in 2008, Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals won the toss and opted to chase. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina put up a spectacular show to help CSK finish at 163/5.
Yusuf Pathan starred for RR as he picked 3 wickets with the ball and played a blistering knock of 56 from just 39 balls. RR needed 8 to win from the final over with their bowling hero Sohail Tanvir at the crease. It went down to the last ball, but Tanvir and skipper Warne saw the team home by three wickets.
Rajasthan Royals were crowned the first-ever champions of the Indian Premier League!
The IPL 2020 final too, promises to be a nail-biter. With the two top-ranked teams facing off in the final, we can expect another close encounter.
Will Mumbai defend their title and win the trophy for the 5th time? Or would we see a new champion in Delhi Capitals this time? Only time will tell.Published 10 Nov 2020, 10:30 IST