The Indian Premier League 2018 saw many great, many good innings being played in the tournament. From centuries to scores of 90s, 80s and many cameos which won many matches adorned the tournament and enthralled the fans.
Every big-ticket players came to the fore and entertained the fans with their bat. From senior players like Shane Watson, Chris Gayle and MS Dhoni to young guns like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, and Sanju Samson, fans got to see the best from every player in the tournament.
Therefore, COC chooses the 5 best innings in the winning causes of IPL matches, innings which came at the most opportune times from the players, when their team was in dire need of one. The teams banked on these players and they came good on that day and their innings won the match for their team, despite the odds stacked against them.
Here are the 5 best innings in winning causes in IPL 11
92* - SANJU SAMSON, RR vs. RCB
The 11th match of IPL 2018 saw Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) host Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. RCB won the toss and put RR into bat first. Knowing that chasing is easy on the Bengaluru wicket and in the small ground, RR knew they had to put a big score on the board.
That is when Sanju Samson came to the fore. Rahane (36) and Short (11) put on 49 for the first wicket in 6 overs. But it was Samson, who took on every RCB bowler to smash 92 unbeaten runs off 45 balls to take RR to 217/4 in 20 overs.
Samson also smoked 10 sixes and 2 fours in his innings, a evidence of his technique and power, taking advantage of the small boundaries. Kulwant Khejroliya (40 runs off 3 overs) and Umesh Yadav (59 runs in 4 overs) came in for special treatment from Samson during his innings.
In the end, RCB folded for 198/6 in their 20 overs despite 57 from Kohli and 47* from Mandeep Singh, as RR bowlers combined to restrict a formidable RCB batting lineup, to win the game by 19 runs. Samson received the player of the match award for his innings that won RR the match.
90* - AB DE VILLIERS, RCB vs. DD
AB de Villiers had not shown his full range of shots in the IPL 2018 when RCB met Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the 19th match of the tournament in Bengaluru.
Put into bat by Kohli after winning the toss, DD looked in dire need of good innings, as RCB removed their openers Gambhir and Roy for single digit scores. But then Iyer (52) and Pant (85) combined to take DD to 174/5 in 20 overs.
DD bowlers knew they had to take early wickets to win the match and they did it by removing the likes of Quinton de Kock (8) and Virat Kohli (30) early to put pressure on RCB batting. But then came the storm of AB de Villiers, as he smoked 90* off 39 balls with 10 fours and 5 sixes, to take RCB to a comfortable 6 wickets win with 2 overs to go.
De Villiers came good when RCB needed him the most and got the Man of the match award for his innings.
67* - FAF DU PLESSIS, CSK vs. SRH
Chennai Super Kings met Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first qualifier of the IPL 2018 at the Wankhede in Mumbai. On a difficult pitch, Dhoni chose to chase and SRH battled hard against accurate CSK bowling to score 139/7 in 20 overs. All thanks to Craig Brathwaite’s 43* in 29 balls and wonderful contributions from Williamson and Pathan, SRH put up a par score in an important match.
The task became more difficult as SRH bowlers, who were in great form in the whole tournament, removed Watson (0), Rayudu (0), Dhoni (9) and even Bravo and Jadeja for single digit scores. Raina made 22 and Chahar contributed 10 runs.
However, Faf du Plessis struggled his way till the end and when Shardul Thakur hit 15* off just 5 balls including 3 fours, SRH knew they had lost the game.
Du Plessis’ struggle didn’t go in vain as his 67* in 42 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes took CSK to an unbelievable win in the last over, with a six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Faf du Plessis’ match-winning innings took CSK into the finals, after two years of absence from the IPL scene.
70* - MS DHONI, CSK vs. RCB
IPL rivals CSK and RCB met in the 24th match of the tournament in Bengaluru. MS Dhoni won the toss and put RCB into bat. De Kock scored 53 and De Villiers hit 68 to take RCB to 205 runs in 20 overs. CSK knew that though the total was big, it was gettable on the Chinnaswamy pitch.
RCB removed the likes of Raina, Watson, Billings, and Jadeja for cheap scores to put pressure on CSK. But Ambati Rayudu (82) and MS Dhoni (70*) took CSK to an unprecedented win despite the odds stacked against the team.
Though Rayudu was the backbone of the CSK win, it was MS Dhoni, who took on the RCB bowling in the end, hitting 7 sixes and 1 four, playing 34 balls to finish the match and sealing the deal, by remaining not out.
The innings also showed that MS Dhoni was back in his vintage form and the world’s best finisher was back.
117*- SHANE WATSON, CSK vs. SRH
CSK met SRH again in the IPL for the fourth time, but this time, it was for the IPL 2018 title, as the two teams clashed in the finals, in Mumbai.
SRH batted first and thanks to 47 from Williamson, 45 from Pathan and 21* from Brathwaite, put up a fighting total of 178/6 in 20 overs. The total was 25 runs short, thanks to a disciplined bowling performance from CSK bowlers.
Chennai knew they needed a good start at the top, but lost Du Plessis for 10 early on. However, Shane Watson rose to the big occasion and muscled his way to 117* in 57 balls with 11 fours and 8 sixes. He had scored no runs for the first 10 balls of his innings, as he struggled to negotiate with the swing and seam of SRH bowling.
But after that, he opened up when the spinners came on and hit his century off just 51 balls and took his team to their 3rd IPL title. Watson, played an inspiring innings, that too with a hamstring injury hampering his running between the wickets.