After seven weeks of chills and thrills, the Indian Premier League 2020 is almost close to its conclusion with just the second qualifier and the final remaining in the competition.
In a year filled with the hindrances of a raging pandemic, quarantine periods, and venue relocations, the IPL 2020 stayed steadfast in its quality of the sport. The 13th edition of the tournament was the closest ever in its history as all the eight teams registered at least six wins from the 14 league matches.
Across three venues, namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, high-octane matches took place — from a multitude of Super Overs to last ball finishes to comprehensive ten-wicket victories.
So, what were the five matches that stood out this season?
DC vs KXIP (September 20, Dubai)
In the second match of the season, Delhi Capitals (DC) fought hard against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to register a win in their opening match. After DC put 157/8 on the scoreboard in the first innings, KXIP matched that target on the back of Mayank Agarwal’s brilliant 60-ball 89.
In the Super Over, Kagiso Rabada managed to dismiss KXIP skipper KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran on successive deliveries, to leave DC with a paltry target of 3 runs. Chasing, Delhi easily hunted down the three-run target with the help of Rishabh Pant.
Super Over: Delhi Capitals 3/0 beat Kings XI Punjab 2/2
RR vs KXIP (September 27, Sharjah)
Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) Rahul Tewatia etched his name in the folklore of the tournament with a match-defining 31-ball 53 in a high-scoring match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Mayank Agarwal’s maiden IPL hundred guided KXIP to 223/2 at the end of the first innings.
During their chase, RR faltered early on to hand KXIP control of the match. But the Royals turned things around in the dying moments of the match when Tewatia smacked Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in the 18th over of the second innings. From needing 51 runs off 18 balls, RR won the match by four wickets by chasing down the target with three balls to spare.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 226/6 (Sanju Samson 85, Rahul Tewatia 53; Mohammad Shami 3/53) beat Kings XI Punjab 223/2 (Mayank Agarwal 106, KL Rahul 69; Ankit Rajpoot 1/39) by four wickets
RCB vs MI (September 28, Dubai)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) were engaged in a seemingly never-ending match in Dubai in the second week of the tournament. After both the teams were tied on 201 in their allotted 20 overs, a Super Over had to be played to decide the winner.
Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya managed to score 7 runs in the Super Over for Mumbai. During the chase, Bangalore put their faith in Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers and they delivered in style on the final ball. Kohli rose up to the occasion to wash off his poor 11-ball 3-run knock a few hours ago and finished the match with his first boundary of the IPL 2020 campaign.
Super Over: Royal Challengers Bangalore 11/0 beat Mumbai Indians 7/1
MI vs KXIP (October 18, Dubai)
For the first time in the history of the IPL, two Super Overs were played in a single match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Both the Rohit Sharma-led side and KL Rahul’s team were tied on 176 for the loss of 6 wickets in normal time which led to the first Super Over.
In the first one, Jasprit Bumrah bowled a brilliant over, restricting KXIP to just 5 runs. In reply, Mohammed Shami returned the favour with a yorker-filled over, giving away just 5 runs. In the second one, MI scored 11/1 in Chris Jordan’s over which was easily chased down by Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal’s partnership.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 176/6 (Quinton de Kock 53, Kieron Pollard 34*; Mohammad Shami 2/30) tied Kings XI Punjab 176/6 (KL Rahul 77, Nicholas Pooran 24; Jasprit Bumrah 3/24)
Super Over 1: Kings XI Punjab 5/2 tied Mumbai Indians 5/1
Super Over 2: Kings XI Punjab 15/0 beat Mumbai Indians 11/1
KXIP vs SRH (October 24, Dubai)
In their fight for survival in the competition, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) pulled off a near-impossible win against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) owing to some brilliant bowling performances from the team. After putting up a below-par 126/7 on the scoreboard, the pressure was on the skipper KL Rahul.
Chasing, SRH got off to a good start on the back of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow’s partnership. When SRH needed just 17 runs from 14 balls with six wickets in hand, KXIP turned the tables around in a dramatic fashion. Ravi Bishnoi’s clinical spell and Chris Jordan and Arshdeep Singh’s vital wickets brought SRH from 110/4 to 114-all out in the space of 12 balls. KXIP won the match by 12 runs.
(Note: The list has been updated till the end of the league stage of IPL 2020)
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