The IPL is one of the pinnacle events of cricket and is arguably the best and most exciting competition in the T20 format.
Over the years the tournament has provided a stage for India’s best talent, as well as attracting some of the greatest players from overseas.
The final stands apart as the most enthralling part of the spectacle, with Mumbai Indians currently holding the record for the most titles and setting the benchmark with five, prior to the 2023 showpiece.
But which of the IPL’s finals was the best ever? Here, we look at the most memorable showpiece matches from years gone by.
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Mumbai Indians (149/8) vs Chennai Super Kings (148/7), 2019 — Mumbai won by 1 run
In a game where both sides batted below average, no one would have expected the match to go down to the last ball. Mumbai put up 148 runs on the board for Chennai to chase and Shane Watson played through an injury to try and take Chennai over the line. But Lasith Malinga bowled the most exceptional slower delivery when Chennai needed two off the last ball. Chennai’s Shardul Thakur attempted a missed leg-side sweep and the umpire signaled out, as Mumbai clinched their fourth IPL title.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (208/7) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (200/7), 2016 — Hyderabad won by 8 runs
Royal Challengers Bangalore came tantalisingly close to winning their maiden IPL title but Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to spoil their party. Hyderabad posted a mammoth total of 208 to put RCB under pressure before Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle put up a 100-plus run partnership to keep their hopes in the chase alive. However, once the two batsmen were dismissed, Bangalore’s batting line-up collapsed, eventually setting them up for a heartbreaking loss by just eight runs.
Chennai Super Kings (163/5) vs Rajasthan Royals (164/7), 2008 — Rajasthan won by 3 wickets
The inaugural IPL final was a spectacle that lived up to its hype. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina’s joint effort helped take CSK to a total of 163/5. However, it wasn’t enough to deter Rajasthan. Yusuf Pathan’s scintillating knock of 56 from just 39 balls gave RR a flying start and then captain Shane Warne took his team over the line by chasing down eight runs in the last over.
Chennai Super Kings (190/3) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (192/5), 2012 — Kolkata won by 5 wickets
Favourites to win the finals against underdogs KKR, CSK were ready to clinch their third championship title when they posted 190 runs on the board, and then took out KKR captain Gautam Gambhir early in the chase. It looked at that stage like they would comfortably cruise towards victory. However, Jacques Kallis’ 49-ball 69 and a 136-run partnership with Manvinder Bisla took KKR to their first-ever IPL title.
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Previous IPL finals list
|Season||Winner||Winning margin||Runner-up||Final venue|
|2008||Rajasthan Royals||Won by 3 wickets||Chennai Super Kings||DY Patil Stadium|
|164/7 (20 overs)||163/5 (20 overs)|
|2009||Deccan Chargers||Won by 6 runs||Royal Challengers Bangalore||Wanderers Stadium|
|143/6 (20 overs)||137/9 (20 overs)|
|2010||Chennai Super Kings||Won by 22 runs||Mumbai Indians||DY Patil Stadium|
|168/5 (20 overs)||146/9 (20 overs)|
|2011||Chennai Super Kings||Won by 58 runs||Royal Challengers Bangalore||M. A. Chidambaram Stadium|
|205/5 (20 overs)||147/8 (20 overs)|
|2012||Kolkata Knight Riders||Won by 5 wickets||Chennai Super Kings||M. A. Chidambaram Stadium|
|192/5 (19.4 overs)||190/3 (20 overs)|
|2013||Mumbai Indians||Won by 23 runs||Chennai Super Kings||Eden Gardens|
|148/9 (20 overs)||125/9 (20 overs)|
|2014||Kolkata Knight Riders||Won by 3 wickets||Punjab Kings||M. Chinnaswamy Stadium|
|200/7 (19.3 overs)||199/4 (20 overs)|
|2015||Mumbai Indians||Won by 41 runs||Chennai Super Kings||Eden Gardens|
|202/5 (20 overs)||161/8 (20 overs)|
|2016||Sunrisers Hyderabad||Won by 8 runs||Royal Challengers Bangalore||M. Chinnaswamy Stadium|
|208/7 (20 overs)||200/7 (20 overs)|
|2017||Mumbai Indians||Won by 1 run||Rising Pune Supergiant||Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium|
|129/8 (20 overs)||128/6 (20 overs)|
|2018||Chennai Super Kings||Won by 8 wickets||Sunrisers Hyderabad||Wankhede Stadium|
|181/2 (18.3 overs)||178/6 (20.0 overs)|
|2019||Mumbai Indians||Won by 1 run||Chennai Super Kings||Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium|
|149/8 (20 overs)||148/7 (20 overs)|
|2020||Mumbai Indians||Won by 5 wickets||Delhi Capitals||Dubai International Cricket Stadium|
|157/5 (18.4 overs)||156/7 (20 overs)|
|2021||Chennai Super Kings||Won by 27 runs||Kolkata Knight Riders||Dubai International Cricket Stadium|
|192/3 (20 overs)||165/9 (20 overs)|
|Won by 7 wickets||Rajasthan Royals 130/9 (20 overs)||Narendra Modi Stadium|