Some win, some lose. It’s always like that in sport. But it is the special moments within the big fights that linger long in memory. That odd six from the last man in the last ball, that brilliant last over which went for only three runs, a yorker which sent a stump cartwheeling towards the keeper and a boundary that came out of nowhere — well, the magical moments were countless in this version of the IPL.
Here are the eleven best moments of this year’s IPL (not in a particular order).
AB de Villiers vs Dale Steyn
Steyn had given away just seven runs in the two overs he had bowled, before he came up against the sensational De Villiers. At the end of his over, Steyn’s ball-by-ball stats read like this: 6-2-4-6-4-1. From the cusp of victory to the jaws of defeat in a mere six balls— that is what the IPL stands for and that is what AB delivered.
Sourav Ganguly vs Delhi Daredevils
Dada was brilliant with the ball in this match. After seeing that his bowlers were not doing what they were supposed to, he decided to take things in his own hands. He had already scored 41 runs as Pune Warriors posted a total of 192, but there was more to come. He first got rid of Kevin Pietersen. A low ball skid onto the Englishman’s stumps, prompting Ganguly to sprint in a celebration with his hair trying to keep pace with him. Dada was back… at least that’s what everyone thought then.
Chris Gayle: Enough said
Every innings was a moment. The man was so merciless in his shots that you could literally see the colour drain out of a bowler’s face. His hits were clean, crisp and flew to the ropes with ease. Against Delhi, he simply exploded—smashing 13 sixes and seven fours in a blitzkrieg that shook the Feroz Shah Kotla. What an innings!
Dale Steyn vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Dale Steyn ruined RCB’s chances of making it to the playoffs with a brilliant spell which scalped Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan before he sent Zaheer Khan’s stumps into oblivion. His figures at the end of the match? 3/8 (three wickets with just eight runs given away).
Ajit Chandila hat-trick vs Pune
Chandila took four wickets in this match and he needed just 17 balls to do the damage. He first had Jesse Ryder catch out as he mistimed his shot. Ganguly was then stumped in the very next ball as he caught the left-hander off balance. In the first ball of his next over, Chandila invited Robin Uthappa down the track. The bait worked, Uthappa missed and the keeper plucked the bails.
Ajinkya Rahane century
Rahane’s innings of 103 runs from just 60 balls had everything one could ask for. It has the sweetly timed fours through extra cover, the intelligent little prods towards third man and the fleet-footed flicks through square leg. On top of that, he managed to charge down the pitch on enough occasions— dispatching the sixes with ease. Rahane surely makes a case for a national call-up.
MS Dhoni’s much needed cameos
He always comes good when his team need him. And his 51 runs from a mere 20 balls were much needed against Mumbai Indians in the knockout stages of the IPL. Not to forget the incredible helicopter shot he played off the bowling of Lasith Malinga. Only he can pull it off.
Rohit Sharma’s last ball six
With Mumbai needing 18 runs from the last over, Daniel Christian was sent in to stop the run-flow from Sharma and James Franklin’s bats. But it was in vain as Franklin smashed a couple of boundaries in the first two deliveries to take Mumbai three runs close to a victory off the last ball. Sharma’s eyes lit up as a full-toss came his way and he clobbered it for six. Calm, composed destruction.
Manvinder Bisla’s IPL winning innings
Chennai were confident that victory would only be a matter of time after posting 190 runs and dismissing Gautam Gambhir in the very first over. But when Bisla started his onslaught, all hell broke loose. He hammered 89 runs from 48 balls to take Chennai by surprise and virtually win it for KKR single-handedly. You may not have heard of him before this match… but now you will remember the name.
Murali Vijay’s century against Delhi Daredevils
We waited and waited for Murali Vijay to play an innings worth remembering in this IPL. And he did it in Chennai’s most important match. The semi-final against Delhi was always going to be tricky and things did not start well for Delhi who left out Morne Morkel on the bench. Vijay took the opportunity and plundered the bowlers all over the park, making his way to a 51 ball century which set Chennai on the way to the final.
The mystery of Sunil Narine
He was the revelation of the season in terms of bowling. No one quite read him well enough until Suresh Raina in the final match. But the damage had already been done. Narine was taking wickets almost every game and turning the tide against KKR’s opposition with his variation. His stats speak for themselves: 24 wickets in 15 matches with an strike-rate of one wicket for 15 runs given away. His economy of 5.47 is exceptional for this format.
These are our moments of the IPL… which are yours?