Kings XI Punjab bowed out on a high by beating Chennai Super Kings at Mohali on Sunday aided by a destructive knock from KL Rahul. Put into bat in the day game, CSK ambled along to 170 courtesy Faf du Plessis' 96 and a 120-run stand with Suresh Raina. Rahul then blasted a 19-ball half-century in the run-chase to ease Kings XI's run chase.
At Wankhede, Mumbai Indians assured top-two finish on the table after a solid all-round performance saw them oust Kolkata Knight Riders. Finishing at 133/7 with the bat, KKR could do little with the ball too as Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav stitched together an unbeaten 88-run stand to take Mumbai home.
Here are the best moments from the final two league matches of the IPL.
Mohammad Shami's exceptional final over
Chennai Super Kings needed a final flourish at Mohali to give their bowlers a decent total to defend. The well settled batsmen - Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis - were both back in the hut by the final over but CSK had MS Dhoni at the crease and he had displayed enough form this season to suggest that a big final over was in the offing.
Mohammad Shami, though, bowled a game-changing final over to firmly tilt the balance of the game Kings XI's way. He kept Dhoni silent with slower bouncers and pacy yorkers and in between had Ambati Rayudu caught in the deep and Kedar Jadhav cleaned up. Just five runs came off the final over as Chennai finished on 170. They could manage just 20 runs in the last three overs.
Harbhajan's big comeback
If Chennai ended on a sour note, Kings XI began with aplomb as KL Rahul rekindled the spirit of his 2018 self. Surprisingly contained this season, Rahul shed his conservative approach and took on the CSK bowlers from the word go. A primary target was Harbhajan Singh, whom he hit for four sixes and three fours in two overs. The off-spinner leaked 41 in his first two overs as Rahul raced to a 19-ball half-century.
Though the experienced spinner was taken off the attack then, he returned in the 11th over to break the threatening opening stand. He bowled the top spinner to get rid of KL Rahul and then followed it up with the big wicket of Chris Gayle next ball. Harbhajan added Mayank Agarwal's wicket next over with a half-tracker to pick up his third wicket in the match and bring CSK back into the match.
Deepak Chahar stops Chris Gayle from going back to his crease
Even as Chennai's bowlers were taken to the cleaners against Rahul and Gayle in the power-play overs, Deepak Chahar stood largely unscathed. His first three overs had cost just 18 runs amidst the mayhem and he returned for a fourth over.
Off the first ball he bowled, Chahar was greeted by a terrific straight drive from Rahul. It travelled straight down the pitch and went on to collide with the stumps at the non-striker's end.
Though Chahar tried to get a hand on the ball, he couldn't and as the ball crashed onto the stumps, Gayle wandered outside his crease, playfully attempting to get to the ball faster than Chahar.
The West Indian then looked to get back to the crease but Chahar caught the batsman's legs feigning an attempt to stop him from going back. The incident made for a welcome light-hearted moment in the midst of a heated battle.
A maiden over at Wankhede
Maiden overs are rare in T20s. A maiden over in the middle of an innings almost never happens. A maiden over at Wankhede, notorious for high scores and flat pitches is even rarer. Yet, Mitchell McCleneghan did just that on Sunday when he delivered a maiden over to Robin Uthappa in the 11th over of the Kolkata innings.
Uthappa was on 7 off 11 balls before the start of the over and with Dinesh Karthik at the other end and Russell waiting in the dug out, the experienced Kolkata batsman was under pressure to start scoring soon or at least rotate the strike. But the Kiwi seamer denied Uthappa both options. He mixed up slower deliveries, pace short balls and wily cutters to keep Uthappa tied to the wicket. The KKR batsman tried everything to get off strike or take the bowler on but failed to connect well enough off all six balls.
Malinga gets Kolkata's finishers off consecutive balls
Lasith Malinga has 15 wickets this IPL season with 10 of them coming at the Wankhede. He clearly puts up his best show on the Wankhede surface and once again was at his best on Sunday against Kolkata Knight Riders. The Sri Lankan conceded 13 in his opening over but returned in the 13th over of the innings to deliver decisive blows in the match.
He had Dinesh Karthik caught at mid-wicket off a length ball that the KKR skipper looked to flick over the fielder. Krunal Pandya plucked a brilliant catch at mid-wicket to give Malinga and Mumbai a much-needed breakthrough.
When Andre Russell came to the wicket, Malinga seemed to have instant plans for him. He went around the wicket immediately and angled in a short ball at the big hitting West Indian. Russell looked to sway out of the way but gloved a catch to the keeper to depart for a golden duck.
Malinga went on to dismiss Nitish Rana to complete his third three-plus wicket haul in the season. Incidentally, all of them came at the Wankhede.
Dinesh Karthik pulls off a screamer
Mumbai Indians were running away with the game and Kolkata's aspirations for a play-off berth dimmed as Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma put on 46 runs for the opening wicket. They needed a breakthrough and their skipper, Dinesh Karthik, gifted it to them with a stunning running catch to send back the South African wicket-keeper batsman.
De Kock top edged a bouncer from Prasidh Krishna and the ball soared high over fine leg. Karthik gave it a chase and even though the ball went half distance to the boundary ropes, the wicket-keeper had covered good ground to reach the ball. Karthik still needed to time his jump well and complete a catch running backwards and did all of that brilliantly to pouch a stunner.