Top 6 Close Encounters of IPL 2023

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Gujarat Titans in one of the finest battles in the IPL history

IPL 2023 has finally got its champions in the form of Chennai Super Kings who were spectacular with the bat in the final of the esteemed tournament. The Men in Yellow won on the last ball to register one of the finest victories in the history of IPL at the Narendra Modi Stadium of Ahmedabad.

It was a remarkable season with some of the best matches taking place throughout the tournament. Let’s have a glance at the iconic games that took place this season. Here’s the list:

#6 Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

It’s never easy to chase down a target above 200 in a T20 match but the intent was clear from the Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen. After batting first, hosts Rajasthan Royals posted a mountainous 214 on the board. Skipper Sanju Samson smashed a splendid 38-ball 66 whereas Jos Buttler played a memorable innings of 95 runs that included 10 boundaries and four maximums.

On the other hand, Sunrisers also started really well with Anmolpreet Singh, Abhishek Sharma, and Rahul Tripathi contributing well with the bat. The batsmen were pacing the innings well but it was quite difficult for them to score 60 runs in the last four overs. Right-hander Glenn Philips came in as a saviour for his side and scored a quickfire 7-ball 25 to take his team back to the line. 

The twist took place in the last over when Sandeep Sharma almost saved Rajasthan from a debacle when Hyderabad needed 7 runs off 3 balls but he bowled a perfect yorker on the last ball which turned out to be a no-ball and Sandeep had to bowl again but this time Samad was ready to smash a maximum to take his side to a phenomenal victory.

#5 Chennai Super Kings vs Punjab Kings

It was another game that went down to the wire with Punjab Kings winning the battle in the end against the eventual champions. Chennai batted first and scored a mammoth 200, thanks to Devon Conway, who played a brilliant innings of 92 runs in just 52 balls. It was one of the matches where skipper MS Dhoni turned back the clock with his quickfire 4-ball 13 including two maximums.

Punjab Kings defeated Chennai Super Kings in a thriller of the IPL 2023

Talking about Punjab Kings’ batting, it was a collective effort from the side where everyone contributed a bit with the bat as none of the batters scored a half-century. Prabhsimran Singh and Shikhar Dhawan gave Punjab a decent start by scoring 50 runs in just 4.2 overs. After that, Lian Livingstone, Sam Curran, and Jitesh Sharma played their part and took the game deep.

In the end, three were required from the last delivery and Sikandar Raza was on strike. He held his nerves and ran three off the last balls to finish the game in favor of Punjab Kings.

#4 Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings

The 2023 IPL season was a bit strange for many reasons but CSK’s Chepauk fortress being breached again and again was at the top of the list. Batting first, Rajasthan had a decent start after the early wicket of Yashasvi Jaiswal as Jos Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal added 77 runs for the second wicket.

With Sanju Samson also getting out early, Ravichandran Ashwin and Shimron Hetmyer helped Rajasthan post a total of 175 on the board. While this season, we saw numerous 200+ totals, 175 on a Chepauk pitch is respectable by any standard.

On the other hand, Rajasthan’s bowling was top-notch with Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal getting two wickets each. The moment of the game came in the last over when MS Dhoni was in front of Sandeep Sharma and he had to hit 21 runs off the last six balls. 

With two sixes early on, it looked like Dhoni would steal the show, however, some excellent death bowling from Sandeep forced a crucial win for the Rajasthan Royals.

#3 Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Lucknow Super Giants

One of the finest-ever finishes in IPL 2023 came in the 15th match of the season when the Super Giants chased down 213 in an epic clash. After batting first, Faf du Plessis & Co. were outstanding with the willow with Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and the skipper scoring half-centuries. This helped them post a mammoth total of 212 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

On the other hand, LSG did not have a good start but it was Nicholas Pooran who changed the scenario of the encounter with his splendid innings of 62 runs off 19 balls. The southpaw got tremendous support from Marcus Stonis who scored 62 runs off just 30 balls. On the bowling front, only Mohammad Siraj impressed with the figures of 3 for 22 whereas others were expensive in their spells. 

With 5 runs required off the last over, Harshal Patel utilised his death bowling skills and took the match to the last ball with Avesh Khan on strike. Patel bowled a perfect slower delivery to beat the batter but Dinesh Karthik fumbled the ball behind the stumps to allow the single to be taken and LSG won the contest by 1 wicket. 

Pooran was awarded the Player of the Match trophy for his sensational match-winning innings.

#2 Gujarat Titans vs Chennai Super Kings

Moments from the ground after CSK won an epic thriller against the Titans

Moments from the ground after CSK won an epic thriller against the Titans

A packed house on the reserve day after a rain-affected Sunday brought a remarkable show at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Scoring above 200 is a winning total in big matches and the hosts did exactly the same. The Titans scored 214 after batting first with Sai Sudharsan playing a remarkable innings of 96 runs off 47 deliveries with the help of six sixes and eight boundaries.

Opener Wriddhiman Saha also scored a half-century and contributed well in the total. Player of the tournament Shubman Gill couldn’t score big this time but played well for his 39 off just 20 balls. 

On the bowling front, there was no spell to remember from CSK as everyone went for runs. Only Matheesha Pathirana picked up two wickets but he also went for 44 runs in his four overs.

It was not an easy total to chase down but god had some other plans for the Men in Yellow. It rained again in between the innings and the target was reduced to 171 in 15 overs. Though the total was still huge, bowling at this time is always a challenge because of the wet outfield. 

Both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway gave a good start to their side as they scored 74 for the first wicket in less than 7 overs. The game was still in favor of Gujarat as a lot of work to be done after that.

Ajinkya Rahane’s innings of 27 off just 13 balls was one of the highlights of the innings as it eased some pressure from the unit. Playing his last match, Ambati Rayudu also scored an 8-ball 19 for his side to make it even closer. 

With 13 runs needed off the last over, Ravindra Jadeja and Shivam Dube had to give their best in front of specialist Mohit Sharma and they were successful in doing the same. Mohit Sharma bowled perfectly apart from two of the deliveries that were pitched wrong and Jadeja smacked a six and a four to take CSK home.

#1 Gujarat Titans vs Kolkata Knight Riders

You don’t see five sixes hitting in the last over every time to script history but Rinku Singh became the man to be talked about in this tournament. He did the magic against one of the best teams in the tournament in a pressure situation.

Gujarat batted first and scored a remarkable 204 in the first innings, thanks to Vijay Shankar and his sensational knock of 63 off just 24 balls. It was not an easy target to chase down but KKR batters held their nerves in this nail-biting encounter. Firstly, Venkatesh Iyer smashed a splendid 83 runs off just 40 balls followed by Nitish Rana’s innings of 45 runs including three sixes.

Till the last over, it was Gujarat Titans’ match but the showstopper had some other plans. Rinku was on the other end in front of Yash Dayal when KKR needed 29 runs in the last over. It was almost impossible to score that much in a big ground keeping in mind Rinku was not connecting the ball well but the southpaw changed the fortunes of the game by smashing five sixes in the last over to help KKR win a glorious match.