The Champions League T20 kicks off on 17th September but with just five days to go, as usual, the buzz is missing. This wasn't the case with the Indian Premier League. Somehow, over the years, the CLT20 has failed to attract the attention of the fans. But the tournament has given us some glorious as well as memorable moments in the past. Here's a look at those moments that set the tournament on fire.
JP Duminy's match-winning 99 vs RCB in the inaugural match (2009)
JP Duminy lit up the tournament with one of the best innings one can witness in the shortest format of the game. In the inaugural match, he powered South Africa's Cape Cobras to a thrilling victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore with a fantastic innings of 99 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. RCB had posted 180 thanks to half-centuries from Robin Uthappa and Ross Taylor. In reply, Cobras were in early trouble losing the openers inside three overs. In stepped Duminy and he took the match away from RCB hitting five sixes and eight fours on his way to a 52-ball unbeaten 92. Cape Copras needed 54 off the last five overs and Duminy made sure he finished the job off and remained unbeaten. The South African left-hander ended the tournament as the highest run-getter.
Pollard thrills Hyderabad with whirlwind 18-ball 54 against New South Wales (2009)
When you speak of Champions League T20, the first name that comes to the mind is Kieron Pollard. It was through this tournament that the maverick all-rounder came into limelight. He scripted one of the most famous comebacks in T20 history to help Trinidad and Tobago beat Australia's New South Wales at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in the 2009 edition. David Warner and Phillip Hughes had propelled NSW to 170 with fine half-centuries.
Chasing the target, T&T were down in the dumps at 91/5, requiring 80 from 42 balls. A win looked improbable but then Pollard went berserk and in a stunning turnaround, he finished the match off with nine balls to spare. A breathtaking 54 off 18 balls included five sixes and five fours and Moises Henriques had to bear the brunt as the West Indies all-rounder hammered him for 42 off 9 balls including 27 in one over.
MS Dhoni's fastest fifty (2013)
Thisara Perera might still be getting the nightmares of that mauling he received at the hands of MS Dhoni on 26th September 2013 at JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi. When Dhoni is in the mood, he is unstoppable. Sunrisers Hyderabad faced the wrath of the Chennai Super Kings captain as he went berserk to score the fastest half-century of Champions League T20. He hit an astonishing eight sixes and just a single four on his way to 19-ball 63. Five of those sixes came on the 18th over bowled by Perera. The first one went over the sightscreen, the next one was whipped over long leg, the third one was sliced over backward point, the fourth one was over long on and the last one was an upper cut over third man. Overall, 34 runs were conceded by Perera, Dhoni hit 32 of them. CSK scored 202/4 in the first innings and won the match by 12 runs.
Arun Karthik's last ball six against South Australia (2011)
Arun Karthik became a cult RCB hero on the night of 5th October 2011 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium when he hit the winning six against South Australia to power Royal Challengers Bangalore into the semi-finals of the tournament. In a highly dramatic encounter which saw a brilliant century from South Australia's Daniel Harris, a sublime innings of 70 from Kohli, a crucial five-for from Shaun Tait and an aggregate of 429 runs, it was Karthik who stole the show with his last-ball heroics. After electing to bat, South Australia had posted 214 thanks to 61-ball 108 from Daniel Harris. In reply, RCB started off well, they were 165/1 in the 15th over but then Shaun Tait wreaked havoc which sparked a massive collapse. The equation came down to 14 from six balls with three wickets in hand. After a single and a run out, Sreenath Aravind hit a boundary off the third ball, he took a couple off the next, before stealing a bye off the fifth to bring Karthik on strike. It boiled down to 6 from one ball. Christain committed the cardinal sin of bowling a slower full toss. Karthik heaved it over deep mid-wicket and set off in wild celebrations.
Isuru Udana scalps the first hat-trick of CLT20 (2010)
Isuru Udana became the first bowler to scalp a hat-trick in CLT20 as he helped Wayamba to a consolation win over New Zealand's Central Districts in Port Elizabeth. Wayamba posted 144 on the board on a tricky pitch. Udana started the demolition process defending a middling target in the third over of the innings where he used the slower ball to good effect. He first removed Brad Patton, who was done in by the extra bounce, and the leading edge looped to the keeper. Udana, then, drifted one down the leg side, Mathew Sinclair missed his flick and the momentum forced him outside the crease, the keeper was quick in clipping the bails off. Udana completed the hat-trick by cleaning up George Worker who played inside the line but missed it as the ball didn't jag back in as much as he expected. Steven Lynch of ESPNCricinfo later revealed that this was the first ever hat-trick off only two legal deliveries in senior cricket.
Shaun Tait's heroics of 5/32 against RCB (2011)
Not often do we find a five-wicket haul go in vain in T20s. Shaun Tait bowled a defiant spell of 5/32 for South Australia on that same night when Arun Karthik hit the winning six in the thrilling match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Chasing 215, RCB were cruising at one stage at 165/1 in the 15th over. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Virat Kohli were going great guns but then Tait scripted a turnaround. Off the last ball of the 15th over, he had Kohli (70) caught at long on. He was unlucky in the same over before as a big LBW shout was turned down against Kohli off the second ball and then Callum Ferguson dropped the same batsman at mid-wicket off the very next ball. But Tait, however, had the last laugh. The South Australia pacer then removed Saurabh Tiwary off the last ball of his next over. The crucial point came in the 19th over when he removed a set Dilshan (74) with a fiery yorker. A delivery later, he got rid of Daniel Vettori and then shattered Raju Bhatkal's stumps to complete his five-for. South Australia, however, lost the match but it was one of the most inspiring spells seen in the CLT20.
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Updated Date: Sep 13, 2014 15:22:40 IST