Twenty20 is a game of glorious uncertainties
Harish Kotian looks at matches in IPL V that were won or lost because of a player's individual brilliance in the 19th over of the second innings.
Twenty20 is a game of glorious uncertainties. It does not take much for fortunes to change dramatically and turn a game on its head in a matter of a single over.
This year's Indian Premier League was witness to many a thrilling finish, with quite a few matches decided in the last few overs or the final one.
What is interesting is the number of matches that turned around in the 19th over of the innings.
Rediff.com takes a look at matches that altered course in the penultimate over of the second innings.
Albie Morkel the destroyer
The match looked out of reach as far as Chennai Super Kings was concerned, with 43 needed from two overs. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was out in the previous over and Royal Challengers Bangalore looked set for an easy victory.
The visitors got complacent and handed the ball to part-timer Virat Kohli to bowl the crucial 19th over. The gamble backfired big time.
Albie Morkel got into the act straightaway with a barrage of big hits. He started the over in streaky fashion, an inside edge going for a boundary behind the wickets. But, after that the ball kept disappearing from the middle of the bat as Morkel smashed Kohli for three sixes, a boundary and two runs for a total of 28 in the over.
The momentum was back with Chennai after that huge over and they scored the winning runs off the final ball of the match.
Image: Albie Morkel
Morne Morkel's super over wins it for Delhi
This time it was the turn of Albie's younger brother Morne to make a difference in the 19th over.
Rajasthan Royals were cruising to victory against Delhi Daredevils, with 15 needed from the last two overs.
With Ajinkya Rahane blasting his way to a quick 74 from 55 balls, none would have betted against Rajasthan at this stage.
But Morkel dented Rajasthan's hopes by conceding just three runs in his final over, the 19th. He got a couple of yorkers right on target and ended the over by dismissing Brad Hodge.
He was also lucky that a wide, down the leg side, was not given by the umpires. Basically, he offered nothing for the batsmen to score easy runs.
Umesh Yadav kept his composure in the final over despite Rahane hitting him for a six and helped his team clinch a one-run victory.
Virender Sehwag may have hit a 39-ball 63 early on, but had Morkel not restricted the scoring in the crucial 19th over, Delhi could well have finished on the losing side.
Image: Morne Morkel
Peterson and Rayudu destroy Chawla
South African all-rounder Robin Peterson came to the party on his IPL debut.
He seemed to have borrowed some shots from his namesake, England's Kevin Pietersen, as he used the switch hit to good effect.
Mumbai Indians were way behind in the contest, with 32 needed from the last two overs for victory. Kings XI Punjab entrusted experienced leg-spinner Piyush Chawla to bowl the penultimate over, but he messed it up against Peterson's dazzling strokeplay.
Peterson started the over with a reverse sweep that went for a boundary and played the switch hit off the next ball for another four. He then slog-swept the third ball for a six to put his team back in the hunt.
Rayudu then ended the over in style, smashing the last two balls for back-to-back sixes.
27 runs came from that 19th over, leaving Mumbai to get just five from the final one, which they did with one ball to spare.
Image: Robin Peterson (left) and Ambati Rayudu
Praveen Kumar swings it Punjab's way
After being put in to bat, Kings XI Punjab were restricted to 134 for nine in their 20 overs by Kolkata Knight Riders, with West Indies spinner Sunil Narine taking five for 19 in four.
With much talent and experience in their batting ranks, the Kolkata side was expected to overhaul the meager target easily. But Punjab's bowlers kept fighting throughout the innings, claiming wickets at regular intervals, to leave the home crowd stunned.
Kolkata, though, enjoyed a slight edge going into the 19th over, with 13 runs required from two and four wickets in hand.
The experienced Praveen Kumar was entrusted the task of bowling the penultimate over against Ryan ten Doeschate and Debabrata Das.
The first three balls were all singles, as both batsmen mistimed their big shots, before Kumar bowled two successive dot balls to ten Doeschate. The final delivery of the over was a yorker, the third in a row for Kumar, but the two batsmen scampered across for a quick single.
Just four runs came off that over from Kumar, which left the equation at nine from the final over.
Pacer Harmeet Singh kept his composure in last final over and helped Punjab steal a narrow two-run victory.
Image: Praveen Kumar
Bollinger checks Pune's charge
Pune Warriors India held the momentum against Chennai Super Kings going into the last two overs, needing 25 runs from 12 balls for victory.
Steven Smith, with 23 from 20 balls, and Angelo Mathews, on 24 from 18 balls, were striking the ball to all parts of the ground.
Chennai Super Kings' hopes rested on a good penultimate over from Australian Doug Bollinger to quell Pune's challenge.
And he did exactly that!
Smith was dismissed off the second ball of that over, caught at long-on. The scales tilted Chennai's way.
Pune could manage only four singles from that over and were left to score 21 from the last.
Dwayne Bravo was up to the task in the final over, giving away just seven runs, as Chennai won the match by 13 runs.
Image: Doug Bollinger