The IPL fervour has gripped the nation ever since its inception, owing largely to the intense on-field action and unparalleled crowd support.
Brendon McCullum’s blitzkriegs in the very first match of the inaugural edition of the world’s greatest T20 league set the world on fire. There has been no looking back ever since, thanks to the IPL’s credentials as a breeding ground for upcoming talent.
It should therefore not come as a surprise that the IPL has seen its fair share of big hitting over the years. Now that the IPL has seen its fair share of big hitting and skilful bowling, we can safely assume that the IPL is the mainstay of domestic cricket in India
Let us take a look at some instances where the crowds were in awe of sublime T20 team efforts in posting huge totals:
#1 Chennai Super Kings(CSK) 240/5 vs Kings XI Punjab(KXIP), Chandigarh, 19th April 2008
A star-studded batting line up made CSK firm favourites for lifting the trophy in the maiden season. In their very first encounter against the KXIP, CSK showed glimpses of team brilliance that became a norm for the MSD lead side in the years to come.
CSK won the toss and decided to bat first at Chandigarh. Michael Hussey wielded his bat like a toothpick, collecting himself 116 runs in the process off just 54 balls. Subramaniam Badrinath's cameo of 31* pushed CSK to a mammoth 240 in their 20 overs.
KXIP's laudable efforts were mostly concentrated around Kumar Sangakkara's 54 and James Hopes' 71. Hopes, in particular, took a leaf out of Hussey's book as he batted at an astonishing strike rate of 215 throughout his innings. KXIP eventually fell short by 33 runs.
Hussey was awarded the man of the match for his commendable performance.
#2 Rajasthan Royals(RR) 211/4 vs Kings XI Punjab(KXIP), Durban, 5th May 2009
The second edition of the IPL in 2009 was held in South Africa due to security concerns and the coinciding of the general elections in India. In the 30th match of the tournament, RR took on KXIP at Durban.
KXIP won the toss and elected to field first. The decision proved costly rather soon, as the opening duo of Graeme Smith and Naman Ojha posted a whopping 135 runs on the board before Smith was dismissed for a well made 77. Crunch hitting from Ravindra Jadeja towards the fag end of the innings, propelled the team total to 211/4.
KXIP batting collapsed like a ship sailing on murky waters, quickly faltering to a precarious 39/5. The skipper Yuvraj Singh waged a lone battle, scoring 48. Lack of support meant that KXIP finished at a below-par total of 133/8.
Graeme Smith was the star of the match.
#3 Chennai Super Kings(CSK) 246/5 vs Rajasthan Royals(RR), Chennai, 3rd April 2010
The local player Murali Vijay enthralled the crowds with an exhibition of class and finesse. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the CSK opener smashed Royals’ bowlers all over the park.
In the company of the hard-hitting SA all-rounder Albie Morkel, Vijay scored 11 sixes and 8 fours, taking the team total to an unprecedented 246/5. Vijay just fell 2 balls short from carrying his bat through the innings.
The resolute RR batting went toe to toe against the CSK bowlers. Naman Ojha in the company of Shane Watson gave the opposition bowling nightmares. Watson’s dismissal at 177 on the first ball of the 16th over, allowed the CSK bowlers to capitalize. Doug Bollinger’s miserly spell of 2/15 from 4 overs resulted in a close victory for CSK.
Vijay took home the man of the match trophy for his 127 not out from 56 balls.
#4 Kings XI Punjab(KXIP) 232/2 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB), Dharamsala, 17th May 2011
Adam Gilchrist’s exhilarating stroke play at the picturesque Dharamsala stadium painted a picture of an electrifying performance in the face of a serene backdrop.
The veteran Aussie wicketkeeper smashed a century off just 54 balls, while his national teammate Shaun Marsh made a well compiled 79*. Marsh scoring 30 runs off an over of JJ van der Wath, and Gilly hoisting Charles Langeveldt for 3 successive sixes were some of the highlights of the innings.
