The game ended in a tie and had to go to the super over. Batting first, KKR made 11 in their allotted 6 balls. Following on, RR batsmen Shane Watson and Steven Smith managed 9 runs off the first 5 balls from Sunil Narine. Steven Smith had to face Narine’s last ball with KKR requiring 3 for victory. To most people, it appeared that nothing less than a boundary could produce a victory for RR, because running between the wickets for 3 runs was considered dangerous. With fielders instructed to save the crucial boundary that would give RR the victory, nearly the entire KKR side was spread far and wide. Watson and Smith spent some time on the mid-crease tete-a-tete, before Smith went back to wait for Narine. With a predetermined plan, Smith played a smart dab into the vacant extra cover and the batsmen ran an easy two. While the super over scores were tied, most people, who didn’t know the IPL ground rules; wondered as to what would happen next, even as Watson and Smith broke into celebration. In an instant, it became clear that RR had won the match on the basis of greater number of boundaries scored in the match. It was the most thrilling IPL finish this season.
In the last IPL fixture at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium, RR batted first after winning the toss. Though Karun Nair perished to an indiscreet heave in the third over, Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson carried on sensibly, putting up 41 for the second wicket in 6.2 overs. Samson hit 4 fours in the innings’ 6th over from Morne Morkel, before being bowled by Shakib-Al-Hasan in the 9th over. Rahane continued in the company of Shane Watson and the two added 64 for the third wicket in 7.3 overs. Watson was unfortunately run out for a well-compiled 33 off 24 balls in the 16th over, at which time RR had made 118/3. After Binny also got out, Steven Smith and Rahane did their best to lift the score. Rahane finally got out in 20th over for a 59-ball 72 and RR finished with 152/5. On Abu Dhabi’s slow pitch, 152 was quite competitive.
KKR began with Gautam Gambhir striking form but he lost Bisla in the 4th over and Kallis in the 9th. However, Gambhir and Manish Pandey carried the score to 85 by 13th over, before Pravin Tambe trapped Pandey LBW. Tambe had earlier removed a desperate Kallis, whose hoist was smartly held by Smith in the deep. Gambhir followed Pandey in the 14th over and at 88/4 KKR were too far behind in the chase. But Suryakumar Yadav and Shakib-Al-Hasan lifted KKR out of the doldrums by a forceful partnership of 49 in 26 balls and brought KKR back in the game. With just 16 required off the last 12 deliveries, celebrations began in the KKR camp.
For the 19th over, Watson tossed the ball to James Faulkner, who was celebrating his 24th birthday. Yadav whacked Faulkner’s first ball over long-off, only to find Smith getting underneath. Yadav made a creditable 31 off 19 balls under difficult conditions. Shakib, who had crossed over in the meanwhile, went for an aerial shot but scored 2 runs safely. He ran for a single from a thick inside edge off the third ball. Birthday boy Faulkner enhanced his celebratory spirits by getting rid of Uthappa and Vinay Kumar off his fourth and fifth deliveries. He missed the hat-trick, when the last ball sailed over the stumps as Chawala missed a mighty heave. KKR now required 12 off the last over from Kane Richardson. Shakib-Al-Hasan whacked Richardson’s first ball for 4 but on the second, a misunderstanding between the batsmen resulted in Chawala’s avoidable run-out. Richardson conceded a wide and Sunil Narine scored a single after that to bring Shakib-Al-Hasan back on strike. In 3 balls, KKR needed 5 for victory. Richardson fourth was the dot ball, which narrowly missed being called a wide. On the 5th, Shakib-Al-Hasan and Narine ran for 2 and repeated the act on the 6th ball as well. With the scores tied, the decision rested on the Super Over.
KKR rightly decided to send Suryakumar Yadav and Shakib-Al-Hasan for Super Over, while Faulkner was RR’s bowler. Yadav was run out on the first ball after running for a leg-bye and Manish Pandey, who came to replace him, scored a single. Shakib-Al-Hasan also scored a single and KKR were 3/1 after three balls. The fourth ball was struck powerfully over long on for a 6 by Pandey. Two more runs were added to the KKR innings before Shakib-Al-Hasan was run out in trying to steal two runs off the last ball. Though 12 runs were needed by RR for victory, smart planning and presence of mind by Watson and Smith ensured a thrilling victory for RR.
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