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On May 17, 2011, Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh recorded the highest partnership in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) sharing 206 for the second wicket. Gilchrist’s knock of 106 from 55 deliveries and Marsh’s unbeaten 79 off 49 deliveries beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) into submission at the scenic Dharamsala stadium. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) recorded the third biggest victory in terms of runs in IPL history as well. Shrikant Shankar writes about the match that broke numerous records in the IPL.
Kings XI Punjab‘s form was on and off during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2011 season. They began with a loss and then won three back-to-back. Punjab then lost five on the bounce. One of those was a mauling at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) away. Chris Gayle hammered 107 off 49 deliveries with 10 fours and nine sixes. They then sprung a run of three victories in-a-row. Their next opposition was Bangalore at the scenic Dharamsala on May 17. Punjab needed to win this match and the one after that to harbour any chances of qualifying for the play-offs.
Bangalore were the team to beat in the group stages of IPL 2011. With Gayle in imperious form, not many teams were able to stop them. Adam Gilchrist led Punjab while Virat Kohli was the captain of Bangalore. It was Gilchrist who won the toss and elected to bat. The Australian opened the batting with Paul Valthaty. It was Valthaty, who did all the early scoring. When he was dismissed for 20, Punjab had scored 25 runs in 3.5 overs. Charl Langeveldt had got the breakthrough. Shaun Marsh joined his compatriot and captain. It was all this duo till almost the end of the innings.
Gilchrist hit his first boundary of the match with a six off Abhimanyu Mithun over deep square-leg in the seventh over. It was his 100th T20 six. Sreenath Aravind bowled the eighth over and Gilchrist struck him for a six over long-off. The next delivery was hit over the bowler for a four. Marsh, too, was scoring the boundaries and that meant Punjab were scoring at a brisk pace. Gayle came into bowl the ninth over and Gilchrist seized the opportunity and hit back-to-back sixes. The first over long-off and the second over deep mid-wicket.
Langeveldt received more punishment as Gilchrist hammered three sixes on the trot in the 10th over. The altitude at which the ground is located made sure the ball sailed over the boundary with ease on most occasions. With the third maximum, Gilchrist reached his half-century in only 25 deliveries. He had already struck seven sixes and only one four. Gilchrist then got his second four with a thick outside-edge off Mithun towards third-man. Kohli decided that he would roll his arm over in search of a wicket. Obviously that didn’t work as Marsh hit one over deep mid-wicket and Gilchrist cracked one through extra-cover for a four.
The luck was on Gilchrist’s side as a thick inside-edge off Aravind went past wicketkeeper Arun Karthik towards fine-leg for a four. Gayle was brought back in the 14th over. Gayle had taken three wickets against Punjab in their previous clash, where he scored a blazing century as well. It was Gilchrist’s turn this time around. Marsh hit one towards long-off and Mohammad Kaif dived to his right and could not hold onto a difficult catch. That proved costly as Marsh then laid into Johan van der Wath in the 15th over. Marsh gave the South African all-rounder a spanking, he would never forget.
All six deliveries in the over resulted in boundaries. The first two deliveries were sixes. The next three deliveries were fours. The last delivery was a six down the ground. Marsh plundered 30 runs in the over and in the process got his half-century. By the end of that over, Punjab were at 173 for one. Gayle then bowled a full-toss and Gilchrist placed it between deep mid-wicket and long-on for a four. Kohli thought van der Wath deserved another over and brought him on in the 18th. Gilchrist drove a slower delivery over long-off for a six first up. The third delivery was struck through extra-cover for a four. That brought him into the 90s.
To his credit, van der Wath only conceded 16 runs in this over – a whole 14 runs lesser than his previous one. Aravind then bowled a slow long-hop and Gilchrist pulled the ball over deep square-leg for a six. The last over was to be bowled by Langeveldt and Gilchrist needed only two runs to get to his century. The first two deliveries were faced by Marsh. Then Gilchrist hammered one over extra-cover for a four to reach his ton. The whole crowd at Dharamsala stood up and applauded a magnificent century. This was Gilchrist’s second century in the IPL.
Gilchrist then sliced one over point to get his eighth four. Gilchrist then gave a simple catch to Gayle at short third-man. He was out for 106 off only 55 deliveries. This included a total of nine sixes. Gilchrist and Marsh were involved in a monumental 206-run stand for the second wicket at 12.87 runs an over. This remains the highest partnership for any wicket in IPL history. Punjab finished their innings at 232 for two. The total is the fourth highest as well in the tournament’s history. Marsh remained unbeaten on 79 off 49 deliveries with seven fours and five sixes.
What happened next
The Bangalore innings began in wrong fashion as Gayle was out for a duck to Ryan Harris. Kohli followed for 11 to Harris. Saurabh Tiwary then fell for six to Shalabh Srivastava. Asad Pathan was dismissed by Valthaty for seven. It was a procession of wickets as Kaif (15), Arun Karthik (6), AB de Villiers (34) and van der Wath (4) followed. Piyush Chawla was the wrecker-in-chief as he took four wickets. Bangalore did manage to cross the 100-run mark with the last three batsmen contributing 29 runs. Mithun was dismissed by Harris for 10 and Langeveldt was bowled by Srivastava for eight. Bangalore were all out for 121 in only 17 overs. The 111-run victory margin is the third highest in terms of runs in IPL history. Gilchrist was the Man of the Match award, which was of no surprise.
What followed in the tournament
Punjab, though, would lose their next and final match to Deccan Chargers and miss out on a play-off spot by finishing fifth in the standings. Bangalore would finish the group stages at the top of the Points Table. Chennai Super Kings would then hammer Bangalore in the final to successfully defend their crown.
Kings XI Punjab 232 for 2 in 20 overs (Adam Gilchrist 106, Shaun Marsh 79*; Charl Langeveldt 2 for 48) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 121 in 17 overs (AB de Villiers 34; Piyush Chawla 4 for 17, Ryan Harris 3 for 28) by 111 runs.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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