The inception of IPL saw a new order emerge in world cricket. The very first match of the league took the world by storm. Brendon McCullum went berserk scoring 158 off 73 balls and cricket was never the same. The match winners which IPL has witnessed are incomparable to any other IPL History in the world. These select few players have set the tournament on fire every single season.
StumpsandBails brings to you the 6 biggest match-winners of all time in IPL:
#6 Chris Gayle
He is arguably the greatest T20I batsman of all time. Chris Gayle is one of the finest openers in this format of the game. He single-handedly made RCB title contenders in 2011 and 2012. He scored 600+ and 700+ runs respectively in those two seasons. Gayle’s ability to make light work of any bowling attack makes him a match-winner. His score of 175* of 66 balls remains the highest IPL score to date.
#5 Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine is only one of the 3 players to have won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award twice (2012 and 2018). Narine was acquired by KKR in 2012. He was the single biggest factor in KKR winning 2 titles in 3 seasons (2012 and 2014). Narine was the MVP in 2012. He was more than a handful with the bat too.
Narine has picked 127 wickets in 120 games at an average of 21.93. While his economy rate is a staggering 6.77. Narine arguably started the trend of spinners bowling at the death and he was difficult to get away in those overs too.
#4 David Warner
David Warner has been the most consistent batsman in the IPL since 2014. He has scored more than 500 runs in every season since then (except in 2018 where he was prohibited from playing). Being an overseas player hasn’t stopped Warner from being one of the leading run-getter. He is the 3rd highest run-scorer in IPL history.
Warner has scored 5254 runs at an average of 42.71 and a strike rate of 141.54. He was the orange cap winner in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Warner played an instrumental role in SRH’s title-winning campaign in 2016 where he had scored 848 runs.
#3 Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina was the highest run-getter in IPL until a couple of seasons. He was even known as Mr. IPL. Raina is the only batsman to have scored more than 374 runs in every season of the IPL he has played.
Raina has won 14 MOM’s and 3 of which came during the knockouts. He played a stellar role in CSK’s maiden IPL win as he won the MOM award in the 2010 final. Raina averages a brilliant 33 having scored 5368 runs striking at an outstanding 137. To add to his credentials, Raina has won 3 IPL titles (2010, 2011, and 2018)
#2 Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in the IPL. He has taken 170 wickets in 122 games at a strike rate of 16.62. Malinga’s economy rate of 7.14 is outstanding given the fact that he usually bowls during the tough death overs. Malinga’s last ball in the IPL was the championship-winning delivery which he bowled to dismiss Shardul Thakur in the IPL 2019 final. He was a big factor in Mumbai Indians winning 4 IPL titles. He certainly is an IPL G.O.A.T.
#1 AB de Villiers
It is ironic to note that one of the biggest match-winners in the IPL doesn’t have an IPL title to his name. AB de Villiers was a force to reckon with even during his stint with the Delhi Daredevils team (2008-10). But ABD came into his own with RCB (2011-present). His partnerships with Virat Kohli have been legendary.
He has many won games for RCB single-handedly. ABD has scored 4849 runs at an average of 40.4. He has made all those runs at a strike rate of 151.91. ABD has won the most number of MOM’s (23) in the history of IPL. If this isn’t reason enough to call him a match-winner, we aren’t sure what is!