Ever since the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL) over a decade ago, it has brought a multitude of talented players into the limelight. Shane Watson, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, has been one of such players who made the most of the brevity of the format.
Watson helped Rajasthan Royals win the inaugural IPL title in 2008, when he was adjudged player of the tournament, and also won the 2018 crown with Chennai Super Kings. In his IPL career, Watson scored 3874 runs in 145 matches at an average of 30.99.
52 runs and 3 wickets (2008, against DD)
Over the years, Watson developed a knack for coming up with influential performances, and the first of many was against Delhi Daredevils in the semi-final of the inaugural edition. Rajasthan scored 192 runs with the help of Watson’s 52 in the first innings. Afterwards, the Australian assumed responsibility with the ball as he dismissed DD’s top batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, and Shikhar Dhawan. DD were bowled out for just 87 runs and Rajasthan won the match by 105 runs.
89 runs and 3 wickets (2011, against MI)
Against Mumbai Indians, Watson first starred with the ball and took three wickets including the crucial breakthrough of Tirumalasetti Suman, Ambati Rayudu, and Kieron Pollard. After helping Rajasthan restrict MI to just 133 runs at the end of 20 overs, Watson scored an unbeaten 89 runs in just 47 balls during the chase. RR won the game by 10 wickets.
101 runs off 61 balls (2013, against CSK)
After winning the toss and opting to bat first against Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan put 185 runs on the scoreboard on the back of Watson’s maiden IPL century. Although CSK chased the total and won the match by 5 wickets, the Australian received plaudits for scoring a brilliant 101 off just 61 balls.
70 runs (2013, against CSK)
After sending Chennai Super Kings out to bat first, Rajasthan restricted them to a mere total of 141 at the end of 20 overs. In return, RR suffered an initial blow in the form of Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, and Sanju Samson. When it seemed almost impossible for them to bounce back, Watson hammered 70 runs in just 34 balls. With the help of Stuart Binny’s crucial 41-run knock, Watson helped RR win the match by five wickets.
117* runs (2018, against SRH)
After serving their ban from the competition, CSK marked their comeback in the 2018 season by making it to the finals. Batting first, SRH posted a challenging total of 178 runs at the end of 20 overs. In return, Watson came up with the IPL innings of his career as he scored an unbeaten 117 runs in just 57 balls with a bleeding knee. CSK won the exhilarating final by eight wickets to lift their third title.
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