Last over finishes are one of the most enthralling aspects of cricket. The scope of such games increases as the length of the game shortens and the advent of T20 cricket has provided them in plenty. We look at five such finishes in IPL where the bowler came out on top when things seemed to be in favor of the batsmen:
Munaf Patel, 4 runs, RR v MI, 2009
Having conceded 14 runs in his previous over (18th over of the innings), Munaf Patel was entrusted with the big responsibility of bowling the last over by his skipper, Shane Warne. An exponent of bowling straight and attacking the stumps - exactly what you need to bowl at the lower-order batsmen - Munaf was the perfect man for the job given Mumbai were seven wickets down.
Yet, saving four runs was not an easy task. The pressure was on the right-arm pacer but he soon transferred it to the other side as he did not concede any runs off the first three balls. Moreover, Mumbai lost two wickets. Munaf rapped Dhawal Kulkarni in front of the stumps on the second ball. Next ball resulted in a run-out. With four required off the last three balls, Munaf conceded the only run of the over to Harbhajan Singh on the fourth delivery. The next ball saw another instance of panic running. Malinga failed to circumvent Shane Warne at cover and a desperate attempt to get Harbhajan back on strike failed miserably. Mumbai’s number 11 batsman found himself short of his ground with Munaf taking the bails off at the non-striker’s end.
Rajasthan won by 2 runs defending a modest total of 145 bagging 2 crucial points.
Siddharth Trivedi, 6 runs, RR v DC, 2010
Deccan Chargers seemed on course to defeat Rajasthan Royals in Nagpur. They required only 6 runs in the final over with three wickets in hand and Rohit Sharma batting brilliantly on 71* off 41 balls. Shane Warne threw the ball to medium-pacer Siddharth Trivedi who had carved a niche for himself with his canny slower balls and cutters.
He began with a gutsy slow bouncer to Rohit conceding only a single. He tried it again on the second ball but it went over RP Singh’s head to be called a wide. The deficit further reduced to 4 runs with five balls to go. A dot ball followed as Singh wanted to end the game on his own and holed out on the third ball off a slower one. However, the airtime of Singh’s miscue allowed Rohit to get back on strike.
But Trivedi’s nerves of steel got the better of the Chargers. Harmeet Singh, the new man had to sacrifice his wicket to get Rohit back on strike attempting a suicidal second run. Rohit could not live up to his sacrifice. The lack of pace in Trivedi’s fifth delivery meant Rohit could only find Abhishek Raut at deep cover, hence ending the game on the penultimate delivery. Trivedi pulled off a stunning 2-run victory for the Royals against the defending champions.
Kuldeep Yadav, 6 runs, DC v KKR, 2019
In a more recent occurence, Kuldeep Yadav almost completed Kolkata’s revival at Feroz Shah Kotla. Delhi Capitals lost their way after Prithvi Shaw’s dismissal for 99 in the penultimate over. With two new batsmen - Colin Munro and Hanuma Vihari - at the crease, Kolkata were in with a chance to defend 6 runs in the final over and skipper Dinesh Karthik decided to gamble with the left-arm wrist-spin of Kuldeep.
There were nerves on both ends. Kuldeep spilled an easy chance to run Vihari out on the second ball. When only two runs were required off the last two balls, Vihari lofted a toothless short ball to be caught by Shubman Gill agonizingly close to the boundary line. The dismissal left Delhi in need of 2 runs from the final ball. Moving across his stumps against Kuldeep’s around the wicket angle, Ingram went for the safe option of a sweep shot. He connected well but the two was never on. He was run out off a neat Robin Uthappa throw from deep square leg and the 2019 IPL season had its first Super Over.
Delhi came out to be superior in the Super Over by virtue of an immaculate bowling performance from Kagiso Rabada. Nevertheless, Kuldeep did a great job to redeem himself (he had gone for 33 runs in his first two overs, later finishing with 41 in four) alongwith his side to drag the game into the tie-breaker.
Kamran Khan, 7 runs, RR v KKR, 2009
In a make-or-break situation in the match, the 18-year old Kamran Khan stepped up for Rajasthan Royals conceding only 6 runs when Kolkata Knight Riders required 7 runs to win in the final over. He, thus, pushed the match to a Super Over which the Royals won comfortably.
Khan’s biggest challenge was to get past Sourav Ganguly who was batting on 45 from 26 balls at the start of the final over. Khan started with a wide but soon found his line and length. Bringing the equation down to two off two balls, Khan induced an outside edge of Ganguly’s bat taking a massive wicket for his side. Ishant Sharma dug out the yorker on the last ball which was stopped by a diving Shane Warne at short extra-cover. Sharma and Ajit Agarkar scampered for one but fell short of the second run.
"Warne always keeps encouraging and motivating me. I felt very good that there is someone who has belief in me”, Khan told ESPNCricinfo after turning the game in the favor of his side. Maybe that is a reason why Rajasthan Royals feature thrice in this list, and everytime under Warne’s leadership.
R Vinay Kumar, 7 runs, SRH v RCB, 2013
The experienced Vinay Kumar took the game to the Super Over against Sunrisers Hyderabad by defending 7 runs in the final over of the match in Hyderabad. He defended 10 runs in Bangalore’s previous game against Mumbai and was once again trusted by skipper, Virat Kohli when Hyderabad came within 7 runs of a victory with one over to go.
Operating with low full-tosses, slower deliveries and yorkers, he started the over on a positive note pouching Ashish Reddy’s wicket first ball. By the time Vihari regained strike, the more potent of the two batsmen, Hyderabad were four away with two balls in hand. Kumar bowled a perfect yorker, however, a lethargic Mayank Agarwal could not stop the two batsmen from running two. On the last delivery, Vihari missed to establish a connection between bat and ball. Wicketkeeper Arun Karthik missed his aim as the game ended in a tie.
Unfortunately, Kumar could not repeat his brilliance with the ball during the Super Over and leaked 20 runs, thus, conceding the match as well.