Franchise cricket leagues have delivered some thrilling finals over the years, with yesterday’s PSL showdown being the lastest. Here’s a roundup of the closest finals over the last two decades.

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Pakistan Super League

Islamabad United claimed their third PSL title yesterday (March 18) in a tense finish to the 2024 edition against Multan Sultans. Hunain Shah hit a four off the final ball of the match to give Islamabad a two-wicket win, and inflict Sultans’ third straight final defeat.

Sultans were on the receiving end of an even closer result in the 2023 edition, where Lahore Qalandars beat them in the final by just one run. After Qalandars posted 200-6 in their innings, Shaheen Shah Afridi starring with a 44-run cameo off 15 balls, Sultans needed 35 to win off the final two overs following two wickets in two balls from Shaheen. Some Khushdil Shah mania then brought them to within touching distance of the trophy. He hit two sixes off Haris Rauf before Abbas Afridi hit two fours, and the equation read 13 needed off the final over. Some tight bowling from Zaman Khan left four required off the final ball. Khushdil smashed the ball into the deep and scrambled two, turning back for the third to take the game to a super over. They couldn’t complete the run however, and finished one short on 199-8.

Indian Premier League

The first edition of the IPL in 2008 produced one of the greatest franchise finals of all time. MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings set Rajasthan Royals 163 to win, and reduced them to 42-3 early on. A half century from Yusuf Pathan steadied the innings before they lost three wickets in six balls. With eight needed off the final over, Dhoni turned to L Balaji, who kept it to three needed off two. Sohail Tanvir hit two to long leg before finding a single off the final ball to claim a tense three-wicket win.

Following the first edition, the IPL didn’t deliver another final of similar closeness until the 2014 edition. On that occasion, Piyush Chawla sealed a three-wicket win for Kolkata Knight Riders, hitting a four off the third ball of the last over to finish the match.

The 2017 edition was a stone-cold one run classic, with an incredible final over. Rising Pune Supergiants needed 11 runs to win off the last over, bowled by Mumbai Indians’ Mitchell Johnson. Manoj Tiwary hit his first ball for four before he being at long on from the second ball. Steve Smith was dismissed off the next ball, but the hat-trick ball went for a bye before Dan Christian was dropped off the penultimate ball of the match. With three needed to draw level off the last ball, the batters managed to get two thanks to a fumble in the deep, but Washington Sundar was run out coming back for the third.

The 2019 edition was another one-run final over clash, with two wickets coming off the last ball of the match to give Mumbai another title. After conceding a 20-run over to let CSK back into the game, Lasith Malinga trapped Shardul Thakur with a leg stump yorker off the final ball to win the game. That was the closest result until the 2023 edition. At the end of a marathon two-day final cut short by weather, Ravindra Jadeja hit a six and a four off the last two balls of the shortened chase to give CSK a dramatic victory.

Big Bash League

Despite being one of the oldest franchise leagues, the BBL doesn’t have a good track record of producing closely contested finals. The 2014/15 edition was the best final, Perth Scorchers winning by four wickets off the last ball of the match. With the scores level and three balls left, Brett Lee (playing his final BBL game) took two wickets in two balls to be on a hat-trick as Yasir Arafat came to the crease. Arafat missed the ball completely, but Moises Henriques fumbled a simple run out chance and allowed the batters to come through for a single.


This year’s edition (2023/24) gave us the closest WBBL final on record. Needing 13 runs from the final over, Amanda-Jade Wellington dismissed Georgia Voll with her third ball, before she was hit for six by Mikayla Hinkley off the next. Five needed off two balls, Hinkley holed out to long off, two metres short of a winning boundary, off the next ball. Nicola Hancock could only hit the final ball for a single.

Caribbean Premier League

As with the BBL, the CPL doesn’t have a particularly good track record of producing thrilling finals. The best match happened in the 2021 edition. St Kitts and Nevis Patriots needed nine runs to win off the final over, bowled by Kesrick Williams. Four runs came off the first four balls until Dominic Drakes levelled the scores with a four off the penultimate ball. He got an inside edge off a yorker from the final ball, and Naseem Shah managed to sprint to the striker’s end for a quick single, winning the Patriots their first title.


A brief mention should go to the 2022 WCPL final. A low-scoring affair, Trinbago Knight Riders were restricted to 100-7 batting first. Barbados Royals then collapsed to 88-8 by the 19th over but, crucially, Hayley Matthews – the only Royals batter to reach double figures – was still at the crease on 46. After a leg bye brought her on strike, however, she was dismissed by Anisa Mohammed. Mandy Mangru was out two balls later to give Trinbago an unlikely 10-run win.

Bangladesh Premier League

The first properly close final of the BPL came in the 2015 edition. Set 157, Comilla Victorians needed 23 off the final two overs with six wickets remaining. However, Kevon Cooper struck twice off the first two balls of the penultimate over to bring Barisal Bulls back in. Alok Kapali then hit two consecutive fours off the last two balls of the over to make the equation 13 runs needed from the final over. Shuvagata Hom was run out off the first ball trying to get back for the second, before Kapali again hit consecutive fours, followed by a two to level the scores with one ball remaining. He flicked a single off a full toss to seal the title off the final ball.

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The 2021/22 edition gave the closest final of the league to date. Fortune Barishal needed 19 runs in 21 balls, in the box seat at four wickets down. Nurul Hasan was then run out by a direct hit, 18 runs needed off the final three overs. Dwayne Bravo was trapped lbw by Sunil Narine off the first ball of the 18th, with only two singles coming off that over.

After a dot ball to start the 19th, Mustafizur Rahman was trapped lbw, Barishal needed ten in the final over. That became eight off three before Comilla Victorians reviewed a ball given as a wide to see if Towhid Hridoy had got an outside edge. Due to a technological fault, however, the decision stayed not out. Five runs needed off two balls, Tanvir Islam dropped Hridoy off the penultimate ball, allowing them to come through for two, with three runs needed off the final ball. Hridoy drove it straight to extra cover, and Litton Das could only come through for a single before he was run out.

Lanka Premier League

Only one final worth mentioning from the LPL so far, and that came in the 2023 edition. B-Love Kandy needed six runs off the final over, levelling the scores off the fourth ball. Lahiru Madushanka hit a four off the penultimate ball to secure a victory that ended closer than it needed to.

The Hundred

After finding its feet, the men’s Hundred delivered a dizzying final in 2022. Manchester Originals collapsed to 120-9 off their 100 balls, with Trent Rockets falling to 97-6 off 85 balls in response. Daniel Sams hit Tom Hartley for six in the next set of five, before he was out next ball, with two dots following. Josh Little then dismissed Matthew Carter, with 14 needed off the last eight balls.

It was then that Originals were informed they had missed the cut-off time and would only be allowed four players outside the ring for the final eight balls. Little conceded three off his final three to leave 11 needed off the final five. That was Lewis Gregory’s cue to come alive. On six off three at that point, he smashed Richard Gleeson’s first ball for six before helping a full toss off the next ball to fine leg for four. With the scores level, he hit a single off the next ball to give Trent Rockets a dramatic two wicket win with two balls remaining.

Global T20 Canada

Although a lesser-followed league, a mention has to go to the 2019 Global T20 Canada final, which went to a super over. Hamza Tariq hit Rayyan Pathan for a four off the final ball of Winnipeg Hawks’ innings to level the scores. Kaleem Sana dismissed both Andre Russell and Rassie van der Dussen in Vancouver Knights’ super over to set Winnipeg 10 to get in their over, but Chris Lynn needed four balls to knock off the target.