The IPL, Season 16 has begun. Over the years, there have been plenty of such performances but not many efforts to evaluate them in a structured manner. Sportiqo, a cricket stock market platform, rates the most notable performances over the years and ranks them accordingly by using the points system. The system takes into account the most important aspects in the context of a T20 match and explains the true worth of an innings.
175 not out (66 balls, 4×13, 6×17). Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors. April 23, 2013. Venue: Bengaluru. Batting points 245.
There will be freakish incidents in T20 cricket, but very few or perhaps none will match this. The Universe Boss was in a different zone at M Chinnaswamy Stadium against a not-so-illustrious attack and went on to shatter a few records. This remains the highest individual score in T20s, his hundred off 30 balls is the fastest in this format and RCB’s 263/5 the highest total in the IPL. In fact, the 17 sixes Gayle hit is second only to his own T20 record of 18 set in the Bangladesh Premier League in 2017. But numbers are only a by-product of the blitzkrieg. On his day, the West Indies opener was the most devastating blaster of the cricket ball and the IPL witnessed many instances of him cutting loose. Possibly the most effective while playing for RCB, Gayle specialised in hitting from the word go with fearsome power. There was nothing like taking a bit of time to settle down and then going after the bowlers. He would smash, smash and smash from the beginning and some of the sixes he hit during this innings were monstrous.
158 not out (73 balls, 4×10, 6×13). Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore. April 18, 2008. Venue: Bengaluru. Batting points 176.8
There was excitement as well apprehension surrounding this game. It was the first day of IPL and nobody knew what to expect or how the tournament would be received by the public. It was just the beginning of a high-profile and high-stake experiment after all. McCullum’s unbelievable innings put to bed all doubts on the first night itself. It was not only an astonishing assault featuring strokes mostly down the leg side. It was the insurance that the IPL needed. It made clear that this competition was going to be a hit, because of the excitement and entertainment it provided. Almost everyone at the packed M Chinnaswamy Stadium watched spellbound as the New Zealander cut the attack into shreds. It was so one sided and even predictable. Whatever was hurled at him was dispatched to distant corners of the field and beyond it. In the history of IPL, not often has an individual so completely dominated one innings.
114 not out (48 balls, 4×9, 6×11). Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings. May 14, 2008. Venue: Mumbai. Batting points: 166.5
Check this. Two batters make 28 runs between themselves off 35 balls. Another makes 114 off 48! That was the Moratuwa marauder at his blistering best. The IPL came at a time when this left-handed Sri Lankan was at the end of his career. But he chose this day at Wankhede Stadium to unfurl the carnage only a few were capable of. Chasing a decent target of 157 to win, Jayasuriya made sure that his team was home in a mere 13.5 overs and batters at the other end were reduced to spectators. The opposition attack was not a bad one on paper and included his countryman Muthiah Muralitharan.
128 not out (63 balls, 4×15, 6×7). Delhi Daredevils vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. May 10, 2018. Venue: New Delhi. Batting points: 153
Not often do efforts in a losing cause feature among the chart toppers. If looking for an exception, here you go. A total of 52 after 10 overs became 187 after 20! Who was responsible for this? It was scarcely believable. He took his time in the initial phase of his innings, started accelerating gradually, reached the zone where he was bossing everything and then just took off. Phew! This was Pant at his beastly best. And when he does that, there are usually no parallels. The rest of his team made 59 off 57 balls. This kind of one-man show is rare and this turbulent force made it possible. The attack had formidable names like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan.
AB de Villiers
129 not out (55 balls, 4×10, 6×12). Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Lions. May 14, 2016. Venue: Bengaluru. Batting points: 148.8
This was remembered as Virat Kohli’s season. He made four centuries in a single edition of IPL and this was one of the matches where he crossed three figures. How often do you see a 55-ball 109 pale into insignificance? The incredible AB made that happen, with something that only he was capable of. Scoring runs for fun, hitting the ball to seemingly impossible corners of the park and working out improbable angles without making the effort look laborious, this South African genius was on song. There are many memorable knocks in the IPL, so many centuries. But few had made batting look so ridiculously easy. It was like he could hit the same ball to three or four corners of the ground and that’s what he did. The greatest of batters may have two shots to play off one delivery. The incredible AB had four! No matter where the ball was pitched, he would send it where he wanted to.
117 not out (57 balls, 4×11, 6×8). Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. May 27, 2018. Venue: Mumbai. Batting points: 144
This might have ranked higher in the order because the Australian’s blistering century came in the IPL final. SRH had put on a formidable 178 on the board and despite that, the Watson wave ensured that CSK cruised to the title without any trouble. On his day, he was among the best and most brutal hitters of the ball. This day saw him at his top, towards the end of his career. The target was not easy, the attack was respectable and this was the final. CSK was coming back to the IPL after a two-year suspension and the stakes were high. Watson’s power-packed approach dwarfed a seemingly daunting target.
101 not out (38 balls, 4×8, 6×7). Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore. May 6, 2013. Venue: Mohali. Batting points: 141
You got to put things in perspective before evaluating how crucial this knock was. Chasing 191 to win and reduced to 64/4 in the 10 over. That game, set and match conceded? Right? Wrong, if you had Killer Miller in the mix. What appeared to be a match over became a tense struggle and then a one-way movement towards an improbable win. The South African proved his value in no uncertain terms by producing one of the most unforgettable rearguard acts in the history of IPL. Think about it. About 130 to get in 10 overs, almost half the side dismissed and you are home with two overs to spare.
100 (37 balls, 4×9, 6×8). Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians. March 13, 2010. Venue: Mumbai. Batting points: 136.5
Another century in a losing cause but not lost in memory. The incredible Yusuf did what only he could and brought his team to the cusp of victory from a hopeless situation. The Royals were chasing 213 to win, a mammoth target even on pitches made for batters. They were struggling at 66/4 in the 10th over. It was only a matter of time before MI started celebrating. Then came the storm. Pathan was a serious and vigorous hitter of the ball. He packed appropriate power behind his shots and the Mumbai bowlers might still be remembering the hammering they got. A fairy tale win was on the cards and Pathan would have been immortalised had he helped his team win.
119 (56 balls, 4×13, 6×6). Delhi Daredevils vs Deccan Chargers. May 5, 2011. Venue: Hyderabad. Batting points: 135
There is truth in the perception that Sehwag did not live up to expectations when it came to white-ball cricket, especially T20s. His game was perfectly suited for the shortest format and yet, this is where he underachieved. On this day, however, he hit all those conceptions out of the ground. Nobody else from his team made more than 17 in a successful chase of 176 to win and here he was standing tall with a knock that defied adversities as well as gravity. Bowl in his arc and he will hit you out of the ground, with unrelenting regularity.
115 not out (55 balls, 4×10, 6×8). Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders. June 1, 2014. Venue: Bengaluru. Batting points: 134.4
This was historic in the sense that this was the first-ever century in IPL finals. A wicketkeeper who had been part of several franchises by then and was not exactly a star performer chose this day to make his mark. KKR had a solid bowling attack spearheaded by Sunil Narine. Saha stunned the world and Narine by going deep back into his crease and playing him from the back foot. He waited for the ball to turn and then hit it with supple wrists and deft control. Rarely has anyone mastered Narine to this extent in the IPL, even to this day.