SK Elite: When Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers destroyed Gujarat Lions
- The record-breaking stand of 229 between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
The stadium looked like a red heart with specks of green beating to one rhythm. Was it Stick Cricket or real? No one could tell the difference. We weren't allowed to sit in our seats and both the batsmen in the middle ensured it.
At least half of the fans in M4 stand were standing on their yellow seats, much like every other stand in the Chinnaswamy. The flags were waved with an increased fervour with every ball.
I heard my brother's voice in between overs, after having screamed 'RCB! RCB!' for over an hour he wasn't able to finish his words. His throat hurt as he spoke and I realised that the same fate was going to befall me sometime soon.
May 14, 2016. RCB vs GL
When I entered the stadium with my brother, messages from my friends, who believed it was a mistake to watch this very match in the stadium, kept flowing in. RCB had lost six out of the 10 matches in the season and they had to win the next 4 to make it to the playoffs. With no Gayle-storm and a subdued Shane Watson, RCB were clearly struggling.
Kohli seemed rather serious at the toss. He suggested that it's a 'typical Bangalore wicket', meaning a green signal to the batsmen and a disclaimer to the bowlers. Brendon McCullum won the toss and chose to field. Oh, what would we have given to see Kohli chase!
I heard sighs from people who thought Kohli wouldn't explode batting first as he would've while chasing, and rightly so. His records said the same thing. But little did we know what was to come!
Kohli and ABD's StickCricket knocks
Kohli pushed himself up the order and opened the innings with Gayle instead of putting KL Rahul up front. Clearly, he was trying everything he could to win the match as it was the first of four do-or-die encounters.
By the end of three overs, RCB stood at 10-0, Gayle was looking completely out of sorts and secretly, everyone in the stands wished he got out. The West Indian was gone within five deliveries and AB de Villiers trudged to the middle.
Subsequently, the spinners were introduced to the attack and the duo began flexing their muscles. Both Shivil Kaushik and Pravin Tambe shared the biggest nightmare of their IPL careers and were sent to all corners of the ground. RCB were suddenly 50 for one after seven overs.
The hopeless Chinnaswamy crowd had now put all its faith in Kohli and AB. The next five overs saw both the batsmen settling down and by the time Kulkarni was brought back in the 12th over, the duo had their sights set on a big total.
22 runs were scored off the 13th over and the total went from 81 to 103. I don't remember sitting down or shutting up after that. No matter how many bowlers were changed, the duo just kept firing on all cylinders.
A total of 167 runs were added in the last eight overs with the RPO going over 20. The Kohli-ABD duo had taken 9.4 overs to bring their 100-run partnership. But within the next 4.5 overs, that is within the next 29 balls, they added 100 more runs to the board.
The crowd was in a state of frenzy. Every face shown on the big screen had a mouth wide open and a pair of hands thrown in the air. No one in the stadium was ready to budge, not us and definitely not the batsmen. It was the most beastly of partnerships in this format of the game. The green jersey added to the beastliness as they looked like Hulks stampeding the poor Gujarat team.
After dismissing the balls for sixes more than fours, Kohli(109) had a strike rate of 198 while AB(129) maintained a whopping 248. RCB ultimately finished with 248 on the board.
The Lions roar as loud as meow
With an Everest to climb, the Gujarat team were deep in the Mariana Trench. Their entire team managed to put up a score which wouldn't have been enough to even beat Kohli's individual score as they were all out at 104,
If there's one partnership that could be awarded the best in the history of IPL, this would be it. I cannot even manage to put up this score on Stick Cricket!Published 06 Apr 2018, 22:55 IST