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Looking back at the IPL and its history of close finishes

  • There may have been seven super overs, but the most exciting match was the IPL 2017 final that was decided by one run.
Modified 25 Nov 2018, 12:11 IST

Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore - IPL T20
Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore - IPL T20

The world's biggest T20 league has been entertaining the world since 2008, treating fans to some enthralling, goosebump-inducing finishes.

The 20-over format is the one that is likeliest to yield close results, considering it is a short game that hides the weaknesses of certain teams. It allows match-winners to single-handedly impact the game, often making it less of a team effort.

While you may be correct in thinking that the T20 game yields close results, surprisingly, the IPL has produced only seven super over finishes to date. While that may seem a reasonable number to some, it is certainly a disappointment for someone like me who enjoys nail-biters.

The IPL hasn
The IPL hasn't exactly been as close as I had anticipated

There have been 37 separate instances in IPL's 11-season-long history that a match has been won by a team with a margin of 5 or fewer runs.

While it is not statistically proven that the IPL is getting closer and closer every season, it certainly was the closest in 2018. In the latest IPL season, there were six instances of victories recorded that were under a margin of 5 runs - the most for any year. The next best on the list, with five such close finishes, are 2013 and 2015.

Close finishes at the IPL are an uphill trend
Close finishes at the IPL are an uphill trend

The IPL's last super-over came in the 2017 season, in the game between the Gujarat Lions and the Mumbai Indians. However, the super-overs that the IPL has seen certainly aren't as exciting as the IPL 2017 final, which in my opinion was the most exciting IPL match to date.

While there have been various other 1-run finishes, this one was special considering the occasion: the final of the IPL 2017.


The match was between the Rising Pune Supergiant and the Mumbai Indians. Krunal Pandya top-scored for Mumbai with a 47 as they crawled to 129/8, in a game where the Supergiant were the favourites.

However, it all came down to the wire with Pune needing 13 off the last over. Manoj Tiwary was the man on strike, and the man to bowl to him was none other than big Mitchell Johnson.

The first ball of the over, Tiwary beautifully whipped one over square, and the game seemed to be the Supergiant's for the taking. However, they then lost two in a row: Tiwary holing out to long on and Smith to sweeper cover.

With 3 required off the last delivery, Dan Christian couldn't connect well enough to a leg stump yorker, only getting 2 runs in the process. And so it ended: the most exciting match the IPL has ever seen!

Published 25 Nov 2018, 12:11 IST
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