IPL’s Most Memorable Last-Over-Thrillers

IPL's Most Memorable Last-Over-Thrillers

IPL’s Most Memorable Last-Over-Thrillers

IPL matches can be taxing for those without strong hearts; each season should carry with it an explicit warning against its risk to our physiologie. And this year is no different.

Rinku Singh of Kolkata Knight Riders turned the tables against Gujarat Titans with an astounding performance in an otherwise tight match, smashing five sixes off Yash Dayal’s final over and sending his fans wild with joy.

1. Yusuf Pathan’s heroics

Yusuf Pathan may be best-known for his limited-overs exploits, but he’s more than capable of making big scores in First-Class cricket as well. At the 2009-10 Duleep Trophy final against South Zone he produced one of the greatest chases ever seen in First-Class history – after Chirag Patel fell to Muthiah Muralidaran Pathan took charge and started hitting consecutive sixes off Muralidaran’s bowler en route to setting West Zone on their chase towards their target of 223.

At the end of his innings, Yusuf had scored an extraordinary 268 off only 49 balls to turn the match into an exciting spectacle. It was truly memorable batting performance by Yusuf that will go down as one of his finest ever performances in his career.

Pathan’s spectacular showing at Eden Gardens saw him selected in India’s squad for the 2007 ICC World Twenty20; unfortunately he did not get an opportunity to play in its final, which India went on to lose against Sri Lanka.

Pathan was given his opportunity to establish himself in a regular place on the team through his performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and did not disappoint. He played key roles in Rajasthan Royals’ 2008 victory and later twice with Kolkata Knight Riders under Gautam Gambhir’s guidance (winning titles as captain with both).

Yusuf was one of the greatest last-ball thrillers during his time with Kolkata-based franchise KKR, appearing in many exciting last-ball finishes. In 2014’s edition of the league he played an essential part in helping them overcome Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to reach the final. He scored an unbeaten 84 off 39 balls while joining Mohammad Kaif for an 84-run partnership as they chased down a total of 163 in 20 overs.

KKR pacer Ajantha Mendis was given the task of bowling the final over with 16 runs needed to win, but Pathan’s explosive hitting made short work of his target, smashing Mendis over long-on for two sixes to seal an incredible game that came down to its final ball. For Baroda right-hander Jayant Pathan it was both historic and memorable: it marked his inaugural Super Over in an IPL game as well as first appearance since returning from knee injury.

2. Dwayne Smith’s heroics

Dwayne Smith may not immediately come to mind when one thinks of “hero”, but in the Indian Premier League that may change. As part of Mumbai Indians during its inaugural season in 2008 and playing an influential role, West Indian Twenty20 international Dwayne Smith produced an innings which is still remembered.

Smith provided the foundation for an unlikely victory by scoring 58 off 47 balls against Delhi – only the fourth batsman ever in IPL history to achieve such feat. Even today it stands out as one of the greatest feats ever accomplished during competition play.

Smith’s incredible performance set the scene for his time with Mumbai and would go on to play an instrumental part in their two more IPL victories. A key member of their machine for six seasons, he took full advantage of every opportunity presented to him.

Smith was not given enough opportunities to demonstrate his skill in long format cricket and would eventually be released by his club in 2014. But his contributions in limited-overs cricket remain invaluable and are often counted among Australia’s finest non-Test cricket players.

One of the reasons he is so highly respected is his uncanny knack of producing those crucial innings at crucial moments in games, as seen in both of Mumbai’s matches this tournament. First he was part of an exciting run-slugfest against Kolkata before coming up with another brilliant innings in the decider to help take their side over the line.

Royal Challengers Bangalore needed 181 to beat Deccan Chargers, yet Sohail Tanvir removed both openers without scoring an innings before de Villiers struck gold by making an astonishing century off only 52 balls!

Sachin Tendulkar produced one of his finest performances of his IPL career over the past ten years and it proved pivotal to CSK securing their place in the knockout stage. Of all of their thrilling matches throughout this season, this one may have been one of the greatest thrills yet.

3. Chris Gayle’s 66-ball 175, and more

After an extravagant opening ceremony at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, cricket fans inside were treated to an unforgettable spectacle. West Indian batsman Chris Gayle took a remarkable 66-ball innings against Pune Warriors’ bowling attack and struck 17 sixes for a record individual score in T20 history; Royal Challengers Bangalore amassed 263 runs in 20 overs under Gayle’s guidance in their T20 innings total – which set an individual total record at that time for any T20 match!

Gayle hit sixes at an incredible pace during his T20 innings, leaving opposing fielders helpless spectators like Mitchell Marsh, Ali Murtaza and Aaron Finch stunned and wondering how they could have ever stopped such an onslaught of power. Mitchell Marsh, Ali Murtaza and Aaron Finch must have left with looks on their faces which told them ‘I don’t think I could have done that myself’.

Gayle opened his innings in aggressive style and raced to 50 off just 30 balls before smashing spinner Ashwin for 29 in just 5 overs to launch a brutal assault on Pune bowlers. Not even rain could stop Gayle as he made 100 in just 62 deliveries before reaching 150 off just 36 deliveries to bring up his century in just 30 overs.

By the time Gayle finished his innings at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, he had set not only one record – breaking the highest T20 score record – but was well on his way to breaking two more as the first person ever to hit 17 sixes during T20 innings. Even those present couldn’t contain their shock at his incredible onslaught: several sixes hit clear over head while one even struck an unfortunate bird perched atop of scoreboard!

Gayle was joined in his impressive display by opener Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers as the Warriors were left reeling under regular wicket losses, including those to Finch, Yuvraj and Wright by the sixth over – ending any hopes for an unlikely comeback in this game. Ashoke Dinda finally picked up two wickets but by then it was too late – Gayle had already written history, his knock rewriting the record books for some time to come; maybe only later IPL edition!


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