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Chasing down the house

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IPL_Indian_Premier_LeagueBen Stokes’ sensational match-winning 63-ball 103 in a tense chase against the Gujarat Lions in the 39th match did well and truly ignited the rather patchy tenth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Rising Pune Supergiant all-rounder justified his hefty price tag of $2.16 million by playing one of the best knocks in a chase in IPL’s ten-year history. 

While we are already in the qualifying round of IPL 2017, let's look back at some of the other terrific IPL knocks that came in a chase.

David Miller (Kings XI Punjab) 101* off 38 balls v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2013:

This was a true blitzkrieg of epic proportions. Chasing a formidable 191 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab were tottering at 64-4 by the 10th over. With most of their noted batsmen back in the dugout, things looked bleak for Punjab. But then in walked David Miller and what followed was absolute carnage. 

With what was perhaps some of the cleanest striking the IPL has seen, Miller got into the Bangalore bowlers and swatted them for seven towering sixes and eight imperious fours all round the park. In no time, Miller took the game away from Bangalore and was mainly responsible for smashing 99 runs in the last five overs of the chase. 

The South African left-hander finished the match in the last ball of the 18th over with a glorious six off Chris Gayle and with it also reached his first IPL hundred off just 38 balls. The knock left the Bangalore camp stunned and a dazed captain Virat Kohli was forced to admit that this was "One of the best innings anyone has ever seen in the IPL.”

Corey Anderson (Mumbai Indians) 95* off 44 balls v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2014:

A knock that is not recalled as often as it should be, simply because of the circumstances it came in. In their last league game of IPL 2014, Mumbai Indians needed to chase down Rajasthan Royals’ target of 190 in 14.3 overs to qualify for a play-off berth. 

With Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard back in the hut, it was Corey Anderson, who had had a rather tepid tournament until then, who came to Mumbai’s rescue. He simply tore the Rajasthan bowlers apart. 

Wielding his bat like a club, the Kiwi all-rounder made a mockery of the target as he bludgeoned fours and sixes almost at will. Anderson biffed six sixes and nine fours in his unbeaten knock of 95 from 44 balls, helping Mumbai pinch a sensational win in 14.4 overs and (due to some rather complex calculations) enter the play-offs. 

Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers) 85 off 35 balls v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2009 semi-final:

This was perhaps the best knock that Australian legend Adam Gilchrist played in the IPL; primarily because it came in an all-important semi-final. On a tricky Centurion wicket, the Deccan Chargers were chasing 154 against the Delhi Daredevils for a spot in the IPL 2009 finals. 

Captain Adam Gilchrist decided to own the big stage as he led from the front in spectacular fashion. This was vintage Gilchrist as he cut, pulled and drove down the ground with disdain. Even while the other batsmen struggled, he carried on nonchalantly. 

Gilchrist was eventually dismissed in the last ball of the 10th over for a dazzling 85 off 35 balls with 10 fours and five sixes. The Chargers needed just 51 runs from 60 balls to reach the finals and went on to win the game with 16 balls to spare. 

Manvinder Bisla (Kolkata Knight Riders) 89 off 48 balls v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2012 final:

The stage: the IPL 2014 final. The opposition: two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings. The target: 191. Things could not have been tougher for the Kolkata Knight Riders and it became even more difficult as they lost skipper Gautam Gambhir in the first over itself. 

However, wicketkeeper-batsman Manvinder Bisla, who had been floated up as the opener, played the knock of his life to halt the Chennai charge. The Haryana batsman, who had a T20 strike-rate of 106 prior to this, fearlessly blazed away on a true Chepauk wicket and ensured that Kolkata was way ahead of the run rate. 

Dancing down the track regularly and making room on the leg-side, an unfettered Bisla crunched fours and sixes mainly through lofted drives. Reaching his half-century in just 27 balls, Bisla had dented Chennai and, through some further wallops, he took the game away from them completely. Bisla was eventually dismissed for a majestic 89 off 48 balls that helped Kolkata lift their first IPL trophy with two balls to spare.

AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore) 89* off 41 balls v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2014:

AB de Villiers has played many a legendary knock in his illustrious international career. Even in the IPL, he keeps producing some unbelievable gem every season. This particular one, in the 2014 season against Sunrisers Hyderabad, will remain forever etched in people’s memories. 

In a chase of 156, Bangalore was wobbling at 59-4 with Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli already gone. The pitch wasn’t easy as the ball was gripping the surface. But de Villiers then scripted one of the most sensational knocks in a chase as he deftly punctured the Hyderabad bowlers with timely boundaries and sixes. 

However, wickets kept falling around him and the other batsmen struggled to up the run-rate. With 28 needed of the last two overs, de Villiers faced his South African team mate Dale Steyn apart in the 19th over and smacked him for three sixes and a four to take the game away from Hyderabad. 

De Villiers remained unbeaten on a spectacular 89 off 41 balls with eight sixes and four fours and won the match for Bangalore on the penultimate ball.

 

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