The Indian Premier League is the topmost cricket league of the world not because of the fact that all the international stars play in this tourney but also due to the quality of the matches the league delivers. All the 8 teams had solid squads heading into the 12th season; this guaranteed the cricket fans a once in a lifetime experience.
Mumbai Indians won their 4th IPL championship this year while MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings proved that age is just a number in the sport of cricket. Royal Challengers Bangalore became the first team to lose the first 6 matches of their IPL campaign whereas Sunrisers Hyderabad accomplished a unique feat of making it to the play-offs with just 12 points.
Amidst the creation of these records, there were a lot of matches which went all the way down to the wire. Here's a look at the top 5 matches of the 12th edition of IPL -#5 Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Match 10 Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders played the first tied match of IPL 2019 (Image courtesy - IPLT20/BCCI)
The new-look Delhi Capitals started off the season on a positive note with a victory against Mumbai Indians. They lost their second encounter versus Chennai and were up against an undefeated Kolkata Knight Riders side in the 10th game of the tournament.
Kolkata batted first and posted 185 on the board thanks to Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik's half-centuries. In reply, Prithvi Shaw led the charge for Delhi and took his team closer to the target. 6 runs were required off the final over as Karthik handed the ball to Kuldeep Yadav.
Yadav bowled a fantastic final over, conceding only 5 runs to take the match to a super over.
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Delhi scored 10 runs in the super over while Kolkata could only manage 7 from Kagiso Rabada's six deliveries as the Proteas pacer helped Delhi secure the vital two points.
#4 Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings, Match 25 Ben Stokes could not take RR over the line (Image courtesy - IPLT20/BCCI)
Rajasthan Royals hosted the Chennai Super Kings in the 25th match of the season at the iconic Sawai Man Singh Stadium. The home team was invited to bat first by MS Dhoni. However, none of their batsmen got going. RR managed to score 151 in 20 overs, leaving an immense responsibility on their bowling department.
The Rajasthan pacers kept them in the game by reducing Chennai to 24/4 inside the powerplay overs. MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu rebuilt the innings with a 95-run partnership. Rayudu departed in the 18th over but the skipper continued to take his side near the victory.
With 17 needed off the final 6 balls, the pressure was on Dhoni and Jadeja to deliver the goods. Jadeja started off the over with a maximum but Stokes responded by rattling Dhoni's stumps off the third ball. CSK required 7 runs from 3 deliveries with the new batsman, Mitchell Santner on strike.
The Kiwi all-rounder took 2 runs to bring down the equation to 5 off 2. Stokes bowled a beamer then, which sparked a massive controversy on the field. The straight umpire signaled a no-ball but ultimately it was considered a legal delivery. MS Dhoni walked down to the pitch from the dugout to heat up the proceedings.
It was adjudged a legal delivery but that did not affect CSK as Santner took them home with a huge six off the final ball.
#3 Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Match 51 Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad played the second tied match of IPL 2019 (Image credits - BCCI/ IPLT20)
Mumbai Indians locked horns with the Orange Army, Sunrisers Hyderabad in a crucial match hosted by Wankhede Stadium. The home team batted first, with captain Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock opening the innings. The South African wicket-keeper batted till the end of the innings and helped Mumbai reached 162 in 20 overs. Khaleel Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers for SRH with figures of 3/42.
SRH had a steady start to the innings and the no.3 batsman Manish Pandey played the anchor's role. Pandey and Mohammad Nabi's partnership for the 6th wicket almost took Hyderabad over the line but Hardik Pandya dismissed Nabi on the third last ball of the chase to tilt the game in MI's favor.
7 runs were left to get off the final ball and Pandey did the unthinkable by smashing Hardik Pandya for a six. The match went into a super over but MI easily secured the victory in the one-over eliminator.
#2 Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings, Match 39 MS Dhoni's charismatic innings went in vain as Chennai Super Kings lost the match by 1 runs (Image courtesy - IPLT20/BCCI)
Royal Challengers Bangalore had a disastrous start to their 2019 IPL campaign as they had lost all of their first six matches. They defeated the Kings XI Punjab in their 7th game but lost to Mumbai in the next game. After a victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the 9th match, RCB were up against MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
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Bangalore got the chance to bat first and the home team reached 161 at the loss of 7 wickets in their 20 overs. Dale Steyn dismissed Shane Watson and Suresh Raina off successive deliveries to solidify RCB's chances. MS Dhoni battled as a one-man army for the yellow franchise. As always, he took the game to the final over but this time he had to score 26 runs off the final 6.
Dhoni completely dismantled Umesh Yadav's bowling by taking 24 runs from the first 5 balls but a lucky run-out on the last ball helped RCB win their third match of the season by the smallest of the margins.
#1 Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2019 final The match of the season (Image courtesy - IPLT20/BCCI)
Mumbai Indians had defeated Chennai Super Kings in all the three matches the two teams battled in IPL 2019. The two giants clashed once again in the season finale with the Mumbai franchise batting first in the high-pressure game. West Indies' big hitter Kieron Pollard continued his good form in IPL finals against Chennai. His quickfire knock of 41 runs took Mumbai Indians to 149/8 in 20 overs.
Chennai got off to a good start but they suffered a collapse in the middle overs with opener Shane Watson waging a single-handed battle versus Mumbai. Watson's innings ended in the 20th over with CSK needing 4 runs off 2 balls. The south Indian franchise could score only 2 runs as they failed to win their fourth IPL title.
Undoubtedly, this was one of the most dramatic finals in IPL history and the dominant Mumbai Indians deservedly captured the IPL 2019 trophy.