The desert cricket carnival came to a close on Tuesday with defending champions Mumbai Indians thrashing Delhi Capitals in the final of the 2020 edition in Dubai, UAE. (More Cricket News)
Unlike the 2019 finale, which Rohit Sharma & Co won by a single run against their eternal rivals Chennai Super Kings, the 2020 title clash witnessed a lopsided contest, with the eventual champions toying with the first-time finalist, Delhi Capitals.
Despite the anti-climactic end to the tournament, the 13th edition of the world's premier T20 league produced some stunning cricketing moments. Here's a look at ten unforgettable moments from the tournament:
1. KL Rahul Lights Up Dubai
Only the sixth match of the season, and Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul hit a majestic century to deflate Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai. During his 69-ball knock, Rahul hit 14 fours and seven sixes for 132 not out as KXIP raced to 206/3. The team's second-highest score was 26, by Mayank Agarwal. RCB were dismissed for just 109 runs.
2. Rahul Tewatia Hits Five Sixes In An Over
Self-believe, they call it. But this was much more than confidence speaking. After eating up six dots in the first eight balls, and managing just 17 off 23, Tewatia exploded against Kings XI Punjab to hit five sixes in an over. Chasing 223, Rajasthan Royals needed 51 in the last three overs, then Tewati happened.
3. MS Dhoni's Hits Monster Six
Nothing worked for MS Dhoni and his Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020. Before the start of the season, Suresh Raina ditched the team, then Harbhajan Singh too opted to stay home. It was followed by COVID-19 infections. But the skipper reminded fans of his hitting prowess. The veteran hit T Natarajan for a 102-metre six. It's not the biggest six of the six, but good enough to make fans croon.
4. Double Super Over
It's never happened and the chances of it happening again are next to nil. Three Super Overs on a Super Sunday as Kolkata Knight Riders beat SunRisers Hyderabad, then Kings XI Punjab survived two shoot-outs against Mumbai Indians. Both the teams scored 176/6 in the regulation play, then Mumbai failed to score six runs in the first Super Over, then set a 12-run target for Punjab.
5. Ben Stokes Unbeaten 107
After spending time with his ailing father, Ben Stokes joined Rajasthan Royals late. Then become the first player to hit IPL centuries in two successful chases. His 107 helped Rajasthan beat Mumbai Indians with relative ease. Opening the batting, the England all-rounder reached his second IPL ton in 59 balls, and remained unbeaten as Rajasthan reached the target (196) with 10 balls to spare. Stokes, for the record, had scored an unbeaten 103 to help Rising Pune Supergiants beat Gujarat Lions in a 2017 league match.
6. Shikhar Dhawan's Back-to-back Tons
Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan became the first player in the history of IPL to score two consecutive centuries. The left-handed batsman first hit an unbeaten 101 against Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah on October 17, then followed it up with another unbeaten 106 against Kings XI Punjab in Dubai on October 20.
7. Riyan Parag's Bihu Dance
Riyan Parag had a quiet IPL 2020, but the youngster from Assam made his state famous by performing an impromptu Bihu celebration after helping Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in a Dubai thriller. Chasing a 159-run target, Rajasthan were 78/5 in the 12th over, but Parag and Rahul Tewatia rescued the team with an unbeaten 85-run stand. After hitting Khaleel Ahmed for a six off the penultimate ball, the 19-year-old celebrated the win with a Bihu dance celebration to the joy of his team-mates.
8. Nicholas Pooran's THAT Save
This fielding effort will remain one of the greatest ever in cricket. During the Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab match of IPL 2020, the West Indian denied Sanju Samson a certain six by pulling the ball back inside the rope in the eighth over.
9. Catches Galore, feat. DK, Jofra Archer, Kieron Pollard
Then, there were some stunning catches taken during the tournament. Dinesh Karthik, who relinquished Kolkata Knight Riders' captaincy amid diminishing returns, produced an unbelievable catch to dismiss Ben Stokes. Jofra Archer and Kieron Pollard also took crazy catches, to dismiss Ishan Kishan and Jos Buttler.
10. Varun Chakravarthy Fifer
Strangely, not a single bowler managed to take a hat-trick but Varun Chakravarthy claimed a fifer for the season's best bowling figures.
The Kolkata Knight Riders spinner dismissed Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel in their 59-run win against Delhi Capitals.