IPL is generally a tournament full of star players, but sometimes it’s the lesser known players who come to the fore and win the match for their respective teams single-handedly, leaving everyone shell-shocked.
And that’s the beauty of the IPL. It doesn’t just take the competitiveness to another level, it also provides the unknown faces a platform to showcase their potential to the entire world.
Here are some of the unexpected names who went on to become the man of the match in the IPL –
#1 Paul Valthaty against Chennai Super Kings
In one of the games of IPL 2011, CSK posted a total of 188 on the board against Kings XI Punjab and it was expected to be a tricky total to chase, but Paul Valthaty walked out to open the batting for Punjab and just made a mockery of the score.
Not too many people were aware of Valthaty’s stroke-making abilities at that time, but the way he took the CSK bowlers on, it was a pleasant surprise for many of the Indian fans. And, Valthaty played the cricketing shots, he didn’t just try to whack the ball across the line. The right-handed opener hit 19 fours and 2 sixes in his innings of 120.
#2 Manish Pandey against Deccan Chargers
Manish Pandey was a teenager back in 2009 and even those people, who closely follow Indian domestic cricket, hadn’t heard his name a lot. But, the then RCB captain Anil Kumble made an out of the box move and sent Manish to open the batting against Deccan Chargers who were one of the most consistent teams in that season.
Manish struck the ball ever so cleanly right from ball one and went on to score a flawless hundred to get RCB to a fighting total of 170, which proved to be sufficient at the end. Manish remained unbeaten at the score of 114 off 73 balls with 10 fours and 4 sixes.
#3 Manvinder Bisla against Chennai Super Kings
Kolkata Knight Riders were chasing 191 in the final of IPL 2012 against CSK and their star players were expected to step up to the plate in that mammoth chase, but it was actually Manvinder Bisla who rose to the occasion for KKR and played one of the best innings ever in an IPL final.
Although Bisla couldn’t score a hundred, he maintained the tempo of the KKR innings beautifully and never let the CSK skipper MS Dhoni get any sort of control over the proceedings. Bisla scored 89 runs off just 48 balls with 8 fours and 5 sixes and KKR eventually beat CSK to win their first IPL title ever.
#4against Royal Challengers Bangalore
It was game no. 40 of IPL 2010 between Deccan Chargers and RCB and RCB scored 184 batting first. They had an upper hand going into the second innings of the game, but as it turned out, Deccan Chargers pulled off a near perfect chase with a wonderful anchoring knock played by Tirumalsetti Suman at no. 3.
Suman, who didn’t play in the IPL for a long time after that and never played for India either, scored 78 runs off 57 balls with 6 boundaries and 3 sixes as Deccan Chargers hunted down the target in 19.2 overs at the loss of just 3 wickets.