IPL 2021 was officially suspended by the BCCI on Tuesday, May 4, when players from several teams tested positive for COVID-19. KKR’s Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy tested positive for the virus on Monday due to which their fixture against RCB was rescheduled. CSK’s Lakshmipathy Balaji and the bus cleaner tested positive for the virus on two consecutive days. Wriddhiman Saha (SRH) and Amit Mishra (DC) were the latest two players to contract the virus. After looking at the increasing number of cases, BCCI took the extreme step of postponing the tournament for the time being. IPL 2021 commenced on April 9, things went smoothly till the two KKR players tested positive on May 3. The shortest format of the game guarantees last ball thrillers, nail-biting finishes, and mammoth run chases, keeping the fans and followers on the edge of their seats. IPL 2021 didn’t disappoint the cricket fraternity and showcased several close encounters, let’s have a look at the top three nail-biting matches of IPL 2021 before it was suspended:
1. Mumbai Indians Vs Chennai Super Kings
Mumbai Indians won the toss and chose to field against Chennai Super Kings at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. The decision of taking the bowl first didn’t go in MI’s favour as Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali created havoc in the powerplay and laid the foundation for the big finish. Ambati Rayudu accelerated in the middle overs and finished the innings handsomely for CSK. The Chennai based franchise set up a target of 219 for MI. The five-time IPL winners had a good opening partnership of 71. MI’s top order collapsed in quick succession and Kieron Pollard walked into bat at number five. After taking his time at the crease, he took the matter in his hand and started attacking the CSK bowlers. He smashed three sixes to Ravindra Jadeja which set the momentum for the remainder of the chase. With 16 needed off the last six balls, Pollard concluded the chase on the last ball of the game by stealing a quick double.
2. Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings
Rajasthan Royals won the toss at the Wankhede Stadium and chose to bowl against Punjab Kings. KL Rahul gave a prolific start to his team along with Chris Gayle. Gayle and Rahul had a destructive partnership of 67 in the middle overs which put RR on the back seat. Deepak Hooda accelerated the innings in the middle over and managed to take his team over the 200-run mark. Rahul and Hooda’s partnership finished the innings on a higher note for PBKS as they scored 221. The RR openers didn’t contribute, the skipper Sanju Samson walked into bat at number three, he paced and progressed his innings steadily which kept his team alive in the run chase. With not much support from the other end, Samson continued the attack and took the game till the last over. With 11 needed off the final three deliveries, he smashed a six and denied a single on the following delivery. They needed five from the last ball, he went for the maximum in the deep extra cover region but ended up being caught a few inches inside the boundary rope.
3. Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals won the toss and chose to bat against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. DC got a good start with the bat on a tricky Chennai pitch as Prithvi Shaw played his shots and kept the scoreboard moving at a healthy rate. After his run out, Rishabh Pant and Steve Smith handled the innings in the middle overs. At the end of the first innings, Delhi managed to set up a target of 160. SRH lost David Warner early in the run chase, Jonny Bairstow gave a blistering start to his team. Bairstow’s extended cameo put Hyderabad in a comfortable situation, Kane Williamson handled the innings after the openers’ departure. With every passing over, it started becoming difficult for the batsmen to adjust to the pitch. Hyderabad started losing wicket at regular intervals in the middle overs. On the other end, Williamson kept scoring runs and took his team close to the total. A small cameo by Jagadeesha Suchith shifted the momentum towards Hyderabad, he managed to smash boundaries at the crucial situation. With two needed off the final delivery, Suchith stole a quick single and the game progressed into the super over. Hyderabad gave a target of eight to Delhi in the super over. Shikhar Dhawan and Pant walked out to bat chased the target on the final ball.