When the first season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) commenced in 2008, there was a cloud of uncertainty surrounding how the marquee event will be taken by the public. It has been over 15 seasons since then and the IPL has exceeded all expectations and emerged as the most popular cricket league in the world.
Over the years, IPL has witnessed many jaw-dropping performances on the cricket field that have left the cricket fraternity amazed. Be it a magnificent knock or a sensational bowling spell or an astonishing fielding display, fans have seen many extraordinary moments in the competition. Among them, there have been times when batters have done the inconceivable and smashed heaps of runs in the last over of the game to drive their side to victory.
Here are the highest targets achieved in the last over of successful IPL run-chases:
5. 21 runs for Deccan Chargers vs Kolkata Knight Riders in 2009
Deccan Chargers locked horns with Kolkata Knight Riders in the 48th match of the 2009 season of the lucrative T20 tournament in Johannesburg. After being put into bat, Kolkata posted 160 runs on the board courtesy of a blistering knock from David Hussey (43 runs off 17 balls).
Chasing the target of 161, Deccan needed 27 runs in two overs with Rohit Sharma and Venugopal Rao at the crease. Ajit Agarkar bowled a superb penultimate over, giving away just six runs to swing the game in favour of Knight Riders.
Mashrafe Mortaza was tasked to defend 21 runs in the final over. However, the former Bangladesh cricketer was not consistent with his line and length and Rohit (32* runs off 13 deliveries) inflicted carnage on the bowler. The Indian batter put up an exhibition of his flamboyant stroke play and sealed the game for his team in the last ball.
4. 21 runs for Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011
Kolkata Knight Riders clashed against Mumbai Indians in the 70th match of IPL 2011 at the Eden Gardens. MI won the toss and decided to bowl first. Gautam Gambhir & Co. scored 175 runs in 20 overs, with Jacques Kallis (59 runs off 42 deliveries) top-scoring. James Franklin and Abu Nechim were amongst the wickets for Mumbai, picking up two scalps each.
During the chase, Mumbai needed 21 runs in the last over and it seemed Kolkata would stand victorious. But Franklin and Ambati Rayudu were up for the challenge. And when Lakshmipathy Balaji came in the 20th over, Franklin (45* runs off 23 balls) took him to the cleaners and struck four back-to-back boundaries to bring the equation down to 5 runs off 2 balls.
However, the Wellington-born could only squeeze a single off the penultimate ball and four was needed off the final ball. Rayudu (17* runs off 6 balls) smashed Balaji’s delivery for a six and clinched the game for Sachin Tendulkar & Co. Franklin was adjudged the Player of the Match for his stunning all-round performance.
3. 22 runs for Gujarat Titans vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2022
Gujarat Titans and Sunrisers Hyderabad took center stage in the 40th match of the Indian Premier League 2022. Gujarat Titans won the toss and skipper Hardik Pandya opted to field first. Riding on half-centuries from Abhishek Sharma and Aiden Markram, Sunrisers posted 195 runs on the board.
Defending the target of 196, Umran Malik led Hyderabad’s charge with the ball and bagged an incredible five-wicket haul. However, Gujarat batters also played some excellent cricket and were never out of the game. After 19 overs of tussle, 22 runs were required off the last over onus was on Rahul Tewatia and Rashid Khan to take GT over the line.
It was a herculean task but the duo did not give up. Tewatia (40* runs off 21 deliveries) deposited the first ball of Jansen’s over into the stands and then passed on the strike to Rashid (31* runs off 11 balls) in the next delivery. The Afghanistan all-rounder was in the elements and hammered three sixes off the next four balls to take his side across the line.
2. 23 runs for Rising Pune Supergiants vs Punjab Kings in 2016
Rising Pune Supergiants squared off against Kings XI Punjab (Punjab Kings) in the 53rd match of the 2016 season of the cash-rich league. After electing to bat first, Punjab posted a competitive total of 172 runs on the board with Murli Vijay and Gurkeerat Singh Mann scoring half-centuries.
Supergiants lost wickets at regular intervals during the chase and were not able to dictate terms. After the 19th over, they required 23 runs to defeat Vijay & Co. MS Dhoni was still at the crease and Pune’s hopes were pinned on him. However, the job at the hand was not an easy one.
But Dhoni held his nerves and displayed to the cricket fraternity why he is rated as one of the best finishers to have graced the sport. In the 20th over, he hammered Axar Patel all across the park and Pune pipped Punjab in a nail-bitier. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 64 runs off 32 deliveries.
1. 29 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat Titans in 2023
Gujarat Titans took the stage alongside Kolkata Knight Riders in the 13th match of IPL 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Gujarat batted first and posted a daunting total of 204 runs on the board thanks to magnificent half-centuries from Sai Sudharsan and Vijay Shankar.
Kolkata, in response, were well placed, having scored 128 runs in 13 overs with the duo of Venkatesh Iyer and Nitish Rana looking in pristine touch. However, Alzarri Joseph got rid of both the set batters in the next couple of overs to dent the opposition’s progress. And then the stand-in skipper Rashid Khan weaved his magic and took an impeccable hat-trick to leave KKR reeling at 155 for 7 in 16.3 overs.
Moreover, Rinku Singh, who was still in the middle, was not able to time the ball and eventually, KKR required 39 runs off eight deliveries. The remaining part of the game appeared just a formality but Rinku did not surrender. He scored 10 runs off the final two balls of the 19th over to bring the equation down to 29 runs off 6 balls.
Yash Dayal was entrusted to bowl the final over. Umesh Yadav took a single off the first ball and the equation became 28 runs off five balls. And then the unthinkable happened. Rinku (48* runs off 21 balls) smashed Dayal for five consecutive sixes and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in one of the greatest finishes in the history of the cash-rich league.