The Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2022 has now entered its business end and that too in full rhythm. So often, the 14-year-old competition has produced some games that stunned players and fans.
And the fresh season hasn’t been any different in offering us games whose results have flipped in the span of six balls. Let’s anatomise a few specimen of how franchises tend to change the fate of the game in the matter of just one over.
PBKS vs GT: When Rahul Tewatia switched the result in Titan’s favour in the 20th over
The new side in world’s marquee cricket league, Gujarat Titans (GT), were chasing a target of 190 against Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in the 16th match this year on April 8.
After a rapid start, Gujarat lost their way and it came to a stage in the end when they required 19 runs in the last over. PBKS’ Odean Smith was given the job of defending the score against the likes of Hardik Pandya and David Miller. The former was dismissed thanks to a run out on the very first ball of the over which welcomed Rahul Tewatia in the middle.
The determined Tewatia took a single on his first ball, before watching Miller strike a four and duly handing back the strike to the former, courtesy a mad overthrow that resulted due to the bowler.
Still, 12 runs were required off two legal balls.
Tewatia swung his bat at full pace to smack the fifth ball for a maximum. Smith went wide for the last ball but Tewatia walked across to the off side to club the ball for another half a dozen to seal the victory for Titans.
The fairytale story earned new life, as Tewatia had done a Tewatia against a West Indian pacer to take Gujarat over the line.
MI vs CSK: MS Dhoni turned the clock back in the 20th over
The five-time IPL champions, Mumbai Indians (MI), were up against arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings, who in their chase of 156 required 17 runs off the last six balls.
Jaydev Unadkat straightaway dismissed Dwaine Pretorius on the very first ball and conceded just one run in the second ball. But now he was against the best finisher of the game, MS Dhoni, as Chennai needed 16 runs in four balls.
Dhoni went downtown to smoke the third ball for a huge six over long-off, before hitting a four off the next ball and taking a double off the penultimate delivery. The equation was now down to four runs off the last ball of the game.
Even though both these champion sides haven’t shown the greatest of form in IPL 2022, the game took everyone to the edge of their seat. Unadkat was standing on his mark as there was a huge conference involving the big heads in the team consulting about the field and the delivery.
Nonetheless, the bowler went for a yorker directed towards leg stump but MS Dhoni shuffled across and dispatched it past short fine leg for a boundary to turn back the clock to seal another game for his side. It was the eighth time, the most by any side, that CSK have won off the last ball of a run chase in IPL.
PBKS vs RCB: Fierce Odean Smith sealed the deal for Punjab in the 18th over
Punjab Kings and Royals Challengers Bangalore (RCB) locked horns for their respective first games of IPL 2022. The former were chasing 206 and after a solid beginning from their openers, the Kings had lost their way in the middle as they required 36 runs off the last 18 balls.
Mohammed Siraj, who has now found some success in Indian colours of late, was thrown the ball for the 18th over the game against Odean Smith, whom Punjab bagged for INR 6 crores in the mega-auction for the designated job of slogging. And he delivered on the big stage.
Smith butchered the first ball over deep point for a huge six before smashing Siraj for a boundary off the next delivery. Just when the fast bowler tried to slow down his pace, Smith displayed a glimpse of Andre Russell by flexing his muscle to deposit the third ball over the fence for another six. Two balls later, the Caribbean young star powered the short ball for another six to collect 25 runs in the over.
With few more hits, Punjab went on to win their first game of 2022 with ease but the destinies were exchanged in that momentous 18th over.
GT vs CSK: Rashid & Miller smacked Jordan to script an unbelievable victory
Gujarat Titans were chasing an average target of 170 against the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, who did everything possible to grab victory. GT, at one point, were limping at 48-4.
Cut to the final stages of the game, they required 48 runs in just three overs and Rahul Tewatia was already back in the hut.
New CSK skipper Ravindra Jadeja threw the ball to Chris Jordan for the 18th over against David Miller and Rashid Khan, who till then was struggling with 8 off 12 balls. But Rashid turned the game totally on its head in the first four balls.
Stand in skipper of GT, Rashid Khan, crunched Jordan for two back-to-back sixes in the first couple of deliveries, before digging a low full toss for a four. He whipped away the fourth ball for another half a dozen to grab 25 runs from the over as Gujarat went on to win the game on the penultimate ball of the game.
LSG vs CSK: Lewis took Dube to the cleaners in the 19th over
Chennai Super Kings and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) were up against each other at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on March 31 in the 7th game of this season.
The latter were chasing a huge total of 211 runs and even after a fierce opening partnership, LSG still needed 34 runs from the last two overs, with Evin Lewis still in the middle with 39 off 19 balls.
Out of nowhere, Shivam Dube was given the job of bowling his first over in the 19th over of the innings, and he was duly whacked all over the park by young Ayush Badoni and Lewis. After Badoni struck the first ball for a six over square leg, Dube bowled two wides after which the former took a single to get Lewis back on strike.
The West Indian hit a couple of more fours and a six off the last ball as LSG grabbed 25 runs off Dube’s over. In the process, Lewis registered the fastest fifty of the season.
With just nine required in the last over, Lucknow Super Giants completed the victory with three balls to spare.
With 20 games left in the new edition of IPL, fans can certainly expect more of these games. The final of IPL 2022 will be held on May 29 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.