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Monday, November 30, 2020

From Tewatia’s carnage to a Surya special: Top five knocks of IPL 2020

The defining batting knocks of IPL 2020 have come from lower order batsmen and players who had been picked as replacements.

Written by Shivam Saha | Updated: November 8, 2020 10:36:08 am
In Frame: (L-R) Rahul Tewatia, Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli. (Source: IPL 2020)

The Indian Premier League 2020 is coming to a close with defending champions Mumbai Indians vying for their fifth title. Rohit Sharma & co. put on a dominant show in UAE and the team now wait to see who they will be contesting against – Sunrisers Hyderabad or Delhi Capitals – in the final.

Over the course of a month and a half, fans at home witnessed some fantastic innings — with the likes of Rahul Tewatia and Suryakumar Yadav hogging most of the limelight. Kings XI Punjab missed out on making to the play-offs by a whisker but their skipper KL Rahul currently stands solid at the top of the Orange Cap race. Among other Indians who displayed a solid show with the bat is Shikhar Dhawan, who also became the first cricketer to slam consecutive centuries in the history of the tournament.

In this article we recall the five standout innings of the tournament.

Rahul Tewatia & Sanju Samson go berserk

“You guys couldn’t wait for 18 balls, we waited for 18 years to see this day,” this is what Rahul Tewatia’s uncle Dharambir had to say the next morning after his nephew swatted Kings XI aside with his ruthless batting. The Haryana-based cricketer smashed Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over, drawing praise from India’s sixer-king Yuvraj Singh. The 2011 World Cup hero might even have breathed a sigh of relief as Tewatia just missed his feat of smashing six maximums in an over.

The 27-year-old found great support from Sanju Samson, who finished the game with 82 from 42 balls. The pair led Rajasthan to the highest run-chase of IPL.

‘He came, He conquered’

“He came, He stared, He conquered,” said a tweet from Mumbai Indians with an image of India skipper Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav. Such was Suryakumar’s class on the day that he remained unfazed even after a cold stare from Kohli, who made the best possible effort to unsettle the batsman.

In the match, Suryakumar put up another masterclass, helping his side complete a comfortable five-wicket win over RCB. Walking out to bat in the sixth over and with wickets tumbling at the other end, the right-handed batsman constructed his innings beautifully and maintained the pressure on RCB. He eventually went on to finish the show with a bossy drive, and remained unbeaten on 79 from 43 balls.

The one which went unnoticed! 

22-year-old Ishan Kishan is doing everything right in the ongoing edition, yet has remained relatively unheralded. The Patna boy has cemented his position in a team of stars and now holds the record for smashing the most number of sixes in this edition. The youngster stepped up when the team required an opener and now with the return of Rohit Sharma in the playing XI,  he has shown no discomfort batting in the middle overs.

Kishan has the potential to drag his side out of crisis. This was displayed during Mumbai’s first meeting against RCB, which went into the Super Over. Chasing a stiff 202, Mumbai had lost Rohit, De Kock and Suryakumar cheaply. But it was Kishan who almost snatched the win from RCB’s hands, forcing the game into the Super Over. Batting at a strike-rate of 170.69, the young wicketkeeper-batsman went on to score 99 from 58 deliveries, which included two fours and nine sixes. Thanks to his inning, MI eventually finished on level terms but RCB had the final laugh after the Super Over.

Dhawan roars back

“This is the first season I have had two hundreds and two ducks,” this was Shikhar Dhawan’s response when asked if he considers the ongoing campaign in UAE as his best. Dhawan hit the right chord at the perfect moment, with Delhi still in the reckoning for their first IPL crown. The swashbuckling opener is currently third in the race for the Orange Cap and has already smashed two centuries in the season.

He got the first one against Chennai Super Kings, and it came on a day when most of his teammates failed to show up with the bat. Chasing a stiff 180, Delhi were pushed on the back foot right from the first over. However, an unperturbed Dhawan put on a one-man show, making sure his team closed the game with two crucial points. The left-handed batsman finished the match unbeaten on 101 from 58 deliveries, which saw the batsman punching some of the best cover-drives and hitting 14 fours.

A Saha special

Wriddhiman Saha put on a show of superlative confidence when asked to step in the SRH playing XI in place of Jonny Bairstow. The gamble paid off for the Surisers as India’s Test regular finished the contest with a blazing 85 from 45 balls. His effort helped SRH post a gigantic 219/2 on the board, which eventually proved more than enough for their opponent.

His innings was hailed by batting great Sachin Tendulkar, who highlighted the fact that Saha showed great composure and didn’t hurry.

(Note: The list has been updated till the end of the league stage of IPL 2020)

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