The Indian Premier League will make it's return to India after two years with the league's two heavyweights – Royal Challengers Bangalore taking on the defending champions Mumbai Indians in the event opener at Chennai on April 9th.
The cricketing extravaganza which will be in its 14th edition this year has been a testimony to some of the most thrilling, entertaining and iconic cricket matches ever played in the history of T20 format.
Here we list our Top 5 IPL Moments from the last 13 seasons
1. Brendon McCullum's unbeaten 158
The first season of IPL was off to a rocking start when Brendon McCullum smashed an unbeaten 158 off just 73 balls in the very first game of the tournament in 2008. McCullum powered his Kolkata Knight Riders to a dominating 140 run victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore after setting a target of 223 runs. The former New Zealand captain bedecked his innings with 10 fours and 13 sixes. The match was a perfect declaration of what the league had in store for its fans in the coming days .
2. Mumbai Indians winning the 2019 IPL Title by 1 run
In what was perhaps the most chaotic final ever featuring dropped catches, missed run outs and ordinary batting from both the sides, Mumbai Indians edged the mighty Chennai Super Kings to bring home their 4th IPL title by just 1 run. Chasing a reasonable target of 150 runs in a game where the momentum kept oscillating between both the sides, MS Dhoni's team required 9 runs to win from the final over. Rohit Sharma banked on their starwalt Lasith Malinga, despite the pacer conceding 42 runs in his 3 overs. Nevertheless, with two required from the last ball, Malinga did what he was best known for and bowled an unpredictable slower ball restricting the opponents to 148/7 and sealing the title for his side in a nail biting finish.
3. Chris Gayle 175* against Pune Warriors in 2013
Now, how does one talk about IPL without the mention of the West Indian power house Chis Gayle? In a game that saw Gayle unleashing all his inner beasts scoring an unbeaten 175 off just 66 balls taking his Royal Challengers Banglore to a staggering total of 263 against Pune Warriors India, the superstar once again proved why is the ultimate 'Universe Boss'. Needless to mention, RCB won the game by 133 runs with an exasperated PWI only managing to put up 133 runs in reply.
4. Rahul Tewatia hitting 5 sixes off Sheldon Cottrell in the highest successful run chase in IPL history
Still fresh in our memories, Rahul Tewatia's journey from villain to hero of the game was unarguably one of the finest chases of IPL history. Chasing a target of 224, the Rajasthan Royals had a tough task at hand requiring 51 runs from 18 balls with their hopes blurring at every sight of Rahul Tewatia struggling to connect with the ball. With his score of 8 from 19, Tewatia then shifted gears in the 18th over and smashed 5 sixes off Sheldon Cottrell, accelerating the Royal's score board and leading it to a manageable 21 runs off 12 balls. The Royals pulled up a historic chase with 4 wickets in hand and 3 balls to spare as Tewatia scored a memorable 53 off 31 deliveries hitting 7 sixes.
5. Virat Kohli's century against KXIP with 9 stitches on his hand in 2016
King Kohli's journey has been a saga of grit, determination and unfaltering commitment towards cricket and this match was no exception. In a rain delayed game that was reduced to 15 overs each, the modern day great hit an inspiring 113 from 50 balls, enduring the pain of the 9 stitches on his left hand. In an inning that had class written all over it, Kohli hit 12 fours and 8 sixes, driving his side to a mammoth 211/3 and defeating the Kings XI Punjab by 82 runs (target reduced to 203) through D/L method.
These were our top five picks from the many memorable games we have witnessed through all these years. We wish all the teams and their fans the very best for the IPL 2021