A batsman scoring six to win off the last ball in an IPL match is what T20 cricket is all about! The condensed version of the game is designed to bring about big hitting and fast paced action but equally the most entertaining aspect of T20 cricket is that it regularly brings about close finishes.
Here we consider games in the IPL that have gone right down to the final delivery of the match and that have seen the batsman involved etch themselves forever in the history books and the minds of the supporters lucky enough to be at ground by hitting a six to win off the last ball of the game.
Six to win off the last ball in the IPL
To date we have had 11 matches in the IPL that have been won by a batsman hitting the final ball of the match for six, here they in chronological order with a little bit of background to the games themselves.
Rohit Sharma, Deccan Chargers v KKR, 2009
While this may the first time that Rohit or indeed any batsman hit a six of the last ball to win an IPL match it certainly wasn’t his last (spoiler alert). Rohit was in fine form during this match scoring 32 from just 13 balls to see the Chargers home in a really tense finish against KKR. Needing 21 runs off the final 6 deliveries, “the Hitman” kept his cool against Mashrafe Mortaza. The 3rd ball of the over was hit for the 9th longest six in the history of the IPL before Rohit finished things off by pulling the final ball for six over fine leg and in doing so becoming the first batsman to win an IPL match with a maximum off the last delivery.
Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians v Pune Warriors, 2011
They don’t call him the “Hitman” for nothing! And for the first 3 and a bit seasons of the IPL Rohit was the only bastman to have hit a six off the final ball to win an IPL match. Mumbai should have cruised to victory in this one chasing a meagre total of 118 from Pune Warriors but they decided to take it down to the wire and leave Rohit the not unfamiliar task of hitting a six of the last ball to seal victory.
Ambati Rayudu, Mumbai Indians v KKR, 2011
21 to win off the last over, danger men Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma back in the shed surely this will be a KKR victory? Of course in pressure situations anything is possible and unfortunately for KKR’s Balaji he served up a rank full toss last ball of this match which Ambati Rayudu smashed for six to claim the win. Prior to that James Franklin had hit 4 x fours in a row and while it would be fair to say that he didn’t quite middle most of them it was a match changing knock that gave Rayudu the opportunity to win this IPL fixture with a six off the last delivery.
Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians v Deccan Chargers, 2012
Rohit Sharma probably deserves his own list of IPL matches won off the last ball with a six so often has he managed the feat. Chasing Deccan’s modest total of 138, Mumbai got off to a poor start losing both openers within the first 4 overs. Rohit though steadied the ship and was going along at about a run a ball until the end of the 17th over by which time MI needed 37 to win from 18 balls. They still needed 11 runs from the final 3 balls of the match before Rohit hit a Dan Christian full toss for six to win off the last ball.
Saurabh Tiwary, RCB v Pune Warriors, 2012
Three days after Rohit’s heroics for Mumbai, we had this classic finish from RCB with Saurabh Tiwary hitting a six off the last ball to win it for the home team in one of the best IPL matches of all time. While Tiwary got the winning 6, the roles that Chris Gayle and AB deVilliers played also shouldn’t be underestimated in this fixture. In fact, it looked like AB might finish this one himself as he hit Nehra for 4, 6 and 6 in the final over before giving up the strike and leaving to Tiwary to hammer a six over long-on off the last ball for the win. The IPL gods always enjoy a last ball six to win and almost immediately it began pouring down leaving jubilant players and spectators to celebrate a famous victory in the rain.
Dwayne Bravo, CSK v KKR,2012
IPL 2012 was a vintage year for batsman winning games with a last ball six. However, at the half-way point of this match you’d have gotten pretty long odds on it even going down to the final ball let alone that ball being hit for six to win. CSK were cruising it at 96 without loss after 10 but thereafter lost both openers in the space of 3 balls as the runs dried up. Needing 9 off the final over they were still the favourites until MS Dhoni was out leaving the visitors needing 8 from 4 balls. That equation was taken down to 5 from 2 with DJ Dravo on strike and while he missed with his first attempt to hit the ball into the stands he nailed the last ball of the match for six to give CSK the win.
MS Dhoni, Rising Pune v KXIP, 2016
Having been the nearly man a couple of times on this list of six hitters to win an IPL match, MS Dhoni finally managed the feat for Rising Pune back in 2016 but boy was it worth waiting for! Needing 22 off the last 5 balls Dhoni went 6, dot, 4, 6 and 6 to seal an absolutely incredible victory. I really don’t think a history of IPL matches won with a six would be complete without one of the greatest finishers the world has seen. Oh and let’s not forget that somewhere amongst that last over carnage a dog also ran onto the pitch! It’s all action in the IPL!
Mitch Santner, CSK v Rajasthan Royals, 2019
You know when Ben Stokes is playing in a game of cricket that he is more than likely going to be involved at the business end of proceedings. 3 years earlier, Stokes had been hit for 4 consecutive sixes at the finish the World T20 final and here he suffered a similar fate at the hands of the unassuming Mitch Santner who hit the final ball of this epic IPL match for six to seal victory.
In a rollercoaster last over which saw CSK needing 18 runs to win, it started with Ravi Jadeja reducing the equation to 12 from 5 with a six off the first ball. Stokes though would hit back by clean bowling CSK captain and legendary finisher MS Dhoni. Dhoni trudged back to the pavillion but seconds later was back out on the pitch arguing with the umpires over a no-ball call.
While ‘Captain Cool’ certainly lost his cool, Santner managed to compose himself and hit the required 8 from the final 3 balls including a six to win the match from the final ball. The full highlights of this eventful match are definitely worth a watch!
Nicholas Pooran, KXIP v RCB, 2020
With Chris Gayle and KL Rahul both at the crease and set, this game looked to be heading towards a fairly routine victory for KXIP who needed just 2 to win from the final over. However, a mere single off the first 4 balls and then the runout of Gayle to the penulimate delivery of the match brought a new batsman in the form of Nicholas Pooran to the middle and increased the pressure 10-fold. Not one to hold back, Pooran hit what was his first ball and ultimately the last ball of the match for six to seal this win in IPL 2020.
Ravindra Jadeja, CSK v KKR, 2020
Why hit just the last ball of an IPL match for six when you can hit the last 2 balls of an IPL match for six to win it. That’s precisely what Ravi Jadeja achieved in this game and wasn’t it a shame that due to the COVID-19 pandemic that no fans were able to attend the match to see this thrilling finish. Needing 10 off the final over, CSK managed just 3 runs from the first 4 balls before Jadeja decided that enough was enough, finishing the game with 2 huge sixes and celebrating in typically flamboyant style.