The annual sporting extravaganza, i.e the Indian Premier League has unearthed talent after talent each year. There have been various players who were discovered in the IPL and went to become big stars. Some others haven’t had the opportunity to realize their potential. But one thing is for certain: the IPL never ceases to disappoint. One quality match after another. One nail-biter after another. One new hero after another.
The 13th edition of the IPL in 2020 is currently underway at UAE. The tournament has already produced a lot of cliffhangers. None more so than the record run-chase orchestrated by Rajasthan Royals against Kings XI Punjab. Rahul Tewatia was the main talking point after the match.
The Haryana all-rounder began his innings in horrible fashion before recovering and producing a stunning innings. His knock was a perfect example of one where a player came back from a horror start in an IPL match to win the game for his side. We take a look at a few such performances including that of Tewatia where players weathered a bad start to emerge as heroes.
1. Shane Watson (CSK) v SRH, 2018 IPL Final
In the 2018 IPL final, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) faced Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). SRH had posted 179 runs on the board courtesy brisk knocks from Kane Williamson and Yusuf Pathan. CSK had their task cut out. Shane Watson, CSK’s opener struggled in the initial overs of the chase. He was on 0 runs off the first 10 balls! As Faf du Plessis, his partner, was also struggling, CSK’s score was a meagre 11 runs in 4 overs.
But once Watson cut loose, there was no looking back. Watson battled like a man possessed and reached 117 off 57 balls to lead CSK to the IPL title.
2. Lasith Malinga (MI) v CSK, 2019 IPL Final
Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) produced an IPL final for the ages in 2019. MI had scored only 149 in the first innings and against CSK it was always going to be difficult. Shane Watson was in terrific touch for CSK and he smashed Lasith Malinga around the park taking his figures to 42 runs off three overs.
With 9 runs needed off the last over, MI skipper Rohit Sharma decided to hand the ball to Malinga despite his bad figures and the Sri Lankan delivered. He bowled excellently stifling the CSK batters. Following Shane Watson’s run-out, Shardul Thakur needed to hit 2 runs off 1 ball from Malinga. Malinga bowled a trademark toe-crusher to trap Thakur LBW and clinch the IPL for MI.
3. Rahul Tewatia (RR) v KXIP, 2020 IPL
Rajasthan Royals faced Kings XI Punjab at Sharjah on Sunday. Put in to bat first, KXIP scored 223 runs thanks in large to Mayank Agarwal‘s explosive century. Chasing a record total, RR got off to a bad start as they lost Jos Buttler early on and Steve Smith later. Sanju Samson was in great touch and RR decided to promote Rahul Tewatia up the order to swing wildly and get some quick runs. However, Tewatia struggled to connect deliveries and was on 8 runs off 19 balls.
Following Samson’s departure, all hope seemed lost. But Tewatia went after the bowlers and smashed Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over to get to his half-century and lead RR to a record chase.