IPL 2020 has been one of the tournament's most competitive editions yet. Although the Mumbai Indians ran away with the title in the end, the race to the playoffs ran as close as ever with the top four places being decided only in the last game of the league phase in the end.
IPL 2020: 5 best close encounters this season:
This season saw a number of close games, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats throughout with the quality of cricket on offer. We take a look at five of the closest games from the season gone by.
1.Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab
Result: Match tied, Kings XI Punjab won in second Super Over
Mumbai Indians batted first and looked to set the tone for the innings. Quinton de Kock hit a well-made 53 but was running out of partners at the other end, and after his departure, MI were in a spot of bother at 119-6. But a fantastic cameo from Kieron Pollard (34 runs off 12 balls) and a handy 24 by Nathan Coulter-Nile helped MI reach 176-6 in their 20 overs.
With KXIP chasing 177 runs to win, Jasprit Bumrah gave MI the perfect start by removing in-form opener Mayank Agarwal early. However, KL Rahul continued on his merry ways and brought up yet another IPL 2020 half-century.
Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran also got starts but couldn't string together a solid partnership with Rahul, who was keeping KXIP in the game. A Jasprit Bumrah yorker was got rid of the KXIP skipper for 77 runs off just 51 balls.
It finally came down to the last over where KXIP needed 9 runs from 6 balls. But Trent Boult bowled brilliantly and KXIP could only tie the game and take it to a Super Over.
Bumrah was absolutely sensational in the Super Over, conceding just 5 runs. Yet, MI failed to score 6 runs as Mohammed Shami was also at his absolute best, bowling accurate yorkers. The Super Over was tied and for the first time in IPL history, the game went to a second one-over eliminator.
In the second Super Over, MI had to bat first and scored 11 runs, thanks to a boundary hit by Kieron Pollard. But Trent Boult couldn't execute his yorkers as Gayle and Agarwal ensured that the target was chased down quite easily in the end.
2. Delhi Capitals vs Kings XI Punjab
Result: Match tied, Delhi Capitals won in the Super Over
Delhi Capitals were put into bat, and were in trouble straightaway as some amazing bowling from Mohammed Shami saw them lose 3 wickets for just 13 runs. Skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant then began to consolidate the DC innings, and added 73 crucial runs for the 4th wicket.
After the wicket of Pant, DC kept losing wickets at regular intervals and reached their 100 after 17 overs. But a heroic half-century from Marcus Stoinis ensured that they put up a competitive toal of 157-8 in their 20 overs.
Stoinis scored 53 off just 21 balls, including 7 fours and 3 sixes. The Aussie all-rounder took a special liking to Chris Jordan as the Englishman went for 30 runs off his final over.
Chasing 158 runs to win, KXIP suffered a batting collapse as from 30-0, they slumped to 55-5 and were in danger of getting bowled out. However, Mayank Agarwal stepped up and kept playing his shots.
Finding boundaries at regular intervals, Agarwal kept KXIP in the game and brought them closer to the target. It was very straightforward in the end for KXIP as they just needed 1 run off 3 balls. However, it was always going to be Stoinis' day as he picked up the wickets of Agarwal and Jordan, and took the game into a Super Over.
Kagiso Rabada was too hot to handle for the KXIP batsmen as he picked up 2 wickets and conceded just 2 runs. The target was just 3 runs and Pant and Iyer ensured that DC completed a thrilling win, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
3. Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Result: Match tied, Kolkata Knight Riders won the Super Over
The Kolkata Knight Riders batted first and got off to a decent start, thanks to a 48-run opening partnership between Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi. Almost every player got a start but nobody converted it into a big score. Cameos from skipper Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik in the end helped KKR reach a competitive score of 163-5 in their 20 overs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad opted for a change in the batting order with Kane Williamson opening alongside Jonny Bairstow. Williamson and Bairstow got SRH off to a flyer as they added 58 runs in the powerplay. However, their partnership was broken by Lockie Ferguson, who was making his IPL 2020 debut.
The speedster continued taking wickets at regular intervals and did not let SRH batsmen run away with the chase. SRH skipper David Warner was left stranded on 47 as they could only level the scores, taking the game into a Super Over.
In the Super Over, Ferguson was brilliant again for KKR as he picked up 2 wickets and conceded just 2 runs. With just 3 required, Karthik and Morgan ensured that there were no hiccups and KKR won the Super Over comfortably.
4. Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians
Result: Match tied, Royal Challengers Bangalore won in Super Over
The Royal Challengers Bangalore were put in to bat by the Mumbai Indians and they got off to a flying start, thanks to openers Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch. Padikkal scored a well-made 54 while Finch scored a quickfire 52.
MI clawed their way back into the game by picking up wickets of both the openers and skipper Virat Kohli. But AB de Villiers was in one of his moods, smashing a brilliant 55 off just 24 balls. He was assisted well by Shivam Dube, whose 10-ball cameo yielded 27 runs. The strong finish helped RCB post a daunting total of 201-3 in their 20 overs.
MI got off to the worst possible start, losing skipper Rohit Sharma very early. In no time, MI were 39-3 and in deep trouble. Even Hardik Pandya couldn't fire and by the time Kieron Pollard walked out to bat, MI still needed another 124 runs to win.
Ishan Kishan, who was playing his first game of IPL 2020, got together with Pollard and began to turn the game on its head. Smashing 2 fours and 9 huge sixes, Kishan scored 99 runs off just 58 balls. Pollard himself contributed 60 runs off just 24 balls.
The duo added 119 runs for the fifth wicket and brought MI to the brink of an unlikely victory. With 5 runs required off the last ball, Pollard smashed a boundary to take the game to a Super Over.
In the Super Over, Navdeep Saini bowled brilliantly and MI could only score 7 runs. Although Jasprit Bumrah tried his best, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli ensured that RCB had no problems in chasing down 8 runs to seal the game.
5. Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Result: Kolkata Knight Riders won by 2 runs
KKR batted first and were rocked early with two quick wickets in the form of Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana. However, Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan steadied the ship with a solid 49-run partnership.
Gill went on to hit a well-made 57 off 47 balls. A quickfire 58 off just 29 balls by skipper Dinesh Karthik ensured that KKR reached a competitive total of 164-6 in their 20 overs.
Chasing 165 to win, KXIP got off to a flying start thanks to their openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. The duo added 115 runs for the first wicket and looked to be cruising home at one stage.
The game began to turn after Agarwal's wicket, however, as runs were suddenly difficult to come by. The KKR bowlers applied pressure and KXIP did not help their case either as they began to throw their wickets away under the pressure of the asking rate. Even Rahul couldn't take KXIP home in the end as he was cleaned up for 74 by Prasidh Krishna.
It all came down to the last ball in the end with KXIP needing 7 runs and Glenn Maxwell on strike. Sunil Narine kept his cool and bowled the ball wide of Maxwell's reach and he could only hit it for a boundary. In the end KXIP fell short by just 2 runs and threw away a game that was theirs for the taking.Published 15 Nov 2020, 14:24 IST