Let’s take look at some of the most iconic moments of Indian Premier League as we all wait for it to return on our TV screens.
11: Gaylestorm of 2013
(RCB vs PWI, 2013)
Making one of the many landfalls at Chinnaswamy, Gayle went on to accumulate a power-packed 175 vs Pune in this historic innings. A 30-ball ton is still the fastest century in all the T20s combined while his 17 sixes in the innings also held the record until he himself broke it in BPL-2017 with 18 maximums. 5 sixes off Rahul Sharma was the highlight of the innings as Rahul had(and still does) one of the all-time best economy in IPL.
10: Gilchrist’s Last Dance
(PBKS vs MI, 2013)
The Gangnam Style by Gilly had to be here. Signing off from the league as one of the most successful players, Gilchrist got just the right farewell. With target out of MI’s reach and only one wicket to spare, Gilly decided to roll his arm over and picked Harbhajan first ball. He created several IPL records with his only delivery including lowest SR, lowest Average and lowest Economy and can statistically(and amusingly) be called the greatest bowler of the Indian Premier League.
09: Valthaty’s Valour
(PBKS vs CSK, 2011)
Who knew that a game which started with 2 golden ducks will have so much more entertainment left? Even if you ignore the fact that PBKS chased down 190 without any other batsman scoring even 25, this knock would still make any relevant ‘Top 10’ list for the sheer quality of batting and the quantity of confidence.
Harsha Bhogle made this most aesthetically pleasing IPL century with 19 fours(joint most in an inning) even more memorable.
08: Ashwin vs Goliath
(CSK vs RCB, 2011 Finals)
There have been fewer better individual seasons than Gayle’s fairytale of 2011. He wasn’t in the scheme of things in the beginning of the season due to upcoming selections for an International tour. Following the snub by the WI board, Chris made himself available and RCB, who had been on a losing streak grabbed the services of the T20 superstar with both hands. With 5 innings of 70+ runs in the season in 11 games, Gayle was set to get the cup home all by himself but Ashwin had other plans in the Finals.
With 205 on board on the night of the big final, CSK were far from relieved as the potential threat of Gaylestorm loomed. Tossing the ball to the wizard of spin and deceit, Dhoni had given the indication of an all-out attack strategy.
As the first 2 off-spin deliveries got Gayle thinking, Ashwin bowled the 3rd a straighter one which skid. Gayle could not judge the change in pace and landed a late-cut which apparently proved to be too late. Credit to Ashwin for setting up one of the most beautiful wickets of a key batsman in an all-important game, especially after going for plenty in the previous clash against Challengers.
07: Raina’s Rumble
(CSK vs PBKS, 2014)
Chasing 227 in the 2nd Qualifiers, Raina found himself at the crease with the scorecard reading 1-1 after Faf’s golden duck. What followed was one of the most fluent innings in the league history with no respect to Johnson or Awana’s pace whatsoever. Raina smashed 7 boundaries in Awana’s over and became only the 2nd batsman to do so after Gayle did it to Parameswaran in 2011. 7 years on, Raina still holds the record for scoring most runs in Powerplay and fastest IPL innings of 50+ runs among several others.
06: The Wankhede Massacre
(RCB vs MI, 2015)
Even though the Messi-Ronaldo comparison tweet with ABD-Kohli had come a year later by Jos Buttler, this partnership played major role in setting up the foundation of that notion. A gap finding exhibition against the T20 veterans like Malinga, Bumrah, Harbhajan and McClenaghan puts forth a solid case for the greatest partnership in T20 history. This was the highest partnership in all T20s for 3 years until Zazai-Ghani broke it against Ireland in 2019. This game saw many records including most Fours in an innings by AB de Villiers-19.
“I told AB I would take this partnership to my grave, he is the best batsman in the world and you can’t stop him when he is playing like that.” – Virat Kohli in the post-match conference.
05: Who is Tewatia?
(RR vs PBKS, 2020)
This has got to be one of the most stunning comebacks in recent times. Going after a daunting 223 at Sharjah, Samson kept the assault on while Rahul Tewatia found it hard to make any decent connection. To quote him, he was playing one of the worst knocks of his career so far. When all of us including commentators had written Royals and Tewatia off after Samson’s wicket, Tewatia decided to write history.
With 51 needing off the last 3 overs, Tewatia brought out a flurry of flicks which improved his individual score from 17(23) to 47(29). This match defining over in the biggest chase in the history of IPL made sure Tewatia was trending nation-wide by the next morning with many non-enthusiasts asking ‘Who is Tewatia’?
04: Yusuf Pathan’s Defiance
(RR vs MI, 2010)
With 144 needed off last 10 overs, Pathan had gotten his eye in with a watchful 15* off 13 until his onslaught began with Murtaza’s over who conceded 3 consecutive sixes. Wickets kept falling on the other end but Pathan wouldn’t budge as he went on to register the then fastest T20 ton in a mouth-watering contest versus MI until he was found short of the crease. Dogra continued the attack for a little while before he ran-out and Mumbai eventually seized a narrow win in an anti-climax.
03: The Brendon Blitz
(KKR vs RCB, 2008 Opener)
This knock was the best possible promotion of this newly launched league in the country. 14 years on, 158 is still a mammoth mark to breach in T20s and in 2008, it was unthinkable till Baz did it. This highest score stood for 5 years until Gayle bettered it in 2013. McCullum, Gayle and Finch are the only batsmen to cross 150 in T20s twice. Interestingly, Brendon scored another unbeaten 158 against Derbyshire in 2015.
02: Royal Run
(RR vs CSK, 2008 Finals)
If you have seen the movie Moneyball, Royals’ run in the inaugural edition is the classic example of managing the limited resources to get exponential output.
The underdogs of the tournament under Shane Warne found themselves fitting in the newer format better than their 7 rivals. Roles of Yusuf Pathan and Watson recieved an all-round praise while Tanvir was just sensational along with the young guns like Asnodkar who came to the party whenever needed. Thanks to the uniform contribution and bold captaincy, Royals ended the season with 81.25% wins which is still a standing record.
The last ball-finish in the Finals amid Graeme Smith’s absence owing to injury, added a movie-like ending to the dream run they had had.
01: Unstoppable Force vs Immovable Object
(RCB vs Deccan, 2012)
The then best batsman-bowler engaged in an epic battle to give us arguably the greatest entertaining moment of IPL. AB de Villiers came out on top in this epic chase when RCB needed 39 off 18 with 2 overs of Steyn to go.
ABD smashed express pace deliveries across lengths with so much genius and so less effort that it even left an otherwise furious Dale, smiling. A contest so exquisite that it is difficult to put the whole experience into words. Best to leave you with the mental picture of that yorker smashed over extra-cover.