IPL: Five knocks which set the stage on fire
The Indian Premier League, across six years, has seen a lot of phenomenal knocks by a lot of batsmen. Here is a list of top-five knocks.
On 23 April 2013, Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium witnessed something magical. Rain had threatened to ruin the game and on hindsight, Pune Warriors India would have probably taken that. When the rain came to a halt and the players returned to the field, a storm by the name of Chris Gayle began to brew. What resulted was a 66-ball knock of 175 runs, a knock laced with 13 fours and 17 sixes. At the end of 20 overs, Royal Challengers Bangalore had 263 runs on the board, of which 175 came off Gayle's willow (All images AP, AFP and BCCI)
"If it's in the tree, it's in the V! If it's in the arc, it's out of the park" These were the words South Africa's David Miller grew up on listening to from his father. On May 6, 2013, he put that learning to the best possible use. Chasing 191 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab were reeling at 64/4. Out came Miller to turn the game on its head. Miller and Rajagopal Sathish added an unbeaten 130-run stand for the fifth wicket, of which only 27 were scored by the latter. Miller's unbeaten 101 off 54 balls took his team home with two overs to spare in arguably one of the best run-chases of the tournament.
There are very few days on a cricket field when a total of 200 turns out to be insufficient in the T20 format. April 4, 2010 was one such day. Much to the delight of the Eden Gardens crowd, Kolkata Knight Riders slammed 200 after electing to bat first. In reply, Kings XI Punjab's opener Mahela Jayawardene helped his team overturn that with a scintillating knock of 110 from 59 balls.
Up against a strong Delhi Daredevils side in the semifinal of the IPL 2009, the Deccan Chargers were in desperate need of a 'Gilchrist special' to take them home in a 154-run chase. The generous Australian legend obliged. A menacing knock of 85 from 35 balls, including 10 fours and five sixes, took Deccan into their maiden final which they went on to win. "We tried everything against him but it was just his day," said the straight-talking Virender Sehwag in the presentation ceremony.
The Indian Premier League could not have asked for a better start. Kolkata Knight Riders opener Brendon McCullum took centrestage and slammed an unbeaten knock of 158 off 73 balls on 18 April 2008. An absolute carnage from the Kiwi demolisher, consisting of 10 fours and 13 huge sixes, left the bowlers running for cover. Such was the impact that KKR romped home with a 140-run victory.