The IPL has thrown up unlikely heroes over the years. In its fifth edition,it was the turn of little-known opener,wicket-keeper Manvinder Bisla.
It was Bisla who fashioned the maiden title win of Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday night,ending the two-year reign of Chennai Super Kings. Bisla draped himself in glory with a blistering 48-ball 89 in the five-wicket win at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Chasing 191,Kolkata lost captain Gautam Gambhir for just two. Then,27-year-old Bisla stepped up,batting like a match-winner and prospering in the company of the experienced and classy Jacques Kallis. Their second-wicket partnership was worth 136.
Bisla has not been a regular for the Kolkata side and made it to the final only after Laxmipathy Balajis injury forced Gambhir to play Brett Lee as the fourth foreigner. It meant Brendon McCullum had to sit out and in came Bisla.
After missing the entire 2011-12 domestic season with a knee ligament injury,Bisla made it count at what may not have been his last,but what was certainly his most-viewed opportunity.
As Manoj Tiwarys twin boundaries in the final over sealed the triumph with two balls to spare,a hushed crowd stood up and broke into stunned and scattered applause. Bollywood star and team owner Shah Rukh Khan did not seem to mind that the cheer,when it finally arrived,wasnt for him.