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IPL history: 5 greatest finals of all time

MI and CSK will face off in an IPL final for the fourth time
MI and CSK will face off in an IPL final for the fourth time
Siddharth Arjun

After 59 matches and 50 days, we are left with two teams that will battle in the final of the 2019 Indian Premier League. Fittingly it is the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians; the two best teams in the history of IPL that will take center stage.

The three-time champions will fight hard to win not only the title but also the bragging rights of being the first team to win it for a record fourth time. Both have met thrice in the season with Rohit Sharma's men coming out on top on each occasion.

Also, Mumbai leads 2-1 against Chennai in the IPL final head to head. But if there is one team that knows how to play in the playoffs then it is the Chennai Super Kings. Having qualified for their eighth final, they are definitely a force to reckon with. Although MI starts as favorites, we have seen over the years that the underdogs have gone on to clinch the crown.

As we gear up for another cliffhanger, let's look back at five of the best IPL finals in the competition's history.


#5 Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings by 3 wickets - 2008

The inaugural edition of the IPL produced one of the best IPL finals. Two teams in Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings which had no icon players at the start faced off in Mumbai. Batting first CSK got off to a sedate start scoring only 42 in the powerplay.

Albie Morkel was promoted to number four to increase the scoring rate and tackle Shane Warne. The move worked to an extent but it also helped Yusuf Pathan to bowl his off-spinners' as the Baroda man claimed three top-order wickets. A late cameo from captain MS Dhoni took the total to 163.

Despite chasing a modest total, RR felt the scoreboard pressure as they lost three quick wickets. Yusuf's 39-ball 56 in a partnership with Shane Watson's brought the equation down to eight off the last over. Sohail Tanvir hit a four off the last ball to make them the inaugural champions.

#4 Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians by 22 runs - 2010

CSK made a comeback in the second half of the tournament to win their first IPL title
CSK made a comeback in the second half of the tournament to win their first IPL title

A formidable Mumbai Indians took on Chennai who had sneaked into the semifinals on the backdrop of Dhoni's stunning innings in Dharamsala against Kings XI Punjab in the finals of 2010 edition. CSK posted a competitive total of 168 with Suresh Raina top scoring with a 35-ball 57.

Sachin Tendulkar was at his imperious best, as he found boundaries at will despite playing with an injured hand. But spinners squeezed the run chase to make run-scoring difficult.

Coming into bat with 55 required off 18 balls, Kieron Pollard smashed Doug Bollinger for 22 runs in the 18th over. The Trinidadian was threatening to grab the trophy from the hands of CSK before captain cool's inventive field setting stopped Pollard's assault.

MS Dhoni finally lifted the trophy after missing out in the first two seasons becoming the first Indian captain to do so.

#3 Kolkata Knight Riders beat Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets - 2012

Coming in as a replacement, Bisla single-handedly won the title for KKR
Coming in as a replacement, Bisla single-handedly won the title for KKR

Chennai Super Kings faced Kolkata Knight Riders in the finals of IPL 2012. Going into the match, CSK was overwhelming favorites as they were the two-time defending champions and were playing at their home in Chepauk.

Opting to bat first, Chennai batting justified the favorites tag as they plundered the KKR bowlers all over the park. Especially some wonderful footwork from Suresh Raina against the season's best bowler Sunil Narine took CSK to 190. His knock of 38-ball 73 included five sixes.

The hopes of the visiting side were on their captain Gautam Gambhir but Ben Hilfenhaus took his wicket in the first over itself. Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis then displayed some wonderful batsmanship as they kept running singles and doubles along with at least one boundary every over.

Kallis was dismissed at a crucial juncture with the equation reading 16 off 7 balls. A no-ball and a boundary brought it down to nine off the last over which they managed to chase with two balls to spare.

#2 Mumbai Indians beat Rising Pune Supergiant by 1 run - 2017

Mumbai won the crown for the third time in 2017
Mumbai won the crown for the third time in 2017

Having lost twice in the league stage and again in the first qualifier to Rising Pune Supergiant, Mumbai Indians was desperate to beat them in the finals of the 2017 season. They got off to a worst possible start as their innings never got going.

MI kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Krunal Pandya's 47 took them to a manageable total of 129. Pune was cautious to start as Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith played risk-free cricket in the middle overs. Just when they were trying to accelerate Pollard pulled off a stunning diving catch to dismiss Rahane.

Smith kept chipping in with timely boundaries to take the game to the last over needing 11. Manoj Tiwary scored a boundary and was dismissed off the next ball. The onus was on Smith to deliver and in the process of finishing it in a single shot, he picked the only man in the off-side.

With four needed off the last ball, Washington Sundar was run out when he was trying to take the third run. Mumbai won the match by one run as they clinched their third IPL crown in five years.

#1 Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by 3 wickets - 2014

Manish Pandey's 94 overshadowed Saha's 115 as KKR won nine consecutive matches to lift the trophy
Manish Pandey's 94 overshadowed Saha's 115 as KKR won nine consecutive matches to lift the trophy

This was one of the greatest matches in the history of IPL because of the constantly shifting of fortunes. Kings XI Punjab batted first in the 2014 final against Kolkata Knight Riders. They lost Virender Sehwag and George Bailey early in the innings.

Wriddhiman Saha and Manan Vohra batted beautifully to keep the scoreboard ticking. They regained the momentum as they scored 141 in the last 10 overs. Knight Riders lost 2014's orange cap winner Robin Uthappa in the first over which dented their chances.

Manish Pandey then played one of the finest innings of the tournament under pressure. What was astonishing about the innings is that every time a wicket fell, Pandey hit a six off the very next ball to put the pressure back onto the bowling team.

But Bailey again pulled one back as his ploy of bowling the leg-spinner Karanveer Singh in the death overs resulted in the downfall of Pandey. Piyush Chawla then managed to hit two boundaries to take KKR to their second IPL crown.

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Edited by Aayush Kataria

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