Some players keep their best for the knockouts matches. In IPL, there have been many incidents when players have reserved their best for play-offs as it is when performance matters the most. Cricwizz takes a look at few players who are known for their performances in the IPL play-offs.
1) Manvinder Bisla's 89 vsCSK in IPL 2012 final
Bisla was not supposed to play the IPL 2012 final for KKR. But an injury to KKR’s main pacer L Balaji saw keeper Brendon McCullum being replaced with Brett Lee to meet the four foreign players’ rule in the XI. And as a result, Bisla was asked to keep and open the batting with captain Gautam Gambhir.
Bisla then rose to the challenge and played the innings of his life as he cracked 89 to steer KKR to the target of 191 and post their first IPL title. However, soon after, Bisla faded away, and could not repeat his final heroics.
2) Manish Pandey's 94 against Punjab Kings in IPL 2014 final
In the 2014 IPL final against Punjab Kings, Manish Pandey of KKR played the best T20 innings of his life when he cracked a score of 94 to help his team chase down 200 for a win. He unleashed his full range of strokes to help KKR register their second IPL title. Although Pandey has played some useful scores later, none could match his 2014 IPL final performance.
3) Anil Kumble's 4/16 in IPL 2009 final
Taking over the captaincy of RCB mid-way in the 2009 season, Kumble came up with 4/16 in the final against Deccan Chargers. His victims included the dangerous Adam Gilchrist, Rohit Sharma, and Andrew Symonds. But RCB could not chase down a target of 144 and fell short by 6 runs. However, Kumble was awarded the man of the match award for his 4/16.
4) Manan Vohra's 67 & W Saha's 115* against KKR in 2014 IPL final
In the 2014 IPL final against KKR, the duo of Manan Vohra and W Saha of Punjab Kings cracked an amazing partnership of 129 runs in 12 overs to help Punjab score a total of 199/4. All it came with big-hitters such as Glenn Maxwell, and David Miller were waiting in the dressing room for their chance in the middle. Saha made 115 not out of 55 balls with 10 fours and 8 sixes while Vohra cracked 67. Both are remembered for these brilliant knocks in the play-offs although their team did not raise the trophy.
5) Ben Cutting's 39* and 2/35 against RCB in 2016 final
Playing for SRH, Cutting produced the defining performance of his career when he made a match-winning contribution of 39* of 15 balls against RCB in the 2016 IPL final. His knock was crucial to SRH posting a match-winning total of 208/7. He then dismissed Chris Gayle and KL Rahul to take 2/35 in RCB innings. However, his performance has been easily forgotten.
Cover Credits: IPLT20