On 26th May 2008, in one of the most memorable matches of the inaugral season of the Indian Premier League, Rajasthan Royals pulled off a last-ball victory against Mumbai Indians at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Rajasthan Royals were struggling chasing down 146, with only 77 runs on the board and the top-five back in the pavilion. But two unknown faces – Niraj Patel and 19-year-old Ravindra Jadeja took calculated risks, rode their luck and completed a thrilling win against Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians.
While trying to ensure no more wickets fell, both batsmen got their eye in and took the required equation to 43 from the final three overs. The 18th over from Ashish Nehra went for 11 runs with two boundaries towards fine-leg; one of the pads and the other from an inside edge. The following over from Rohan Raje yielded 17 runs; Jadeja hit a massive six over the cover boundary, two runs off a no-ball, couple of twos, two singles and a three, bringing the equation to 15 from the final over.
After getting four off the first two balls of Dilhara Fernando, Patel smashed a maximum over long-on to tip the scale in Rajasthan’s favour. Two singles later, the Sri Lankan bowled a wide down the leg-side, and Royals needed only two from the final ball. An attempted pull was mistimed by Patel but Fernando’s misfield and Sanath Jayasuriya’s failure to collect the ball at the non-striker’s end from a throw allowed the batsmen to run two. The celebrations began and Patel and Jadeja were buried under a pile of Rajasthan players.
The duo’s unbeaten partnership of 69 runs for the sixth wicket led Shane Warne’s side to the target of 146, helping them secure the top spot in the league.
“I’m really proud of those two young guys – Jadeja and Patel – and they way they handled the pressure,” said Warne praising the pair at the post match presentation. “I was wondering whether they left it too late but they summed up the situation really well. Mumbai got a par score and they fought all the way. I’m full of praise for our side. They way Jadeja and Patel played was sensational.”
Relive that extraordinary run-chase here!