From Underdogs to Champions: Three memorable wins in the world’s biggest T20 league

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is renowned for its unpredictability and thrilling cricketing action. Over the years, many matches have witnessed underdog teams rise to the occasion and conquer formidable opponents, leaving fans in awe and celebration. These have become more common in recent years, primarily due to the skill levels of batsmen rising, but here are three major upsets from the opening decade of the tournament when T20 was still in its nascent stage as a format.

These upsets have become defining moments in IPL history, showcasing the essence of the game and the spirit of competition. As such, even cricket betting tips recommending some of the top cricket betting sites remind bettors to be cautious when punting against the underdogs. Three of the biggest surprises in IPL history are discussed here, all of which have left permanent marks on the league.

1. Rajasthan Royals stun Chennai Super Kings in the Inaugural IPL Final

The underdog Rajasthan Royals proved they could hang with the big dogs during the first season of the IPL in 2008. The Royals, captained by the shrewd Shane Warne, met the formidable Chennai Super Kings, captained by MS Dhoni, in the championship game. The Royals were underdogs against the all-star CSK team; thus, the deck was set against them. Inspired by a breathtaking 45-ball 73 by the unheralded Yusuf Pathan and valuable contributions from other players, Rajasthan Royals pulled off a sensational chase. The team won the match by three wickets with just one ball to spare.

CSK RR

2. Kolkata Knight Riders edge KXIP in 2014 final

In the 2014 IPL final, the Kings XI Punjab, who had comfortably progressed through the group stages as leaders, squared off against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), headed by Gautam Gambhir. KXIP were the best team in the league stages, especially in the first half of the tournament that was held in the United Arab Emirates. A stunning century from Wriddhiman Saha propelled KXIP to 199 after batting first in the final- a total that you’d say would be a winning one 9 times out of 10 in a final, but KKR chased it down in the last over on the back of an equally stunning knock from Manish Pandey.

It remains the highest chased total in an IPL final as of date.

KXIP

3. Kings XI Punjab’s fairy-tale comeback against Royal Challengers Bangalore

In the league stage of the 2013 Indian Premier League season, the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) played against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and it was an exciting match. KXIP looked down and out at 64/4 at the half way stage chasing a whopping 191, but David Miller’s stunning 38 ball century saw them overhaul the target with two overs to spare.

In conclusion, the games mentioned above exemplify how unpredictable cricket can be and how underdogs can come out on top when they put their minds to it.

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