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.