5 Best innings in IPL knockouts

5 Best innings in IPL knockouts

While the pressure in each game is immense due to the dynamic nature of the league, it increases manifold in the knockouts-- the playoffs as they are known, where the teams doing well throughout the league phase get a slight advantage.

Shane Watson
Shane Watson. (Photo: IANS)

The ultimate T-20 league in the world, the Indian Premier League is the biggest platform for cricketers to showcase their talent. It has gained popularity year after year and is today regarded as a very prestigious tournament across the globe.

As the top talents from across the world take part in this tournament, it has grown to become very competitive. Each team is filled with superstars with specific skills and hence most of the matches go down to the wire as there is little to separate all the teams. That is what makes the IPL extremely gripping and entertaining to watch.

While the pressure in each game is immense due to the dynamic nature of the league, it increases manifold in the knockouts– the playoffs as they are known, where the teams doing well throughout the league phase get a slight advantage.

The performances in the group stages don’t matter in the knockouts. A lot of players who have done well in the group stages have faltered in the pressure cooker situations. However, there have been a number of players who have stood up for their teams when it mattered the most and played incredible knocks to either help their teams advance further or even the trophy.

Over a period of 12 seasons, there have been a number of superb knocks in the knockout stages and hence it is a difficult task to pick just a few of them. However, keeping in mind a number of parameters like context, match situation, opposing line up, the final impact on the game etc.

Here is a list of 5 top knocks in IPL knockouts:

5. Adam Gilchrist: 85 off 35 vs Delhi Daredevils, semi-final, 2009

Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Adam Gilchrist is one the pioneers of limited-overs cricket. His aggressive batting as an opener playing for Australia redefined the art of opening the batting. Gilchrist was also considered as a big match player and it is evident in the fact that he has 2 fifty-plus scores and 1 hundred, all at more than run a ball in the 3 World Cup finals he featured in. It comes as no surprise then that the wicket-keeper batsman features in this list with an outstanding inning.

Gilchrist led the (now defunct) Deccan Chargers to the semi-finals in 2009 with a relatively young side. The chargers had finished at the bottom of the table in 2008 and it had already been a stunning turnaround for them.

In the semi-finals, they faced Delhi Daredevils(now Capitals) who were the table-toppers in the group stage and possessed a terrorizing batting line up having the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, David Warner and Ab de Villiers. The Chargers did a great job of restricting that batting line up of Delhi to a score of just 153.

While Delhi’s batting was a powerhouse, their bowling didn’t induce as much fear. However, they had accomplished bowlers like Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra who had done a great job throughout the season. The chase wasn’t going to be any easy either as the Centurion pitch in South Africa had been assisting the bowlers and on top of it all, it was a knockout game. Gilchrist, however, had other plans.

In the first over against Dirk Nannes, the first ball Gilchrist played was a dot ball, and the next one a wide. But what followed was Gilchrist at his best. Gilchrist smashed Nannes, one of the fastest bowlers of the season for 5 consecutive boundaries, hitting the white cherry to all parts of the ground. And this was just a preview of what was to come.

He didn’t spare a single bowler and smashed them all over the park and runs came thick and fast every over. The Delhi bowlers just didn’t know where to hide. By the time he was dismissed in the 10th over, he had scored 85 of the team total of 102 and sealed the fate of the entire match single-handedly.