Across the history of Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) over the past twelve years, it has witnessed some very tightly contested finals. Such closely fought games serve a testament how the finalists put everything behind to ensure they lift the coveted trophy.
The fortunes keep switching sides as the game progresses with almost every contest going down to the wire. , thus drawing curtains to an exceptionally thrilling season. Here are the five best IPL Final matches in the history of the cash-rich league:
IPL 2008 Final: RR vs CSK
The flagship edition of the Indian Premier League produced one of the best IPL finals. Two teams in Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings which had no icon players at the start faced off in Mumbai. Batting first CSK got off to a sedate start scoring only 42 in the powerplay.
A late cameo from captain MS Dhoni took the total to 163. Despite chasing a modest total, RR felt the scoreboard pressure as they lost three quick wickets. Yusuf’s 39-ball 56 in a partnership with Shane Watson’s brought the equation down to eight off the last over. Sohail Tanvir hit a four off the last ball to make them the inaugural champions.
2. IPL 2012 Final: KKR vs CSK
Opting to bat first while playing in their 4th final, CSK were gunning for their 3rd consecutive victory in IPL finals. Openers Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay gave the Yellow Army a dream start as they notched up 87 for the opening wicket before Shakib Al Hasan saw the back of Vijay, who departed for 42.
Raina then went on to score a belligerent 73 off just 38 balls that took CSK to a comfortable score of 190/3 in 20 overs. On the other hand, after an early loss of their captain Gautam Gambhir, opener Manvinder Bisla along with South African legend Jacques Kallis mustered 136 runs together that gave their team a shot at the title.
Kallis played till the second last over and ensured his team were in a winning position before falling to Ben Hilfenhaus for a match-winning 69 off 49 – his innings studded with 7 boundaries and a solitary six. KKR emerged as the champions of IPL in 2012 for the first time in IPL history.
3. IPL 2019 Final: MI v CSK
The pendulum swung wildly for both finalists, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) & Mumbai Indians (MI). A game which never gave away the plot and a match which no cricket fan will ever forget.
MI opted to bat but their top order couldn’t contribute much until Caribbean powerhouse Keiron Pollard came out to bat and smashed a quick-fire 41 off just 25 balls that took his side to 149/8 in 20 overs
MI bowlers never gave up and kept bowling a good line and length giving no room to the batsmen. Shane Watson, who batted with a bloodied knee, that kept CSK in the game. But his heroics went in vain as a lethal bowling attack consisting Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliance and Lasith Malinga’s experience helped MI win a thrilling final and raised their 4th IPL trophy in the last 7 years.