Cricket is a game about miscellaneous events with each game bringing up something different for the spectators. It has masses of unpredictability and legions of factors to make every match unique. Yet, in the century-old game, there have been several matches and statistics tying each other over trivial yet striking coincidences.
Such as the similarities between the first Test match and the Centenary Test match between England and Australia at the MCG, the group stage results of Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup and 2019 World Cup, facts about India’s two World Cup triumphs which were 28 years apart or the number of bizarre parallels in the India-Pakistan match in Austral-Asia Cup 1986 and in the Asia Cup 2014- there are countless other coincidences in international cricket.
Even in the IPL, which has been active for the past 12 years has several coincidences to remember. Entering into its 13th season, we can fondle at some uncanny quirks which would amaze everyone.
Here are 5 of such amazing coincidences in IPL history
1. Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli’s first IPL tons
Virat Kohli was not only destined to be great he is today, but was also an expected candidate to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record; chosen by the master himself. At a celebration event for Tendulkar’s 100th hundred, Tendulkar named Kohli along with Rohit as his successors. And Kohli is very adamant to follow Tendulkar, in winning games for his country and also by corresponding him in the stat columns as closely as possible.
There are numerous coincidences between the two greats at international level- from scoring maiden Test ton in their 14th innings to smashing their 58th international century against the same opponent and many more. The sameness of their fate extends to the IPL as well.
This strange similarity revolves around their maiden hundred in the IPL- Kohli against Gujarat Lions in 2016 and Tendulkar against Kochi Tuskers in 2011. Both reached their century on the last ball of their innings and remained not out. Both the maestros were captaining their side and opened the innings. Unfortunately, both ended up on the losing side as the opposition chased the respective targets. Furthermore, both had Brendon McCullum and Ravindra Jadeja in the opposite team, at both times in an orange outfit!
2. RCB’s date of stark contrast in 2013 and 2017
It is an accepted fact even among their fans, that RCB isn’t a complete team. In the last decade, RCB has made it into the final of the IPL twice- on the back of Chris Gayle monstrous striking in 2011 and on the shoulders of King Kohli’s mind-boggling scoring in 2016. The star-studded team has been comprised of stars in exclusively the batting department.
Hence, their record-breaking, sky-touching score of 263 against Pune Warriors India in 2013 was by no means a surprise. Gayle was in the mood-the Universe Boss clobbered a still standing highest IPL score of 175* from 66 balls. But cricket is a game of restoring parity- all the great teams and players face both- the brightest and the darkest days. Four years later, the stellar batting order of RCB plummeted deep in the core of Eden as the Kolkata pacers bundled them for 49! No batsman was allowed to enter even double digits!
What’s interesting about RCB’s forgettable, yet unforgettable collapse is that it happened on the same date as their other memorable performance. Yes, April 23rd, the date of Bangalore’s scorecard juxtaposition- exactly four years apart. RCB holds the record for the highest and the lowest total in IPL history. What does RCB do next; they buy all the four KKR pacers who bundled them in the next auction!
3. Mumbai Indians’ David Warner Luck
Mumbai Indians are four-time IPL champions, the most. For a team to win a tournament, along with the dedication, desire and hard work of the players, there is the luck factor involved too. Mumbai have won two finals by a margin of just one run- it could have gone either way.
So what luck influence are we talking about? An umpire glitch, a top edge flying to six instead of the wicketkeeper’s gloves, a catch falling short of the fielder, or the prayers from Mrs. Nita Ambani and her mother, or the odd year factor – could be anything. But there was another person who unknowingly played his part in MI’s three of the four title victories- David Warner!
Hyderabad’s skipper David Warner shares a rare-known coincidence with Mumbai Indians. Warner has won the Orange Cap for three IPL seasons- 2015, 2017 and 2019. And we all know, which team won the title in these three years- Mumbai Indians! Warner amassed 562, 641 and 692 runs in these three seasons and finished as the leading run-scorer, but couldn’t win the title on either occasion for SRH. This will put SRH fans in a dilemma for sure.
4. Not just a regular coincidence
We have seen coincidences that were separated by the time frame of at least a year. However, in the 2018 season of IPL, an unbelievable turn of events parted for about just three weeks occurred.
On 22nd April, Sunday, Sunrisers Hyderabad hosted the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals hosted the Mumbai Indians. Chennai won the game by a slender margin of 4 runs, and Ambati Rayudu was named the Man of the match for his 37-ball-79. Later in the evening, Rajasthan defeated Mumbai by 3 wickets, and Rohit Sharma was run out on his first ball for a duck.
The improbable incidences happened in the return fixtures. On 13th May, Sunday, the same season, Chennai hosted Hyderabad in Pune and Mumbai welcomed the Royals at the Wankhede. CSK won the match by 8 wickets, as Ambati Rayudu notched up his maiden IPL hundred to bag the Man of the Match award, again. A few hours later, just like their previous encounter- Rajasthan defeated MI and the Mumbai skipper was dismissed for a golden duck!!
5. Umesh Yadav’s similar bowling figures
Umesh Yadav had a memorable 2018 IPL. The ‘Vidarbha Express’ unleashed himself as a menacing new ball bowler picking up 20 wickets in the season at an economy of 7.86. Even though RCB once again languished in the bottom half of the table, Umesh terrorized opposition openers with pace, swing and immaculate accuracy in the power-play overs.
Against Kings XI Punjab Umesh produced two man of the match performances in that season. The extraordinary stat about both of his bowling efforts against Punjab are the figures he ended with; 4-0-23-3 in both the games! Umesh picked three wickets giving away 23 runs, exactly the same on both occasions.
While Umesh had a brilliant 2018, his returns decreased largely next year. In 2019, the pacer could manage a below-par 8 wickets in 11 matches and gave runs at an economy of 9.81. Umesh has fallen out of the national team from the limited-overs format. However, in the company of Dale Steyn, Umesh would be raring to have a go at the batters once again this year.
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