Year after year, the Indian Premier League brushes aside tight international schedules to bring together a cricketing spectacle, which recently ended its tenth edition. Among a plethora of unforgettable moments, David Warner was in blazing form with the bat, Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled with unerring accuracy, but it was finally the Mumbai Indians, who created a record by winning a third title. With the finals having ended, here’s a flashback to the concluding matches of the previous nine editions.
2016: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
IPL got a new champion in the 2016 season, with the David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad spoiling Virat Kohli & Co’s party in one of the highest scoring games in all IPL history. After a stuttering campaign, the Bangalore side had managed to reverse their fortunes spectacularly, spearheaded by Kohli on their way to the finals at the M Chinnaswamy. Warner gave his team the perfect start with a whirlwind 69 off 38, while Yuvraj Singh and Ben Cutting finished the innings with a flourish to take the team to 208, the highest score in any IPL final. The onus was on the big names in the Bangalore side to fire, and Kohli and Chris Gayle did not disappoint. They crossed 100 runs without losing a single wicket, and it felt as if the home side will run away with the title. But some really astute captaincy from David Warner, and some tight bowling from the Hyderabad pacers, halted their charge. A collapse ensued, and the Bangalore side imploded to fall short by nine runs.
2015: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
Mumbai and Chennai locked horns for the third time in the finals of an IPL, and it turned out to be the last time the Super Kings played as a team before being suspended. Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel opened for Mumbai, but the partnership couldn’t last long as Patel fell short to a brilliant run out by Du Plessis.
Sharma looked at his elegant best, even as Lendl Simmons was muscling the ball at the other end. The spin trio of Ashwin-Jadeja-Negi had no answers for the rampaging combination, as Sharma reached his 50 off only 25 balls. The bowlers started spraying all over the pitch and the score reached 120 in 12 overs, before Sharma and Simmons departed off consecutive balls, and against the run of play. It was up to another West Indian-Indian pair to combine, and Pollard and Rayudu came to the rescue. Their 36-run cameos apiece helped Mumbai motor past 200.Smith started off positively for Chennai even though Hussey could contribute only four before departing. Smith carried on at the other end, and had reached 57 before Harbhajan caught him plumb in front. Raina took his time to get going, and looked good for his 28 before he was foxed by a Harbhajan special. The rest of the batsman could not get going at all, and crumbled under the pressure. A few hits at the end from Mohit Sharma only reduced the deficit, as CSK fell short by 41 runs.
2014: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab
Punjab reached the finals for the first time in the IPL and played out KKR in a nail-biting encounter. Sehwag, fresh from a century in the semis, was undone by a Umesh Yadav bouncer to set things rolling for KKR. Narine cleaned up skipper Bailey with the score on 30-2. That is when Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha stepped up in style.
They played their strokes, and did not let the bowlers settle at all. Vohra departed for a wonderful 67, but Saha refused to get bogged down at the other end. Maxwell went for a duck, but it couldn’t stop Saha from reaching his century and taking KXIP past 200.
KKR started off badly with Uthappa falling to Johnson off only the third delivery. Gambhir looked in good touch, and the score had reached 59 before he was dismissed by the leggie Karanveer Singh. Yusuf Pathan supported Manish Pandey well, the latter of whom was in full flow. A double whammy from Karanveer, and some brilliant fielding efforts by Bailey pegged the initiative back for KXIP. Pandey fell for 94, and it felt as if the Riders had choked.
Piyush Chawla held his nerve, and pulled Johnson for a six off the penultimate ball. He got the final boundary off Awana to set off the celebrations for Kolkata.
2013: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
Having faced each other in 2010, these two teams met again at the Eden Gardens for yet another final which featured CSK. Albie Morkel cleaned up Smith in the first over itself, and Aditya Tare and Rohit Sharma departed in quick succession, leaving the Mumbai Indians reeling at 16-3.
Karthik couldn’t last long too, and at 52-4, Mumbai were in dire need of a partnership. In came Rayudu and Pollard. They took Mumbai past 100 in the fifteenth over, and even though Rayudu departed for 37, Pollard motored along to take Mumbai to 148 with an unbeaten 60.
Malinga lived up to his reputation by cleaning up Hussey off only the third ball. Raina followed him back as well, and Johnson saw the back of Badrinath. Bravo hit a few lusty blows but couldn’t hang around, and Jadeja fell for a poor shot. At 36, half the side was back in the hut.
It became 39-6 when Murali Vijay was dismissed, and Morkel was undone by Pragyan Ojha to make it 57-7 by the 11th over.
Dhoni was not willing to throw his bat away easily, and smashed as many as five sixes in his unbeaten 63, but it was too late for CSK.
2012: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings
The Knight Riders, with a new look side, reached their first final of the IPL against Chennai. Batting first, Murali Vijay and Michael Hussey started off just like they had in the previous IPL. They added 87 in the first 11 overs, before Vijay fell to a brilliant catch by Shakib Al Hasan in the outfield.
Hussey carried on at the other end and completed his fifty. He found another ally in Suresh Raina, and stitched together a 73-run partnership, before Kallis’ golden arm brought the former’s end in the eighteenth over. Raina refused to stop, and finished on a whirlwind 73 off just 38 balls with three fours and five sixes.
The target became even more daunting for KKR, when Ben Hilfenhaus cleaned up Gautam Gambhir off only the fifth ball of the chase. Manvinder Bisla went for his shots straight away, and in the company of Kallis, assembled a swift partnership. He departed in the fifteen over with the score reading 139, but not before he had compiled a masterful 89 off just 48 balls.
Kallis held fort at the other end, even when Pathan and Shukla departed in quick succession. With 27 needed off 17, the game could have gone either way. Kallis got out in the penultimate over to make the equation tighter, but a couple of boundaries by Manoj Tiwary sealed the deal for KKR.
