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IPL 2020: 5 Cricketers Who Played Their Heart Out & Still Ended Up On The Losing Side

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The ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has gone from almost being a no-show to the grand spectacle purely on the back of some high-quality cricket on display. 

Currently in its league stage, the IPL 2020 has already witnessed some of the most memorable performances and record-breaking feats this season.

From brilliant batting performances, majestic bowling spells to spectacular fielding efforts, the IPL 2020 has seen it all. But, while the eventual result continues to separate the playing teams, there is no dearth of talent or bravery on either of the sides. The result might declare one side a winner and the other a loser, but it shouldn't take anything away from a player's heroics irrespective of the outcome.

While numerous cricketers have been hailed for their superlative efforts to help their team secure a win, the ongoing season has also witnessed few players, from the losing side, who captured the imagination of fans on the back of their exploits. 

Here's a look at such 5 players who won our hearts despite ending up on the losing side:

1. Mayank Agarwal

IPL 2020: 5 Cricketers Who Played Their Heart Out & Still Ended Up On The Losing Side © Twitter/@IPL

The ninth match of the tournament saw Rajasthan Royals record the highest successful run-chase in the history of IPL. Chasing a mammoth total of 223 runs, the likes of Sanju Samson (85) and Steve Smith (50) laid the foundation of their chase before Rahul Tewatia (53) added the finishing touch to seal a four-wicket win for Rajasthan.

It was an emphatic win that saw Tewatia running away with all the limelight. And, rightly so, the left-hander had pulled up a heist to save Rajasthan from a certain loss. But, Tewatia wasn't the only miracle worker that day. 

Mayank Agarwal's blistering 50-ball 106 was just as good. In an innings that was decorated with 10 fours and seven sixes, Agarwal showcased a top-class exhibition of power-hitting allowed Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to post such a challenging total. If it wasn't for his knock, Rajasthan's chase would have been a walk in the park.

2. Faf Du Plessis 

IPL 2020: 5 Cricketers Who Played Their Heart Out & Still Ended Up On The Losing Side © Twitter/@IPL

After beating Mumbai Indians (MI) in the opener, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were looking to carry on their winning momentum when they locked horns with Rajasthan in the fourth match of the tournament. 

However, The 'Yellow Brigade' were outplayed by Rajasthan who sealed a 16-run win - courtesy Sanju Samson (74) and Tewatia (3-37).

Chasing a total of 216 runs, Chennai, after a cautious start, were undone by Tewatia's spin. But, Faf du Plessis kept the MS Dhoni brigade in the hunt on the back of a spectacular counter-attacking knock. Even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end, Du Plessis held the fort for his team, braving all odds and taking the game right till the end. 

His gritty knock of 72 runs, including a four and seven sixes, came off just 37 deliveries and almost saved Chennai the blushes. Even if he ended up on the losing side, Faf's knock remains close to our hearts.

3. Ishan Kishan 

IPL 2020: 5 Cricketers Who Played Their Heart Out & Still Ended Up On The Losing Side © Twitter/@IPL

This has got to be the most heartbreaking knock which can't help but make you feel sorry for young Ishan Kishan. The tenth match of the tournament brought Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) face to face. The fifties from Devdutt Padikkal (54) and Aaron Finch (52) at the top got their team going while an AB de Villiers (24-ball 55) special powered RCB to a competitive total of 201 runs.

In reply, the star-studded batting lineup of Mumbai fell like a pack of cards with their top three adding a mere 22 runs. But, just when RCB began tightening the noose, Kishan, playing his first match this season, played one of the best innings under pressure. 

A 58-ball 99, including two fours and nine sixes, from the youngster played a key role in pushing the match into a 'Super Over' decider. While Mumbai eventually lost the 'Super Over', Kishan's herculean batting effort struck a chord with fans.

4. Nicholas Pooran 

IPL 2020: 5 Cricketers Who Played Their Heart Out & Still Ended Up On The Losing Side © Twitter/@IPL

At the age of just 25, Nicholas Pooran has already established himself as one of the most exciting batsmen in limited-overs cricket. A strong Trinidadian batsman blessed with the sweet timing and ability to clear the fence at will, Pooran's batting masterclass was in full display during the 22nd match of the tournament which was eventually won by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

Chasing a total of 201 runs, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) were done and dusted as their top three got dismissed cheaply. The onus was on Pooran who looked in a class of his own during a sensational 37-ball 77 which included five fours and seven sixes. 

Despite the lack of support from his teammates, Pooran carried the baton for Punjab as long as he could. The fact that none of the batsmen from Punjab, barring Pooran, couldn't score more than 11 runs highlights the importance of his innings. Bowled out for 132 runs, Punjab lost by 69 runs but Pooran won big amongst cricket fans.

5. Jofra Archer

IPL 2020: 5 Cricketers Who Played Their Heart Out & Still Ended Up On The Losing Side © Twitter/@IPL

A rare bowler in the list dominated by batsmen, Jofra Archer has successfully lived up to his reputation as a match-winner for Rajasthan Royals (RR) over the years. And, the ongoing season seems to be no different. In just eight matches, Archer has already taken 12 wickets and he is currently second in the list of leading wicket-takers this season. But, despite his talent, even Archer can't always find himself on the winning side.

The 23rd match was one such exception where, despite being impressive with his bowling, Archer couldn't save Rajasthan from a 46-run defeat. Recording brilliant figures of 3-24, Archer was pivotal in providing early setbacks to Delhi, dismissing Prithvi Shaw (19) and Shikhar Dhawan (5) before getting rid of Harshal Patel (16) in the final over. 

His bowling effort saw Delhi being restricted to 184 runs. But, it proved too much of an ask for Rajasthan's batting unit that eventually saw their team getting bowled out for 138 runs, losing the contest by 46 runs.


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