IPL 2019: 5 best knocks in losing causes this season
There have been several spectacular batting displays already in IPL 2019, but not all of them have ensured a win for their team. Cricket is a team game, and individual brilliance doesn't always guarantee success; just look at Kolkata Knight Riders, who are languishing in the bottom half of the IPL points table despite Andre Russell being far and away the best player of the tournament so far.
On that note, here's a look at the five best knocks this season that have come in a losing cause:
5. Nitish Rana: 85* vs RCB
Nitish Rana has been an amazing buy for the Kolkata Knight Riders and he again showed why through his knock against RCB at the Eden Gardens.
Chasing 214 was never going to be easy, especially considering that Robin Uthappa took 20 balls to score just 9 runs. But Rana and Russell stitched together one of the best partnerships the IPL has ever seen while chasing.
Rana scored his 85 runs in 46 balls at a phenomenal strike rate of 184.78. He hit 9 fours and 5 sixes in this innings.
It was an amazing knock by Rana but he couldn't take his team over the line.
4. Andre Russell: 65 vs RCB
The power of Andre Russell has defined the Kolkata Knight Riders' campaign this year. He has been magnificent throughout the tournament.
In the chase against RCB, Russell was partnered by Nitish Rana who scored an unbeaten 85. Russell scored 65 runs in just 25 balls to almost bail the team out of a dire situation created by an awful knock by Robin Uthappa.
Russell smashed 9 sixes and got out at a strike rate of 260. 133 runs were required to win off the last eight overs and KKR almost pulled it through, courtesy Russell.
This knock showed that nothing is impossible in cricket.
3. MS Dhoni: 84* vs RCB
This knock by MS Dhoni showed why he is still the best wicketkeeper-batsman in India. He almost took CSK to victory but they ended up falling just short.
CSK kept losing wickets at the other end but Dhoni remained till the end. With 26 runs needed off the last over you will always back the bowling side to win, but Dhoni had other ideas.
The first five balls of the over read - 4, 6, 6, 2, 6. With just two runs required off the last ball, Dhoni was unable to put bat to ball and CSK lost by one run.
This was only the fourth instance in IPL when Dhoni had remained not out in an unsuccessful run chase.
2. KL Rahul: 100* vs MI
KL Rahul lit up the Wankhede on this night with his sheer class and stroke-play. This was his first century in the IPL and that too against the formidable bowling lineup of the Mumbai Indians.
Rahul started slow but picked up towards the end to get to the three-figure mark. He smashed Hardik Pandya for 25 runs in the 19th over.
Rahul's efforts went in vain as Kieron Pollard played an unbelievable knock of 83 runs in just 31 balls while chasing to get MI home.
1. Sanju Samson: 102* vs SRH
There is no one better than Sanju Samson when it comes to making batting look easy. Although RR have struggled to win matches this season, Samson has been a big positive.
This was his third IPL century and it came against the best bowling lineup of the tournament this season. His knock was flawless and even made Gautam Gambhir call for his inclusion in the World Cup.
Samson's efforts were cut short due to blazing knocks by the SRH openers Warner and Bairstow, but this century will surely be remembered for a long time.
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