2011: Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
A new look RCB ran into perennial performers CSK in the finals of the 2011 IPL which was held just after the ICC World Cup.
Murali Vijay was in a zone of his own, launching sixes at will in the company of a more sedate Michael Hussey. In 15 overs, the duo added 159 runs before Hussey departed against the run of play with a 45-ball 63. Dhoni promoted himself up the order and powered a 22 run cameo, before a middle order collapse pulled things back for Bangalore. A target of 206 was still daunting.
Ashwin manage to capture Gayle off only the third delivery of the match to set the ball rolling for CSK. He came back to dismiss Mayank Agarwal. AB De Villiers looked in good nick with a couple of boundaries, but was undone by Shadak Jakati which made RCB slide further in trouble. At 48-3, the game looked as good as gone. Kohli carried on at the other end but found no support from any of the lower order batsmen. Saurabh Tiwary ended the innings with a little flutter, but the target became too much in the end
2010: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians
Vijay and Hayden, bathing in form, started the proceedings for CSK against the off-spin of Harbhajan Singh. They put on 44 before Vijay skied a bouncer from Dilhara Fernando to Saurabh Tiwary at midwicket. Pollard quickly accounted for Hayden, and Fernando returned to pick Badrinath, and CSK were suddenly struggling at 67-3.
Raina started to attack the bowling in the company of Dhoni. The former got two reprieves and made the most of them to end up on an unbeaten 57. With quick contributions from Dhoni and Srikkanth Aniruddha, CSK reached a competitive 168.
Bollinger got the initial breakthrough, picking up Shikhar Dhawan early in the chase. Sachin Tendulkar played some glorious strokes in the company of Abhishek Nayar, who was providing the aggressive intent at the other end. Dhoni put an end to the partnership with a masterful run-out with 101 needed from 52. Tendulkar was furious, as the game had turned into a crucial phase.
He carried on at the other end, and had the equation at 70 off 35 balls, when he chipped a delivery from Jakati to long off. Tiwary and Duminy departed in quick succession, and the game looked as good as over.
Kieron Pollard had some fireworks reserved, and unleashed them with the 51 needed off 17. He plundered runs from Bollinger and Morkel, but with 28 needed off 9, had a terrible mix-up with Rayudu which resulted in the latter’s run-out. He himself was dismissed off the very next over, leaving Mumbai short by 22 runs.
2009: Deccan Chargers vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Languishing at the bottom after the end of the first IPL, the Deccan Chargers and the Royal Challengers Bangalore staged remarkable turnarounds to reach the final of the 2009 IPL. Kumble won the toss and decided to bowl first, with RCB’s record in chasing on his mind, and took the wicket of Gilchrist off the third ball itself.
Tirumalasetti Suman joined Herschelle Gibbs in the middle, but couldn’t last long. Symonds walked in, and started off briskly, was dropped by Rahul Dravid in the process, and scored a quick 33 before Kumble came back to stall the carnage. The 22-year old Rohit Sharma played himself in, even as Gibbs continued to score the odd boundary at the other end. The two took the score past 110 in the 16th over, before Kumble came back again to account for Sharma. Amidst the flow of runs, Gibbs reached his fifty and took Deccan Chargers to 143.
Starting the chase, Jack Kallis and Manish Pandey put on 20, before RP Singh got the former out bowled. With 124 needed off 99, Roelof Van der Merwe was promoted. Pragyan Ojha got the inform Manish Pandey and Merwe within the space of two overs. Dravid couldn’t last long as well, and at 79-4, their batting was crumbling. With 45 needed off 35, Symonds accounted for the dangerous looking Taylor and Kohli in two consecutive balls to keep the game interesting. With the run rate mounting, Boucher and Praveen Kumar departed in quick succession and Uthappa was left out of partners. In the end, the Royal Challengers fell short by six runs.
2008: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings
The inaugural final of the Indian Premier League pitted Shane Warne against Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. Warne had shepherded his young team to the finals, earning plaudits along the way.
Warne won the toss and chose to bowl, confident of restricting the Chennai line-up, dubbing his team the “best bowling side”.Yusuf Pathan accounted for the top two batsmen after Parthiv Patel had started off adventurously. Raina came in at No.3, confident on the back of a 55 against the KXIP in the semi-finals. He was followed by Albie Morkel, and the two started targeting Warne and Pathan.
With the score at 95-3 in the 13th over, Dhoni came into the middle, and hit a swift 17-ball 29 to take Chennai past 160, a competitive score on that track.
Niraj Patel opened with Swapnil Asnodkar for Rajasthan, with no Graeme Smith in the line-up. Patel and Kamran Akmal were dismissed cheaply, and Albie Morkel accounted for the dangerous Asnodkar in the first ball of his spell. With the score reading 42-3, Watson required support at the other end. Yusuf Pathan came in and changed the match on its head. With 102 required from 65 balls. Pathan started freeing his arms, and Watson started finding gaps at will. The partnership crossed 50 and Muralitharan had been taken to the cleaners. He had the last laugh, slipping a quick yorker through Watson’s defences, and getting the balance back in the game.With 57 needed off 35, the experienced Mohammad Kaif walked in.
Pathan continued his carnage at the other end and got to his 50 with a six. With 25 needed off 19, Muralitharan foxed Kaif with a flighted one, and Jadeja fell off the very next ball. And, with 21 required off 15, Yusuf Pathan was run-out, leaving Shane Warne to face the last two overs with Sohail Tanvir.
The duo ran hard to put the equation in their favour, and Tanvir swatted a short ball from Balaji past mid on to get to the winning runs.