The Indian Premier League (IPL) has certainly produced a lot of high-scoring encounters and exciting chases over the years. The first half of the IPL this year showed the dominance of the teams batting first with the pitches slowing down during the chase.
But the story was a bit different later in the tournament as the temperatures dropped and dew became a factor. Captains started opting to chase once again, and teams were struggling to defend totals. This certainly resulted in some nail-biting contests, and some incredible chases.
Top 5 successful run chases in IPL 2020
Today, we look at the top five successful run chases from this year's IPL. It is quite ironic that bottom-of-the-table Rajasthan Royals appear thrice on this list. That speaks volumes of the IPL edition that we have witnessed.
5. Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab (181/0 chasing 179 runs)
CSK started the IPL well with a victory against the defending champions Mumbai Indians in the inaugural game. But everything went downhill after. The team lost a string of matches, failed to put significant scores on the board and questions were raised about the ageing squad. That changed when CSK faced off against KXIP.
Batting first, KXIP had put up a decent 178 runs on the board with contributions throughout the batting order. Captain KL Rahul once again anchored the innings and top-scored with 63 runs from 52 deliveries. At the halfway mark, it looked like a good total to defend, if not something that would assure victory. But they met two players who were on a mission and were caught completely off-guard.
Watson started to attack from the word go. Du Plessis, on the other hand, was a bit cautious to start with, but soon joined the party. The Proteas Test captain had caught up with Watson at the halfway mark in the innings.
The rest of the innings was pure carnage as CSK chased the total down in the 18th over with all ten wickets intact. All the KXIP bowlers were taken apart, with Ravi Bishnoi being the only exception and going below nine runs an over in his four overs.
4. Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab (186/3 chasing 186 runs)
With both teams desperate to add some points against their names to stay in contention for the IPL playoffs, Kings XI went on a rampage winning five games on the trot after just a solitary victory in the first seven matches.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, KXIP had a turbulent start losing opener Mandeep Singh in the first over. But Chris Gayle then joined captain KL Rahul, and they built a solid 120-run partnership.
The Universe Boss continued his hitting spree and fell just one short of a century, getting dismissed in the last over. Both these knocks, along with a cameo from Nicholas Pooran, helped the Punjab side post a very competitive 185 runs on the board.
But it was a big toss to lose for KL Rahul as KXIP found out in the second innings. A good batting track combined with the dew factor made it easy for the Royals batsmen.
All the players in the top-order made contributions as they made a mockery of the target, chasing it down in the 18th over. Ben Stokes top-scored with 50 runs from just 26 deliveries, and he was well supported by Sanju Samson who scored 48 runs from 25 deliveries.
3. Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings (185/5 chasing 180 runs)
Although CSK faced a few convincing defeats this IPL, this clash against DC proved to be a lot closer. After a roller-coaster ride through the tournament, this game was finally won by the Delhi Capitals.
After winning the toss and batting first, CSK did not get off to an ideal start, with 11 dot balls in the first two overs. But then Faf du Plessis started chancing his arms, and Shane Watson gave him good company.
They built a steady partnership of 87 runs from 11 overs. The blitzkrieg from Ambati Rayudu (45 off 25) and Ravindra Jadeja (33 off 13) really propelled them to a competitive score in the end, with 50 runs coming off the last 21 deliveries. 180 would have felt like a good total at the break, but things did not quite work out the way they wanted with the ball.
After losing Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane in quick succession at the start of the chase, all the pressure was on Shikhar Dhawan to play the big innings at the top and take the game deep. And he did that to perfection. The century that he scored (101* off 58) was not his finest IPL innings, with four reprieves from the CSK fielders, but it did the job.
The Indian opener got little support from the other end as Shreyas Iyer struggled to get going. Marcus Stoinis came in during the 12th over and played a good cameo, scoring 24 from 14, but CSK once again made twin breakthroughs to get back into the game.
The game was still in the balance with 17 runs required off the last over, but Dwayne Bravo was off the field due to an injury. MS Dhoni threw the ball to Ravindra Jadeja, and the move turned out to be ineffective, as Axar Patel smoked him for three sixes to clinch victory for the Capitals.
2. Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians (196/2 chasing 196 runs)
This game was played with the two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum. Mumbai Indians had already booked their place in the playoffs and were winning game after game. Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, were struggling to keep their IPL playoff hopes alive and were desperate for a victory.
Few would have predicted the result that we did end up seeing, but this edition of the IPL was one in which any team could beat any other on a given day.
Mumbai Indians did not get off to a flier in this game. They lost an in-form Quinton de Kock early to Jofra Archer. Suryakumar Yadav played fluently, but Ishan Kishan was struggling to score at run-a-ball.
As the partnership was growing, Shreyas Gopal struck twice dismissing both the set batsmen. Saurabh Tiwary was next in line and played a decent knock, but the innings that made a difference came from Hardik Pandya.
The Indian all-rounder was dropped in the 16th over and this proved to be costly for the Royals. Pandya smothered Kartik Tyagi for 26 runs in five balls in the last over, taking the total to 195 runs with 74 of it coming in the last four overs.
The target certainly seemed to be a daunting one at the start of the chase, and with the loss of two quick wickets at the top, the Royals seemed to be heading in the direction of yet another loss.
But little did we know that Ben Stokes would finally announce his arrival at this year’s IPL in style. He was determined to hit his way to form, and the Englishman continued to do that even after they lost a couple of wickets at the other end.
Sanju Samson joined him at the other end and played second fiddle, but used all his art and flair to keep the scoring rate going. In the end, it was all too easy for the duo as they put together an unbeaten 152-run stand from just 82 balls and completed the chase with 10 balls to spare. Ben Stokes ended the innings on 107 from 60 deliveries, with Samson scoring 54 off 31 balls.
1. Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab (226/6 chasing 224 runs)
This match took place in the initial stages of the IPL. The pitch at Sharjah was a belter and sixes were the order of the day with the smaller dimensions of the ground.
The Rajasthan Royals won the toss and went with the trend opting to field first. But it did not seem to be the right decision for the duration of the first innings. The first KXIP wicket did not fall until the 17th over, and by that time Mayank Agarwal had completed a brilliant century (106 off 50 balls).
It wasn’t the most fluent innings for his partner as KL Rahul scored 69 runs from 54 balls. Nicholas Pooran came in at a later stage and played a brilliant cameo of 25 runs from just 8 deliveries propelling his team to 223 in the end. It was certainly a mammoth total, but no score was secure when it came to Sharjah at that point.
After the early loss of Jos Buttler, Steve Smith combined with Sanju Samson, who was looking in prime touch, to get the chase going. They put on a partnership of 81 runs from just 40 balls before Smith was dismissed.
Then they surprised everyone, including their opponents by promoting Rahul Tewatia to number four. Samson kept going at one end while Tewatia struggled to get bat on ball.
The pressure was mounting, and finally, Samson fell to it going for a big shot after scoring 85 runs off 42 balls. With Tewatia struggling at one end, on 8 off 19 balls, and not much power-hitting to come, 63 runs from 4 overs seemed too far-fetched for the Royals.
But Tewatia began to write his redemption story in the 18th over when 51 runs were required off 18 balls, and KL Rahul threw the ball to Sheldon Cottrell. Tewatia bombarded Cottrell for five sixes in that over.
The relentless attack brought the target down to 21 runs off the last two overs. Tewatia fell before finishing off the match, but Jofra Archer hit a couple of maximums to seal a Rajasthan Royals victory.Published 16 Nov 2020, 16:13 IST