After nine successful years of Indian Premier League (IPL), the T20 tournament is no less than a festival in India. With IPL 2017 scheduled to begin from April 5th, cricketers, franchises and, of course, the cricket fans have been gearing up for the entertainment coming up in the next one and a half months.
In the last nine years, the IPL has witnessed numerous changes; several new faces have joined the IPL family, while many left too – Pune Warriors, Kochi Tuskers, and Deccan Chargers are no longer a part of the league, while new entrants Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions have made a special place in the IPL. Former IPL champions, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have been suspended for two years due to the IPL 2013 betting scandal.
Regardless of the changes that have been happening with every passing season, the enthusiasm for the game of cricket has been retained every year.
IPL being played in the shortest format focuses on the hard hitters. The most loved games are either when the total goes beyond 200 or a match when an excellent bowling restricts a team under 100.
Let’s recall the top five lowest team totals in IPL history:
#5 Chennai Super Kings (79) vs Mumbai Indians
In Mumbai Indians’ home game against Chennai Super Kings in 2013, Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bat first. MS Dhoni, as expected, threw the ball to spinner Ravindra Jadeja, and medium pacer Mohit Sharma was the bowler from the other end.
The hosts were off to a great start – Dwayne Smith and Tendulkar piled up 40 runs for the opening wicket before the latter was trapped leg before wicket by Jadeja.
The next breakthrough was made by Dwayne Bravo when he caught and bowled his countryman, Smith, in the eighth over. After Mumbai’s top-order was dismissed early in the innings, Captain Rohit stepped up and remained unbeaten on 39 off 30 balls. He helped his team set CSK a target of 140 in 20 overs.
The likes of Mitchell Johnson and Pragyan Ojha led Mumbai’s bowling attack. The two picked three wickets apiece as the visitors were bowled out for their lowest IPL total, 79 runs in 15.2 overs. Chennai’s key batsmen like Raina, Vijay, Dhoni, Mike Hussey and Bravo were dismissed cheaply leading to Chennai’s collapse.
#4 Kochi Tuskers Kerala (74) vs Deccan Chargers
The 32nd group match of the fourth edition of IPL was between Kochi Tuskers and Deccan Chargers (DC) – two sides that are no longer a part of the league. Kumar Sangakkara’s knock of 65 off 47 ensured DC posted a defendable total of 129 in 20 overs.
Cameron White chipped in with 31 runs, but no other batsmen apart from Sangakkara and White scored in double digits.
In reply, Kochi Tuskers had a poor start. Out of the first six batsmen, five were dismissed for a duck and only the lower-order managed to put some runs on the board. The likes of Jayawardene, Ravindra Jadeja, Thisara Perera and Vinay Kumar scored 4, 23, 22 and 18, and were the only run scorers for Kochi in that particular game.
The fast bowler duo of Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma ran through the Kochi's line-up. They picked a total of eight wickets between them.
The first over bowled by eventual Player of the Match, Ishant Sharma, was the stand out in the match which saw Jayawardene, Parthiv Patel and Raiphi Gomez’s dismissed in a span of four balls.
#3 Royal Challengers Bangalore (70) vs Rajasthan Royals
In 2014, due to the general elections, the first leg of the IPL was held in the UAE at three different stadiums in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah and the tournament returned to India on May 2.
In a match during the first leg of the IPL in the UAE, RCB faced a drubbing and were bowled out for under 100. It was the 14th league match of IPL 2014 and was played at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Stadium. The opponents were the side that held the record for the lowest team total in the IPL – Rajasthan Royals.
Shane Watson won the toss and put RCB to bat first. Stuart Binny, who bowled the first over for RR, gave his side a spectacular start and drew first blood in the fourth delivery when Yogesh Takawale gave a simple catch to Sanju Samson behind the wickets. That was followed by a superb run out by Ajinkya Rahane and Samson, and RCB’s other opener, Parthiv Patel had to walk back having scored just one run.
However, it was Pravin Tambe who was the pick of the bowlers. He picked four wickets that included the crucial wicket of RCB captain, Virat Kohli. RCB were bowled out for 70 in 15 overs. In reply, even though RCB fast bowler Mitchell Starc struck early, RR chased the target with seven overs to spare.
#2 Kolkata Knight Riders (67) vs Mumbai Indians
Two-time IPL champions KKR had a slow start in the IPL. In the first three years, they failed to progress to the knockout stage. It was the 38th league match of the inaugural edition of the IPL where KKR were bundled out for 67 runs. The match was an away game and was played against Mumbai Indians (MI) at Wankhede Stadium.
The match earned additional interest because both the teams were led by the two Indian legends – Sachin Tendulkar (MI) and Sourav Ganguly (KKR). The hosts won the toss and Tendulkar elected to bowl first.
South African veteran, Shaun Pollock, ran through KKR's top-order and sent their best batsmen back to the dugout early in the innings. He dismissed Salman Butt, David Hussey and Mohammad Hafeez cheaply for 13, 2 and 5 runs. KKR were 21 for 3 when Hussey got out and eventually the entire team was gone in the next 46 runs.
While Shoaib Akhtar returned the favour by dismissing local hero, Tendulkar for a duck in front of the Wankhede crowd, MI managed to chase down the target of 68 in just 5.3 overs.
#1 Rajasthan Royals (58) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Due to the general elections in 2009, the IPL tournament was played in South Africa. The second league match of the IPL's 2009 season was between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Newlands.
Pietersen, RCB’s captain, won the toss and RCB batted first. RR had a flying start in the game when their bowler, Dimitri Mascarenhas, removed RCB’s top-order in no time. RCB openers, Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder were dismissed for three runs and a duck respectively, while Ross Taylor was also sent back without scoring a run.
The middle-order of Pietersen and Rahul Dravid stitched together a useful partnership and the duo added 35 runs for the fourth wicket. Following their dismissal, RCB faced another batting collapse before being bowled out for a mere 133 runs.
However, the best bowling show was on show in the second innings when the ball came to the hands of Indian spin legend, Anil Kumble. Praveen Kumar opened the bowling for RCB and he struck on the fifth delivery of the first over. He removed RR’s Swapnil Asnodkar before he dismissed Graeme Smith in his next over.
Following that, the likes of Ryder and Kumble derailed the rest of the RR line-up for a humiliating total of 58. Kumble became the third Indian to take a five-wicket haul in the IPL.