Over the years, the IPL, which has emerged as the most popular T20 franchise league, attracting top players from across the world, has seen some mind boggling partnerships. In a format where wickets fall frequently because the batsmen are always looking to attack, some stalwarts stitched together unforgettable stands to enter the record books.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the top five highest partnerships in terms of runs in IPL history:
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers – 229 (Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Lions in 2016)
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have often been hailed as two of the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket, across formats. And in 2016 they laid down an unprecedented benchmark against the now defunct Gujarat Lions. Losing Chris Gayle early in the 4th over with just 19 runs on the board and unable to gain any foothold in the match, RCB looked shaken in the early overs. Enter AB de Villiers and things turned around very quickly. Virat and AB ripped through the Lions bowling attack, decimating every bowler that came up against them, racking up a cool 229 runs between them for the second wicket. In turn they broke their own record for the highest partnership in the tournament which was set in the edition before this in 2015. In a partnership that lasted till the penultimate ball of the innings, de Villiers smashed 129 off just 52 balls, while Kohli blasted 109 off 55 to take RCB to a mammoth 248/3. As if the target of 249 was not daunting enough, the RCB’s bowlers too, turned up the heat, bowling out the Lions for a mere 104 to register a comprehensive 144 run win.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers – 215* (Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians in 2015)
Kohli and de Villiers’ stand in 2016 was really a Déjà vu moment. In 2015, the two stalwarts put up a similar performance against the eventual champions of the campaign, the Mumbai Indians. After losing Chris Gayle in the 4th over with just 20 runs on the board, de Villiers entered the ground and chaos descended on the MI bowlers. The dynamic duo put up a magnificent, unbeaten 215 run stand. With de Villiers smashing 133* off 59 balls and Kohli scoring 82* off 50, the Mumbai Indians bowlers had no answers, as RCB put up a daunting total of 235/1. Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma used as many as 6 bowlers and only Lasith Malinga could claim a single wicket. The RCB bowlers then did their job to restrict MI to 196/7 in 20 overs to give their team a 39 run win.
Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh – 206 (Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011)
In a 2011 IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and RCB in Dharamsala two Aussie power hitters came together to put on a real show. After a slow start to the innings and losing opener Paul Valthaty in the 4th over, Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh unleashed pure Aussie fire on the RCB bowlers. Gilchrist raced to 106 off 55 balls, including nine sixes, before falling to Charl Lageveldt. Marsh meanwhile scored a breezy 79* off 49 balls to take Punjab to 232/2. Piyush Chawla then produced an inspired performance, taking four wickets for 17 runs in his 4 overs. AB de Villiers was the top scorer for RCB with 34 as the visiting team was bowled out for 121, handing Punjab a 111 run win.
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Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli – 204* (Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils in 2012)
Current Indian captain Virat Kohli features for a third time on this list, this time with Chris Gayle. In a 2012 IPL match between the Delhi Daredevils and RCB in Delhi, the home team was off to a good start after winning the toss and deciding to bowl first, dismissing opener Tillakaratne Dilshan in the 3rd over with just 11 runs on the board. But that was to be the last bit of joy the DD bowlers would experience in that outing. Chris Gayle, at the peak of his hitting prowess, along with a 23-year-old Virat Kohli attacked the Delhi bowlers to take their team to a formidable 215/1. Gayle went hammer and tongs at the Delhi bowling attack, smashing 128* off just 62 balls. Virat played the perfect second fiddle scoring 73* off 53. In response, Ross Taylor scored a half century, but Delhi could only get to 194/9 in 20 overs, giving RCB a 21 run win. Not surprisingly, Gayle was adjudged Man of the Match.
(Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/GettyImages)
David Warner and Naman Ojha – 189* (Delhi Daredevils vs Deccan Chargers in 2012)
Defending a total of 187/4, the Deccan Chargers were on cloud nine after dismissing Delhi’s Virender Sehwag for just 4 in the first over just two deliveries, but they did not expect what was coming next. David Warner and Naman Ojha went on to outscore the entire DC team. Warner smashed 109* off just 54 balls, with 10 fours and 7 sixes, while Ojha chipped in with 64* off 46 balls as the Daredevils breezed through to a score of 193/1 and a 9 wicket victory in just 16.4 overs. Warner was adjudged Man of the Match. Interestingly the man who got rid of Sehwag in that match and the only Deccan player with a wicket was Shikhar Dhawan.
(Photo by Noah Seelam/AFP via Getty Images)