RCB, in their reply, looked completely out of sorts. Losing Chris Gayle early was a sign of things to come. Piyush Chawla intensified KXIP’s stranglehold on the RCB batting, picking up 4 wickets for just 17 runs. In the end, a comfortable victory just summed up KXIP’s dominance of RCB.
Adam Gilchrist was rightly adjudged the Man Of the Match.
#5 Chennai Super Kings(CSK) 222/5 vs Delhi Daredevils(DD), Chennai, 25th May 2012
The reason CSK features a record number of times on this list is the individual brilliance coupled with team efforts. Murali Vijay once again stunned the crowds with an extravagant century.
Vijay was unsparing in his obliteration of the DD bowling and indiscriminate in his treatment of the opposition bowlers. Dwayne Bravo finished the innings with a quickfire 33 not out from only 12 balls.
The experienced Virender Sehwag also could not overhaul the Vijay juggernaut, as he was taken for 21 runs from his solitary over.
The CSK total was little too much for the DD batsmen. The hard-hitting duo of David Warner and Sehwag were sent packing to the pavilion with the score reading 22/2. Mahela Jayawardene's 55 was the only individual innings worth mentioning. Collective bowling efforts allowed CSK to skittle out DD for just 136 runs in 17 overs.
Murali Vijay was the man of the match for his 113* from 58 balls.
#6 Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) 263/5 vs Pune Warriors India(PWI), Bengaluru, 23rd April 2013
Chris Gayle absolutely demolished the PWI bowling attack with his no-nonsense attitude. He smashed Ali Murtaza for 28 runs in a single over, followed it up by carving Aaron Finch for 29 in his solitary over and dented the spirit of the young Mitchell Marsh by collecting 28 runs off his first over.
Gayle smashed 17 sixes and 13 fours in the process. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 0/23 and Luke Wright’s 1/26 off their quota of 4 overs were the only bowling efforts worth mentioning. AB de Villiers revelled in the company of Gayle, scoring 31* off just 8 balls.
PWI batting had a treacherous mountain to climb in their allotted 20 overs. PWI batsmen surrendered a tad too early, much to the liking of the RCB bowlers. Steve Smith’s 41 did not do much to help PWI’s chances as they collapsed to 133/9, handing a huge 130 runs victory to RCB.
263/5 remains the highest score in the history of the IPL to date.
Gayle’s monotonous heist resulted in the man of the match effort for the West Indian.
#7 Kings XI Punjab(KXIP) 231/4 vs Chennai Super Kings(CSK), Cuttack, 7th May 2014
Considering the quality of the matches contested between these 2 sides over the years, one may understand that the KXIP-CSK rivalry is highly underrated. Nonetheless, the franchise from Punjab were firm favourites for lifting the trophy in the 2014 edition of the IPL.The inclusion of the hard-hitting duo of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller in the squad meant that death overs hitting was now a cakewalk for the Kings XI.
Talking about the match, Maxwell’s see the ball hit the ball blueprint was reaping rich dividends as he ended up scoring 90 off 38 balls. After his dismissal, Miller in the company of George Bailey managed 49 off the last 16 balls.
CSK’s batsmen got starts but failed to convert them into substantial contributions. Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja combined efforts could not avert the inevitable. Faf du Plessis ran out of partners, eventually scoring 52 off just 25 balls. CSK total read 187/6 at the end of the match, resulting in a 44 runs loss.
Glenn Maxwell had his name written on the Honors Board for entertaining the crowd with his fireworks.
#8 Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) 235/1 vs Mumbai Indians(MI), Mumbai, 10th May 2015
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers' camaraderie and mutual admiration, both on the field and off it are well known. It is therefore surprising that RCB has not lifted the trophy even once, throughout the history of the tournament. The absence of accolades does not necessarily indicate the team’s lack of entertainment quotient. On the contrary, RCB batsmen are capable of pulling off almost anything on a cricket field.
