Ranking the 20 Greatest Moments in IPL History

Alex Telfer@@troyspeerFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2014

Ranking the 20 Greatest Moments in IPL History

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    Bikas Das

    Crash, bang, wallop! Yes, the latest instalment of the all-singing, all-dancing Indian Premier League is upon us so what better time to take a look back through some of the tournament's many highlights?

    There has been brutal batting in abundance, razor-sharp bowling, unbelievable catching and even a few oddities over the six enthralling seasons so far.

    Read on to see the 20 greatest moments in IPL history, loosely ranked in ascending order of magnitude.

20. McCullum's 158 off 73 Balls

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    If people had their doubts about the longevity of the IPL, then Brendon McCullum's blistering 158 not out in the competition's very first match put paid to that.

    The Kiwi smashed 15 sixes as part of a huge individual score that would remain the tournament's highest score for five years.

19. Dhoni's 51 off 20 Balls

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    A classic MS Dhoni cameo. With CSK struggling against Mumbai Indians and looking likely to post an under-par score, the Indian skipper unleashed his full complement of trademark shots to blast 51 off just 20 balls.

    With a monster strike rate of 255.00, Dhoni helped his team post what turned out to be a match-winning total of 187.

18. Ganguly's Celebration

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    It's either the hair or the child-like glee in the celebration, but Sourav Ganguly's ecstatic response to bowling Kevin Pietersen with his very first delivery in the IPL is a timeless moment.

17. De Villiers 47 off 17 Balls

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    Needing 181 to win against Deccan, AB de Villiers scored 47 off 17 deliveries to see his Royal Challengers Bangalore over the line, and what made it even more spectacular was that most of the damage came against his compatriot Dale Steyn.

    In fact, one Steyn over went for 23 runs to turn the game fully in RCB's favour.

16. Tanvir's 6 Wickets for 14 Runs

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    The writing was on the wall for Chennai when Sohail Tanvir removed both of their openers for ducks, and the skilful Pakistani went on to take what are still the IPL's best-ever figures of six for 14.

15. Rajasthan Chase Down 217

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    Often when chasing huge scores for victory, the necessity to score heavily from the start leads to early wickets, and the innings dissolves into a painful damp squib.

    But in 2008, the Rajasthan Royals managed to hunt down the 214 runs required with just one ball to spare. Scorecard here.

14. Smith's 14 Runs off 3 Balls

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    Despite being jet-lagged, Dwayne Smith managed to score 14 off just three balls to blast Mumbai Indians to a memorable win over Chennai.

    The West Indian, who had only just arrived in the country, smashed six, four, six to signal scenes of jubilation in one of the IPL's most thrilling run chases.

13. Mishra's Hat-Trick of Hat-Tricks

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    Amit Mishra shut down the Pune Warriors in a low-scoring thriller with a sensational hat-trick to help the Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory in 2013.

    Amazingly, Mishra now has three IPL hat-tricks to his name, the first of which was in 2008 and the second in 2011. 

12. Hussey's 116 off 54 Balls

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    In just the second-ever IPL match, a day after Brendon McCullum smashed 158 in the first, Michael Hussey showed his taste for the format by blasting 116 off 54 balls.

    The Aussie star would go on to be a regular in the tournament and will grace the stage once again this year, representing Mumbai Indians.

11. Steven Smith's Incredible Fielding

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    Is it a bird...is it a plane...no, it's Steven Smith, the Australian batsman. Great piece of acrobatic fielding, though. I doubt they did this back in WG Grace's day.

10. Malinga 5 Wickets for 13 Runs

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    Mumbai's mop-topped Lasith Malinga delivered his unplayable toe-crunching yorkers to devastating effect in taking 5/13 off 3.4 overs against the Delhi Daredevils.

9. Bisla's 89 Runs off 48 Balls

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    Manvinder Bisla was the surprise hero of the 2012 IPL final by stroking 89 runs from just 48 balls at the top of the order to help Kolkata overcome Chennai.

    If the occasion wasn't enough, the little-known Bisla was under intense pressure after controversially replacing the out-of-form but popular Brendon McCullum, too.

8. Pollard's Hat-Trick of Drops

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    An incredible passage of play saw Kieron Pollard drop Michael Hussey three times in three deliveries!

7. Vijay's 95 off 52 Balls

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    Murali Vijay is primarily known for a correct, straight-batted technique that is perfectly suited for playing long first-class innings of crease occupation and patient accumulation.

    However, his 95 for Chennai in the intense 2011 IPL final against the Royal Challengers Bangalore came off just 52 balls and proved to be a match-winning knock.

6. Kumble's 5 Wickets for 5 Runs

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    The statistics say it all for legendary Indian spinner Anil Kumble after almost single-handedly demolishing the Rajasthan Royals.

    Kumble took the wickets on a difficult Cape Town batting track to help his Royal Challengers Bangalore side to an easy win.

5. Pathan's 100 off 37 Balls

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    Normally when the run rate gets into double figure, it's curtains for the chasing team, in this case the Rajasthan Royals who needed 212.

    However, despite the run rate rising to more than 14, Yusuf Pathan recorded what at the time was the fastest T20 ton off just 37 balls to take his team to the brink of victory. Unfortunately, it was still a losing effort as Mumbai won by just four runs.

4. David Hussey's Catch

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    Not much more needs to be said about this incredible catch from T20 maestro David Hussey. Shame about the underwhelming commentary.

3. Gilchrist's 85 off Just 35 Balls

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    Chasing 153 to win in the 2009 IPL semi-final, Adam Gilchrist single-handedly changed a potentially tricky target into a walk in park by blasting 85 off just 35 balls.

    His team, the Deccan Chargers, went on to win the match against Delhi and to go on to tournament success, too.

2. The Very First IPL Final

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    In 2008, the final of the very first IPL tournament pitted Chennai against Rajasthan and produced a classic nail-biting run-chase.

    The Super Kings recorded 163 with the top five batsmen each making contributions. However, the Royals successfully chased the runs down with Sohail Tanvir scoring a single off the very last ball.

1. Gayle's 175 not out off 66 Balls

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    Easily the most memorable moment of the IPL's history so far is Chris Gayle's unforgettable 66-ball 175.

    The West Indian opener smashed the Pune Warriors' hapless bowlers to all parts, clubbing 17 sixes and breaking multiple records in the process.