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This is a story of a man who came in for one of the most successful batsmen in the KKR fold - Brendon McCullum - in the final of the 2012 IPL. And boy did he make it count, like a boss!

In KKR's first ever appearance in an IPL final, against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings on their home turf, Manvinder Bisla was returning to the playing XI having featured in six matches in the season. Lakshmipathy Balaji, KKR's most successful pacer in the tournament so far, was out with a hamstring injury which forced the management to bring in Brett Lee. An overseas player being added to the XI meant McCullum had to miss out, resulting in Bisla's inclusion.
Chasing a target of 191, KKR lost Gautam Gambhir in the first over itself. However, what followed thereafter was absolutely magical. Bisla's 48-ball 89, which was studded with 8 fours and 5 sixes, paved the way for KKR's victory.
"Before the match, when I was informed that I would play the final, Gautam told me to try and play a long innings if I settle in well," Bisla recalled in a recent chat on kkr.in with AR Srikkanth, KKR's long-time performance analyst.

WATCH the Highlights Here:
(Video hosted on BCCI/www.iplt20.com website)

The 'keeper-batsman's fearlessness against pacers and spinners alike made his knock even more special. With the likes of R Ashwin in the ranks for CSK, it was never going to be easy to play shots in the power play but Bisla made it look effortless.
"As a wicketkeeper, you read the turf well. When KKR was bowling, I observed watching Shakib (Al Hasan) and Sunil Narine and realised that it wasn't spinning much. When Gambhir got out in the first over, it was quite a jolt. But I was only focusing on making it large," he said.
Watch Bisla's 5th six
(Video hosted on BCCI/www.iplt20.com website)

He, indeed, made it large, as with Jacques Kallis, he stitched a match-winning 136-run partnership off 82 deliveries. KKR's historic 5-wicket win ushered in a celebration of lifetime, which Bisla still remembers fondly.
 
"The celebrations went on for quite a long time. Be it Shah Rukh bhai's celebration in the stands or of the team, it's such a spectacle that we end up watching it more than the match itself even now. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even the way the fans received us in Kolkata is unforgettable."