After a successful campaign at the 2007 ICC World T20, Indian cricket witnessed a new phase with the advent of Indian Premier League (IPL). The first of its kind tournament, IPL grew exponentially in the country, giving chances to a lot of new players.
The tournament started with a bang when Kiwi batsman Brendon McCullum played a blissful knock of 158* in the opening match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Till date, IPL has seen many such brilliant batting performances, fiery bowling spells and tremendous fielding efforts. Various domestic players too got a platform to showcase their talent, and as a result, cementing a place in the national side.
One such example was seen during the inaugural season only when underdogs Rajasthan Royals lifted the trophy as the maiden title holders. The Shane Warne-led side played against the favourites, MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in the ultimate game.
Flashback: 2008 IPL Final
RR came to this match after finishing at the pole position in the Points Table and ruthlessly crushing Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in the semi-final. On the other hand, CSK finished at the third spot and defeated the Punjab-based franchise in the last-four clash.
After winning the toss, Shane Warne opted to bowl first in the final at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. Batting first Chennai posted a decent total of 163/5 on the scoreboard at the end of their 20 overs. Batsmen like Suresh Raina (43), Parthiv Patel (38) and MS Dhoni (29*) made the maximum contributions.
Chasing a tricky target of 164 on the final night was never going to be easy for the Royals. They initially struggled after losing a few quick wickets early during the innings. But a match-winning half-century from the bat of Yusuf Pathan sealed the game for Rajasthan Royals. RR won the match on the final ball with three wickets in hand.
Yusuf Pathan won the ‘Man of the Match’ award while RR’s Shane Watson was awarded the ‘Player of the Series’ for his collective efforts during the tournament. Sohail Tanvir of Rajasthan Royals emerged as the highest wicket-taker of IPL 2008 and won the ‘Purple Cap’.