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From McCullum to Gayle, Here’s a List of the Best Innings in IPL History

The Indian Premier League is one of the most entertaining cricket leagues in the world. With the best players from all across coming together for a T20 extravaganza, there is no dearth of top-notch entertainment. Since its inception in 2008, the league has witnessed several outstanding innings played by some of the biggest names in the sport. In no particular order, here we recall a few of those innings.

Brendon McCullum – 73-ball 158* in IPL 2008

Venue: Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

On IPL’s opening night, Brendon McCullum gave fans a taste of what the league would be all about. Kolkata Knight Riders took on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the very first IPL match of the inaugural season. Batting first, Sourav Ganguly-led KKR put up a total of 222 runs on the board, courtesy McCullum’s 73-ball 158 which was laced with 10 fours and 13 sixes! McCullum batted at a strike rate of 216.43, making full use of the small ground in Bangalore. In reply, the hosts were bundled out for only 82 and lost the game by 140 runs. Except for Praveen Kumar, who scored 18 runs, none of the RCB batsmen scored in double digits.

Chris Gayle – 66-ball 175* in IPL 2013

Venue: Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Chris Gayle is indispensable to the list of IPL’s best innings. The swashbuckling batsman has scored several quickfire knocks in the tournament, but the one from the 31st match of the 2013 season stands out.

RCB were hosting the now defunct Pune Supergiants at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Gayle scored a century in just 30 balls, sparing no bowler from the opposition. He went on to score a staggering knock of 175 runs, helping Bangalore post a total of 263/5. On his way to the mammoth total, Gayle hit 17 maximums. To see Gayle go bonkers was not new, but to see an individual score of 175 runs in a T20 was incredible.

The Pune side lost the match by 130 runs.

How many times have RCB won IPL

Virat Kohli – 55-ball 109 in IPL 2016

Venue: Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

In the 2016 edition of the IPL, RCB captain Virat Kohli scored centuries for fun. He made a record four centuries in a single season, which is a feat yet to be replicated. The 109-run knock that he scored against the now defunct Gujarat Lions was his third century of the season and the best of them all.

For the most part of his innings, Kohli played the role of a second fiddle to Ab de Villiers, rotating strike and batting with precaution. De Villiers, from the other end, was on a rampage, smashing the bowlers all over the park.

At the end of 16 overs, Virat’s score was 51 runs and not many would have imagined that in the next three overs, he would get to a century. But in another 13 balls, Kohli raced to a brilliant century, which included a 30-run over. His 55-ball 109 was laced with five 4s and eight 6s. Kohli and AB together scored 229 runs, which still remains the highest partnership in T20s.

RCB posted a total of 248-3, in reply to which the Gujarat Lions were bundled out for 104 runs in 18.4 overs.

AB De Villiers – 52-ball 129* in IPL 2016

Venue: Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Virat’s knock of 109 runs discussed above came in the same match as AB’s 129. After Chris Gayle, who was not able to settle down and was eventually dismissed in the fourth over, de Villiers took it upon himself to score runs for the team. Kohli, meanwhile, served as the second fiddle.

In his very first over, AB hit Shivil Kaushik for a six over extra-cover, giving signs that he was in the mood for a run fest. He went on a rampage, scoring a 52-ball 129 which included 12 sixes, the highest number of sixes in an innings that season. As mentioned above, Kohli and AB scored 229 runs together and helped RCB put up 248 on the board, which their bowlers successfully defended.

David Miller – 38-ball 101* in IPL 2013

Venue: Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali

This knock by David Miller is rated by many as the best innings in the history of the tournament. KXIP were hosting RCB for match no. 51 of IPL 2013. Batting first, RCB put up 190 runs on the board with the help of half-centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara and Chris Gayle.

The Kings stuttered in their chase, and were struggling at 64-4 in 10 overs when David Miller walked in. After being dropped early on in his innings, Miller kept thrashing the RCB bowlers for boundaries and helped Punjab wrap up the game in 18 overs. Punjab needed 130 runs off the last 10 overs, but gunned them down in eight overs.

Miller scored 101 runs from 38 balls, which included eight 4s and seven 6s. This is also the third

fastest century in the IPL, after Chris Gayle (30 balls) and Yusuf Pathan (37 balls).

Virender Sehwag – 58-ball 122 in IPL 2014

Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

PBKS, previously known as KXIP were playing against CSK in the first qualifier of the 2014 season. Punjab were hoping to make it to their first ever final, and Sehwag made sure that they did.

Batting first, PBKS posted 226 runs on the board with the help of Sehwag’s blinder. The opening batsman scored 122 runs in 58 balls, which included 8 sixes and 12 fours. The plight of the CSK bowlers can be seen in the fact that the only bowler to have an economy rate of below 11 on the day was Ishwar Pandey with 8.75.

Even though half-centuries from Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni couldn’t take CSK over the line, the side fought well in the chase, falling short of the target by 24 runs. Punjab made it to the finals, where they failed to get the better of eventual champions KKR.

Suresh Raina – 25-ball 87 in IPL 2014

Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Even as Virender Sehwag stole the show in the first qualifier of the 2014 season, helping PBKS post 226 runs, Suresh Raina was in no mood to give up. Chasing 227, CSK found themselves at 1-1 with Faf du Plessis walking back to the dugout on a duck. Then walked in Raina, who played fearlessly from the word go.

He scored a 25-ball 87, of which 84 runs were scored in boundaries! Enroute his knock, Raina hit 12 fours and 6 sixes, with his overall strike rate being 348. But an unfortunate run-out meant that the right-hander couldn’t get to what would have been one of the best centuries in the IPL. CSK lost the game and were out of IPL 2014.

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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