In the match, de Villiers in the company of Kohli dished out a beating on the MI bowlers. Gayle’s early departure opened the gates for the duo to unleash an assault on the hapless MI bowling. Current Indian team superstars Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya were taken for 52 and 51 in 4 overs and 3 overs respectively. de Villiers made a gigantic 133* off 59 balls, at a mind-boggling strike rate of 225. Kohli played his role to perfection, scoring 82 off 50 balls.
For MI, the Caribbean powerhouse Keiron Pollard (49) and stroke maker Lendl Simmons (68) paved the way for a potential mammoth run chase. The rest of the batsmen just couldn’t keep up with the required run rate, and Mumbai finished on 196/7, falling short by 39 runs.
The Superman from SA was adjudged the man of the match.
#9 Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) 248/3 vs Gujarat Lions(GL), Bengaluru, 14th May 2016
IPL 2016 will forever be remembered as Kohli’s IPL. The Indian skipper compiled an astounding 973 runs in 16 games, scoring 4 centuries and 7 half centuries in the process. Add the SA Superman and the Bengaluru stadium to the Kohli saga, and you have a blockbuster of a match.
Chris Gayle’s early departure once again allowed the most prolific duo of the IPL to take center stage. An intriguing aspect of their attack was the controlled and planned aggression on display.
The experienced Praveen Kumar was taken for 23 off his penultimate over.
The duo was remorseless in their treatment of the experienced and newcomer bowlers alike. While the veteran Bravo conceded 30 runs in the 18th over, Kohli smashed the young Shivil Kaushik for 5 consecutive sixes on the first 5 deliveries of the 19th over. Kohli departed for a well made 109(55) while ABD collected himself 129 off just 52 balls.
This was also the second instance of 2 batsmen scoring a century in the same innings.
Gujarat Lions’ batting just piled on the misery of a hectic day in the office. None of the batsmen showed any signs of a fight back in a dispirited batting display. 104 is all that they could manage, unable to bat out the full 20 overs.
AB de Villiers was once again adjudged the man of the match for his heroics.
#10 Kings XI Punjab(KXIP) 230/3 vs Mumbai Indians(MI), Mumbai, 11th May 2017
KXIP and MI were involved in one of the most fascinating T20 encounters of all time. The fact that MI lost does not do justice to the incredible team efforts that gripped everyone’s imagination.
Batting first, KXIP managed 230 in their allotted 20 overs. Wriddhiman Saha carried his bat and made a magnificent 93*(55). He was ably supported by Maxwell 47(21) and Martin Guptill 36(18).
The MI chase got off to a flying start, adding 99 runs for the first wicket in just 8.4 overs. Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma, and Nitesh Rana then got out in quick succession, leaving Mumbai reeling at 121/4. Pollard and Pandya steadied the ship, adding 50 runs for the 5th wicket.
The match was nicely poised in MI’s favour, as the home side needed 23 runs off the last 2 overs. Sandeep Sharma, however, kept his cool and conceded only 7 runs off the penultimate over. Mohit Sharma managed to contain Pollard in the final over, bowling a series of knuckleballs and yorkers. Eventually, MI fell short by just 7 runs.
Saha took home the man of the match trophy in this nail-biting encounter.
#11 Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) 245/6 vs Kings XI Punjab(KXIP), Indore, 12th May 2018
The last edition of the mega event gave the fans plenty to cheer for. Be it the comeback of CSK and RR, or the magnificence of Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan. Another fascinating aspect worth mentioning that seems amiss is the breakthrough of Sunil Narine as an opening batsman - a move of tactical brilliance devised by Gautam Gambhir and perfected by Dinesh Karthik.
In the match, Sunil Narine did what he does best, smashing the ball to all parts of the park. He scored a magnificent 75(36) with the help of 9 fours and 4 sixes. The captain then finished the innings with his Midas touch, scoring 50(23).
KXIP batting mostly revolved around KL Rahul’s 29 balls 66. Rest of the batsmen couldn’t add much to the team total, with notable contributions coming from Finch 34(20) and the captain Ashwin 45(22). In the end, KKR comfortably won the match by 31 runs.
Sunil Narine walked away with the man of the match honours.
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