The Indian T20 League 2021 has managed to meet the expectations of fans by delivering some sensational matches this season, including one last night.
Team Kolkata secured their berth in the final for only the third time thanks to Rahul Tripathi’s composure in the last over. They will face Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Team Chennai in the finals, and we can expect another thrilling contest between the two teams.
While Team Chennai are the undeniable veterans when it comes to the finals of the Indian T20 League, Team Kolkata themselves have a 100% win rate in the finals and would be keen to win their third title.
As Team Chennai and Team Kolkata gear up to clash in the finals of the Indian T20 League, we take a look at some memorable matches played by both sides over the years.
#5: TEAM KOLKATA VS TEAM PUNJAB, FINAL – 2014
Team Kolkata’s second title in the Indian T20 League came after a two-year wait in 2014 – when Gautam Gambhir led the team to their second-ever final fixture.
They finished second in the table with nine wins in the group stages and they defeated first-placed Team Punjab in the first Qualifier to secure a direct berth in the finals.
They once again had to face George Bailey’s men in the finals, but this time on the much more batting-friendly Chepauk pitch. Batting first, Team Punjab posted 199/4 courtesy of a century from Wriddhiman Saha – the first-ever century in an Indian T20 League final.
Team Kolkata were thus set their highest target of the season. In reply, Team Kolkata showed composure and steadiness that often define the character of winners.
At no point in the game did Team Kolkata get behind on the Run Rate Required metric – fuelled by Manish Pandey’s 94 off 50 balls. Pandey’s dismissal brought Team Kolkata’s chances back into doubt, but Piyush Chawla’s six in the 19th over had sealed the match for them.
Team Kolkata finally lifted the trophy after a gap year during which they had to exit during the league stages.
#4: TEAM CHENNAI VS TEAM MUMBAI, FINAL – 2010
There is no disputing the fact that since the inception of the Indian T20 League, Team Chennai has been one of the strongest and successful teams.
While Team Mumbai have won more titles, it is Captain Cool’s squad that holds the record for more playoff qualifications despite being suspended for two seasons in the middle. Their era of domination in the Indian T20 League began in 2010 when they lifted their first trophy after defeating Team Mumbai in the finals.
Batting first, Team Chennai got off to a slow start on the difficult Wankhede pitch but a powerful knock from Suresh Raina in the middle overs propelled them to post a decent total of 168/5.
In reply, Sachin Tendulkar-led Team Mumbai faced early troubles with dynamic opener Shikhar Dhawan going out for a duck, but Sachin Tendulkar teamed up with Abhishek Nayar to steady the innings.
Once the little master got out for 48, Team Mumbai could not show any spark, giving Team Chennai a comfortable victory in the final and kickstarting the rivalry between both teams.
#3: TEAM CHENNAI VS TEAM BANGALORE, BENGALURU – 2019
One of the most entertaining fixtures in the history of the Indian T20 League took place in 2019 when Virat Kohli’s Team Bangalore hosted Team Chennai at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Batting first, Team Bangalore posted an under-par score of 161/7, courtesy of brilliant spells from Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja.
In reply, Team Chennai stumbled in the chase early on – losing four wickets in the powerplay for just 28 runs. It fell to the shoulders of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who steadied the ship along with Ambati Rayudu in the middle overs, keeping Team Chennai alive in the chase.
Team Chennai needed 26 runs off 6 balls and Dhoni had the opportunity to show why he is one of the best finishers of the game. Umesh Yadav was given the ball by Virat Kohli, but he could only watch in dismay as Dhoni showed his supreme form by scoring 4,6,6,2,6 in the first five balls – bringing the target to two runs off the last ball.
But all the effort went in vain as a brilliant bit of fielding from Parthiv Patel caused a runout. Team Chennai lost the match by one run despite the 84* knock by the captain.
#2: TEAM KOLKATA VS TEAM CHENNAI, DUBAI – 2020
Ravindra Jadeja’s role in the Indian national team has become irreplaceable in recent years, but he has shown his best performances as a finisher are reserved for the Indian T20 League.
The fixture between both finalists back in 2020 in the league stages featured one such display from Jadeja – with the match going down to the last ball.
Batting first, Team Kolkata posted a total of 172 – with Nitish Rana paving the way with 87 runs while Dinesh Karthik giving them a superb finish by scoring 21 runs off just 10 balls.
In reply, Team Chennai made a steady yet determined reply – with the openers posting a partnership of 50 runs for the first wicket. Ruturaj Gaikwad teamed up with Ambati Rayudu in the middle overs to keep Team Chennai in the hunt, but they seemed to be on the losing side once the duo had departed.
A brilliant over from Pat Cummins left them a tough target of 25 runs off the last two overs when Ravindra Jadeja stepped onto the crease. Jadeja scored 26 runs off the five balls he faced including two sixes in the last two balls of the game, giving Team Chennai a memorable victory against Team Kolkata and eliminating them from the play-offs.
#1: TEAM KOLKATA VS TEAM CHENNAI, FINAL – 2012
The last time the two finalists met in a final of the Indian T20 League happened way back in 2012 and Team Kolkata came out with flying colours after the encounter. It was Team Kolkata’s first-ever Indian T20 League final and Team Chennai were the favourites despite their relatively mixed season.
Batting first, Team Chennai’s batsmen played with determination as Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay posted 87 runs before the fall of the first wicket. Hussey was then joined by Suresh Raina, who went on to score 73 runs to take Team Chennai to 190 runs.
In reply, Team Kolkata suffered an early blow as skipper Gautam Gambhir got out cheaply for just two runs in the opening over. But South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis teamed up with Manvinder Bilsa to keep Team Kolkata in the hunt as they posted a partnership of 136 runs for the second wicket.
Team Kolkata needed nine runs off the last over, and with Shakib Al Hasan and Manoj Tiwary at the crease, the match was hanging in the balance.
DJ Bravo was given the ball by Dhoni, but he could not stop Manoj Tiwary from scoring back-to-back boundaries to deliver Team Kolkata their first-ever Indian T20 League title.