IPL 2016: 11 best knocks from season 9 of the T20 extravaganza
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The ninth edition of the Indian Premier League  (IPL) saw Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) emerging victorious in the high-voltage clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday. While the bowlers did come to the party when it mattered, the tournament was mainly dominated by the batsmen and saw some scintillating knocks being hammered. Suraj Choudhari pens down 12 such knocks from the season which was awe-inspiring.

1.  AB de Villiers, 79* vs Gujarat Lions, Qualifier 1: De Villiers has an uncanny knack of snatching implausible victories from imminent jaws of defeat and he famously did it in the Qualifier 1 encounter against Gujarat Lions (GL) where wickets kept tumbling like ninepins. While chasing a modest target of 158, RCB stumbled to 5 for 29, when de Villiers played a match-winning knock of an unbeaten 79 to steer his side to the final o the tournament. READ MORE: IPL 2016: Notable players who had little or nothing to do in season 9

 

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2.  Virat Kohli, 109 vs Gujarat Lions, Match 44: Kohli played some mind-boggling knocks in the entire season and seemed to be in his prime. He smashed four tons and almost reached the 1000-run mark in the entire edition, thus rightly earning the Orange Cap for being the highest run-getter in the tournament. In this game against GL, Kohli smacked 109 runs from just 55 deliveries and stitched a match-winning partnership with de Villiers of 229 runs. RCB won the game convincingly by 144 runs and gained two priceless points. READ MORE: IPL 2016: Most memorable moments, Part I

 

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Image Courtesy: BCCI

 

3.  Quinton de Kock, 108 vs RCB, Match 11: De Kock stunned everyone by hitting a determined century against RCB in a run-chase. This was also the first century of the season as de Kock made a name for him and his team gained momentum from this win. While chasing a mammoth target of 192, de Kock came out hard and helped his side to emerge victorious in the run-infested game. His innings contained 15 boundaries and three sixes as his side won by 7 wickets. READ MORE: IPL 2016 Flop XI: Kane Williamson, Pawan Negi, Hardik Pandya and others who failed

 

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Image Courtesy: BCCI

 

4.  AB de Villiers, 129 vs Gujarat Lions, Match 44: De Villiers and Kohli together wreaked havoc at Bangalore with their hair-raising display of belligerent batting. de Villiers made a mockery of GL’s bowling as he plundered an unconquered 129 from just 52 deliveries. His knock included 10 boundaries and two maximums. RCB posted 248 in their 20 overs and courtesy to the 229 runs stand between them. This was undoubtedly one of the finest innings played in the history of IPL.

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Image Courtesy: BCCI

 

5.  Chris Morris, 82* vs Gujarat Lions, Match 23: Morris has been widely reckoned as a potent all-rounder for his ability to take on the best bowling attack with immense confidence. In this game against GL, Morris looked unstoppable and GL were clueless on how to restrict him from scoring. Morris played an unbelievable knock of 82 from just 32 deliveries in which he also smashed the fastest fifty of the tournament which came in just 17 deliveries. He demolished the GL attack with eight sixes and four boundaries but failed to carry his team over the line as they fell short of a single run.

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Image Courtesy: BCCI

 

6.  Krunal Pandya, 86 vs Delhi Daredevils, Match 47: Pandya was elevated in the batting order in a crucial encounter for the Mumbai Indians and he did not fail to justify his selection as he came out with flying colours. Pandya made rounds on social media with his belligerent knock of 86 which came in just 37 balls and also included seven boundaries and six sixes. He assisted his side in posting 206 runs and further win the contest by 80 runs. Pandya is surely the one to watch out for in the near future as he has shown enough mettle in the tournament.

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Image Courtesy: BCCI

 

7.  AB de Villiers, 64 vs Kings XI Punjab, Match 39: De Villiers once again came to RCB’s rescue in a crucial game against KXIP at Mohali. On a difficult surface, yet again RCB batting floundered after getting a good start. They were precariously placed at 3 for 67 but de Villiers was still present at the crease who had other ideas. He stuck to his guns and smashed a tenacious 64 in just 35 deliveries as his side posted 175 and won the game by a solitary run.

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Image Courtesy: BCCI

 

8.  Yusuf Pathan, 37* vs Rising Pune Supergiants, Match 45: In a rain curtailed match, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were asked to chase down a target 66 in nine overs according to D/L method. It looked a cake walk for a team like KKR, but they lost couple of wickets in quick successions and found themselves in hot water when Yusuf Pathan changes things around. Pathan senior went berserk and took on the pumped RPS’ attack with his big hitting abilities. They chased down the target in five overs courtesy to Pathan’s unbeaten knock of 37 from 18 balls which had four boundaries and three sixes.    

Image Courtesy: BCCI
Image Courtesy: BCCI

9.  David Warner, 93*vs Gujarat Lions, Qualifier 2: Warner was the lone warrior for SRH in most of the games as he single-handedly won his side many games in the tournament. In the decisive Qualifier 2 against GL at Delhi, SRH were in all sorts of trouble while chasing a target 163 but they had all their hopes intact as Warner was standing out there in the middle. And the maverick left-handed Australian did not let them down as he sailed SRH ship through choppy waters and sculpted a spot in the final. This was one of the best knocks played by Warner under immense pressure as he scored 93 from just 58 deliveries and clobbered 11 boundaries and three sixes.  

Image Courtesy: BCCI
Image Courtesy: BCCI

10.  Virat Kohli, 113 vs Kings XI Punjab, Match 50: Kohli did not have a single T20 century to his name before the start of this tournament and surprisingly he smashed four in the entire season and looked inescapable. In business end of the tournament, RCB needed to win every game to stay alive in the tournament and Kohli stepped up on the big occasion with a brisk century which came in just 50 deliveries. His 12 boundaries and eight sixes helped RCB post 211 runs in their 20 overs and win the contest by 82 runs (D/L method).

 

11.  Karun Nair 83* vs Sunriser Hyderabad, Match 52: It is often said that pressure gets the best out of a batsman and on this occasion Karun Nair stood tall in a must win game for Delhi Daredevils (DD) against one of the best bowling attacks in the tournament. While Chasing 159 on a ground which had bigger boundaries, Nair played a sensible and astute knock of 83 from 59 deliveries and won his side the game in the ultimate over. Nair was adjudged the Man of the Match award and rightly so for his determination and temperament which he displayed in the run chase.

Image Courtesy: BCCI
Image Courtesy: BCCI

(Suraj Choudharian avid cricket follower who plays the sport at club level, is a staffer with CricLife)