The Indian Premier League (IPL) has become one of the world’s better sports leagues since its inception in 2008. Though India was one of the last countries to adopt the T20 format, the win in World T20 caused them to fast-track the format into a brilliant league.
Cricket is a team sport and everybody in the team contributes towards the win. Sometimes, however, we witness a single player single-handedly taking his team to an unlikely victory. We have come across some brilliant knocks in the IPL as well.
However, sometimes such brilliance doesn’t always result in a win for the team. Players play some great innings but are unable to lead their teams to victory.
Let’s have a look at 5 such non-century knocks in a losing cause by batsmen in IPL history
YUVRAJ SINGH- 83 OFF 38 BALLS
RCB v RR, IPL 2014
RCB hosted RR at Bengaluru in IPL 2014, which saw the priciest player in that year’s auction Yuvraj Singh showing his worth. Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle were dismissed for a cheap score in the match. However, AB de Villiers hit 58 off 32 balls with 5 sixes and 1 four, but the hero of RCB innings was Yuvraj, who smoked 83 off just 38 balls with 7 fours and 7 sixes. RCB scored 190/5 on the back of these innings.
Karun Nair scored a breezy 56 off 39 balls as RR lost wickets in the middle. Steve Smith (48* off 21 balls) and James Faulkner (41* off 17 balls) came together at 106/5 in 14th over and started hitting the RCB bowlers to all parts of the M Chinnaswamy stadium. RR won the match with 7 balls to go, by 5 wickets.
Yuvraj’s brilliant innings went in vain but earned him accolades from everyone.
AB DE VILLIERS- 89* OFF 46 BALLS
RCB v KXIP, IPL 2017
RCB faced KXIP in the 8th match of IPL 2017, sans Virat Kohli, who was missing few games due to a shoulder injury. KXIP bowlers removed Shane Watson, Vishnu Vinod and Kedar Jadhav for cheap runs, leaving RCB 22/3 in 5 overs.
However, AB de Villiers, scored a brilliant 89* off 46 balls with 3 sixes and 9 sixes. He got support from Mandeep Singh (28) and took RCB to a competitive 148/4 in 20 overs. De Villiers was hitting some extraordinary strokes that delighted the Indore crowd and it seemed as if he was batting on a completely different wicket.
However, the total was too low for RCB bowlers to defend. Hashim Amla (58*) and Glenn Maxwell (43* off 22 balls) were enough for KXIP to romp home by 8 wickets in the 15th over.
VIRAT KOHLI – 92* OFF 62 BALLS
MI v RCB, IPL 2018
RCB traveled to Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium to face a MI team that had lost its first three matches in IPL 2018. Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to field, putting MI to bat.
MI had the worst start possible, losing two wickets off the first two balls of the match by Umesh Yadav. But then Rohit Sharma played a captain’s knock, making 94 off 52 balls with 10 fours and 5 sixes. He was supported by Evin Lewis, who made 65 in 42 balls to take MI to 213/6 in 20 overs.
RCB knew that they had a big target to chase, but MI kept taking wickets regularly as apart from their captain Virat Kohli, who made 92* in 62 balls with 4 sixes and 7 fours; no one else made a score over 19 runs. Virat’s innings was a brilliant one, as he smoked runs all over the ground and seemed like the rest of the RCB team was batting on some other wicket altogether.
His innings saw RCB trying to lessen the margin of defeat to 46 runs.
MS DHONI – 79* OFF 44 BALLS
KXIP v CSK, IPL 2018
Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings battled together at Mohali in IPL 2018’s 12th match. KXIP batted first and scored 197/7 with Chris Gayle showing glimpses of yesteryears with a brilliant 63 off 33 balls with 7 fours and 4 sixes. KL Rahul made 37, Mayank Agarwal made 30 and Karun Nair made 29 to put a formidable score in front of a rampaging CSK.
Chennai needed a good opening start, but both Watson and Vijay fell early to leave the middle order to do most of the work. Ambati Rayudu hit 49, but it was captain MS Dhoni, who made 79*- his highest individual T20 score, kept CSK in the race to victory.
However, he got no support from other end and CSK ended up making 193/5, losing by 4 runs. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 79 with 5 sixes and 6 fours to his name. It was truly a great innings from one of the greatest captains in IPL.
SURESH RAINA – 87 OFF 25 BALLS
CSK V KXIP, IPL 2014
Widely regarded as the best innings in IPL history, Suresh Raina’s knock came in the second qualifier of the IPL 2014 between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab.
KXIP batted first after MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to chase at the Wankhede Stadium. CSK’s plans took a major hit as Virender Sehwag clobbered 122 off 58 balls with 8 sixes and 12 fours. He was ably supported by Manan Vohra (34) and David Miller (38) as KXIP scored 226/6 in 20 overs.
CSK was looking at a record chase in IPL history against KXIP. They lost Faf du Plessis on the second ball of the innings and Dwayne Smith for 7. But in between those wickets, there was a storm that threatened to blow away KXIP’s chances at IPL glory and final’s qualification.
Suresh Raina came out with a mission and started smoking boundaries and sixes from ball one. He was like a man possessed enough to chase down 226 single-handedly. Raina smashed 87 off 25 balls at a strike rate of 348 with 6 sixes and 12 fours.
Only a superhuman effort from KXIP captain George Bailey caused Raina to be run out, as he was looking able to take CSK to an improbable win. After that, MS Dhoni hit 42* in 31 balls, but the game was over as soon as Raina had got out for 87.
Chennai lost the match by 24 runs, ending up on 202/7 and KXIP made it to their first IPL final in 2014.