The power game is at the core of T20 cricket. It may not always be those steady big knocks that win you games, but it may also be those quickfire 20’s or 30’s that define the difference between two teams on a given day. We have seen plenty of similar cameos throughout the history of the IPL and IPL 2020 was no different.
Here, we look back at some of the best cameos from the 2020 edition of the IPL. Some of them may not have ended up being in a winning cause, but each and every one of these knocks gave their teams a fighting chance in the matches that they were played in.
Nb: Innings with 12 balls or less have only been considered as ‘cameos’ for this article.
Top 5 cameos from IPL 2020
5. Ravindra Jadeja - 31* from 11 balls, for Chennai Super Kings against Kolkata Knight Riders
Ravindra Jadeja has done the job time and time again with the ball. But the batting hasn't always been the best, especially when it comes to the white-ball game. Apart from a few rare glimpses, Jadeja has struggled to turn up with the bat. IPL 2020 was a little different, however.
While Jadeja had a few cameos scattered across the tournament, the innings against Kolkata Knight Riders was probably the best of the lot. Batting first, KKR had posted 172 runs on the board against a CSK side which was struggling in the beginning of the IPL. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu built up a good partnership at the top, but by the time Ravindra Jadeja came in, it looked like the match was slipping away from CSK's hands. They required 33 runs from 16 deliveries and Sam Curran was struggling to time the ball at one end.
Jadeja attacked from the word go and took apart a rampaging Lockie Ferguson for 21 runs in one over. But the match once again seemed to be swinging in KKR's favour when just 3 runs came in the first four deliveries of the last over. 7 runs were needed from two balls and Ravindra Jadeja finished it off in style, hitting Kamlesh Nagarkoti for two maximums.
4. Kieron Pollard - 34* from 12 balls, for Mumbai Indians against Kings XI Punjab
We all know what a rampaging Kieron Pollard can do to an opposition. No ground is too big for this towering Trinidadian, let alone the Dubai International Stadium where this IPL game was played.
The Mumbai Indians batted first and started steadily. But they lost their way in the middle of the innings against some excellent spin bowling from Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin. By the time Kieron Pollard came into the crease at number 7, there were only a couple of balls left in the 16th over and MI had posted just 116 runs on the board. And right in the next over, they lost a set Quinton de Kock at the other end. The stage looked set for a good finish for KXIP, but Pollard and Nathan Coulter-Nile had other plans.
Both Pollard and Coulter-Nile had no time to get settled and had to go after the bowling right from ball one. And that’s just what they did. It was carnage from there on, with the pair scoring 57 runs from just 21 deliveries. Pollard scored the bulk of the runs ending up with 34 from 12 balls, but Coulter-Nile was not left far behind with 24 from 12. The innings saw four sixes and a boundary from Kieron Pollard.
However, the 176 runs posted by MI was not enough as KXIP managed to tie the game and subsequently win it in the second Super Over. This was one of the rare defeats for the Mumbai Indians in this IPL.
3. Chris Morris - 25* from 8 balls, for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Kings XI Punjab
The South African all-rounder has produced several useful cameos which have proved more than useful for his teams in the past. He had scored an 11-ball 34 playing for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2015 and a 9-ball 38 playing for Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2017. At IPL 2020, it was time for him to do the same for RCB.
Morris played a wonderful cameo of 25 runs from 8 balls against Kings XI Punjab to help his side post a decent total on the board. When RCB lost Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the space of just three balls om the 18th over, the side had just 137 runs on the board. Anything around 150 would have been below-par, but the late fireworks from Morris propelled the score to 171 runs which was something the bowlers could bowl at. The last two overs produced 34 runs as Morris hit three sixes in addition to a boundary.
But even 171 wasn’t enough for RCB to ensure a victory. Although the bowlers took the game as deep as they could, the game ended in an 8-wicket defeat for the team.
2. Nicholas Pooran - 25* from 8 balls, for Kings XI Punjab against Rajasthan Royals
This knock from the Trinidadian came during the initial phase of the IPL when the Sharjah pitch was a graveyard for bowlers, and they could hope for nothing when the small dimensions of the boundary were taken into account. Nicholas Pooran took full advantage of the situation, unleashing on Jofra Archer.
Batting first against Rajasthan Royals, the openers had already put on a massive partnership to ensure that the team would reach somewhere around the 200-run mark. Mayank Agarwal was simply brilliant on the day, scoring a century before being dismissed for 106 off just 50 balls. KL Rahul was dismissed for a 54-ball 69 as well. The last two overs were all that was left when Pooran came into bat. He faced 8 balls and deposited the ball out of the park thrice including twice off the bowling of Jofra Archer.
KXIP ended up posting a mammoth 223 runs on the board. But then Sanju Samson played a mesmerizing 42-ball 85. If that wasn’t enough, Tewatia would then pummel the KXIP bowlers to pretty much deliver the finishing touches. Rajasthan Royals chased the total down with three balls to spare on the back of some brilliant hitting from Samson and Tewatia.
1. Jofra Archer - 27* from 8 balls, for Rajasthan Royals against Chennai Super Kings
Jofra Archer has always been known as a player who has some ability with the bat. But until this IPL, it has always been something that we had heard of, but hadn’t quite seen. Unfortunately for the Chennai Super Kings, they would experience it all first-hand.
This innings too came at the Sharjah stadium when the strip was a nightmare for the bowlers at the beginning of the IPL. Batting first, Sanju Samson and Steve Smith had put up a magnificent partnership of 121 runs, but the team just looked like losing their way in the middle with the fall of some quick wickets. From what looked like a comfortable 200-plus total, it started to look like they would hardly reach 190 as the seventh wicket fell in the form of Steve Smith in the 19th over. That was when Jofra Archer came in.
The English pacer faced 8 of the remaining 10 balls and hit four humungous sixes during his stay in the middle. That knock helped RR to propel their score to 216, giving them huge momentum going into the innings break. The final scorecard would say that RR just had a narrow victory of 16 runs in the end, but CSK never quite looked like chasing it down.Published 12 Nov 2020, 20:16 IST