Every match in IPL history is the best to some sets of fans, but some games truly stand out as the stuff of legend. The best IPL matches ever in 15-action-packed seasons make it one of cricket’s most-anticipated events.
Top performers have won the hearts of fans, franchises, and sports pundits for years with their on-field play. Let’s take a look at some of the best IPL matches ever from 2008 to 2023. These matches are clear favorites among a vast section of cricket’s fan base.
Many lovers of cricket still have fond memories of these matches, so it’s only fair we see why most fans talk about these IPL matches.
1. Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore – April 18, 2008
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) locked horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to open IPL’s inaugural season in 2008. Both teams came into the game as new franchises with players from India and overseas countries slugging it out to snatch their first-ever victory.
KKR’s Brendon McCullum was in the middle of proceedings, wreaking havoc against RCB throughout the innings. He amassed 158 runs to become the first-ever player to achieve such a feat. McCullum’s 158-run haul is also more impressive since it came in just over 70 deliveries.
Brendon McCullum will go on to break T20 records in that game by surpassing the runs record by more than a dozen runs. The KKR team was able to dominate and see off RCB players throughout this encounter. The game ended at 222/3 to favour the Riders while RCB ended the game at just 82 runs.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore vs. Pune Warriors India – April 23, 2013
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) still holds the record for the highest victory scoreline in IPL history with a 263-run win over Pune Warriors India (PWI).
The RCB teams were some of IPL’s best in the 2010s. These RCB lineups were able to set records and blow out opposition teams with ease, even though they lacked success in clinching trophies.
In 2013, the RCB faced now non-league Pune Warriors India in an IPL match. Chris Gayle was the star performer of that day, as his performances in front of the sticks blew out the PWI batting line-up.
Gayle amassed an impressive 175 runs from just over 65 balls, sending his team to a roaring victory. He was also able to set records at that time like the highest sixes haul in single innings (17) and the quickest century (after 30 balls).
No team has been able to match or surpass the high-scoring victory RCB recorded on that day and 10 seasons have passed. Only the RCB came close to beating their record, falling short by a few runs three seasons after.
3. Punjab Kings vs. Chennai Super Kings – May 30, 2014
Virender Sehwag was the star of this match as he rallied to over a century after 58 balls. Punjab Kings (PBKS) were able to record an impressive 226/6 win over the Chennai Super Kings in this encounter. Suresh Raina (CSK) ignited a fightback later on in the game. The PBKS target was too much to match even after a spirited performance.
4. Royal Challengers Bangalore vs. Mumbai Indians – September 28, 2020
The rivalry between RCB vs. MI was already older than a decade before this game. Both teams came into this game with one goal – to win at all costs. RCB and MI were able to create one of the IPL’s most spectacular performances of all time in that game.
Ishan Kishan (MI) was able to garner one run short of a century before his dismissal. He also racked up a near-century with fifty-eight balls.
Each team scored more than two centuries and tied the game at 201 runs. A super-over had to settle the game with the RCB managing to edge out MI in this heated encounter. MI wasn’t able to make any headway in this encounter with a 7-run haul during the super-over.
RCB’s Kohli and De Villiers proved their worth with the former seeing his team through to a well-fought and deserved victory. Many commentators still refer to this game as the IPL’s best-ever match day after such breath-taking performances from both teams.
5. Punjab Kings vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad – October 24, 2020
The supercharged encounter between Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) remains one of IPL’s greatest matches ever. The game saw PBKS rallying to an impressive bowling haul against SRH. PBKS was only able to set a meagre target of 127 for the Sunrisers, but SRH couldn’t take advantage. Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, and Chris Jordan (PBKS) secured the victory with twelve (12) balls to edge out a lacklustre SRH team