The 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League might not have been scheduled at the ideal time with the ICC World Cup looming on the horizon, but it’s fair to say the annual T20 extravaganza has lived up to the hype once again.
Close finishes, sixes galore, controversies and even Super Overs – this tournament has seen it all and then some. Power hitting has been taken to a new level this season, with teams starting to focus more on hitting the ball out of the park as often as possible in the course of an innings.
Here we take a look at five of the best displays of power hitting in the IPL 2019 that single-handedly changed the course of the match.
Rishabh Pant (vs. Mumbai Indians) – Pant’s fearless and attacking style with the bat has always seen him excel in the shortest format of the game and he provided a glimpse into just what he can do in Delhi Capitals’ opening game of the season.
Batting first, DC looked on course for a decent score before Pant came in and wreaked havoc. Slamming 7 fours and as many sixes, he proceeded to make 78 off just 27 balls as DC scored 213-6 in their 20 overs. MI never stood a chance, even though they fought hard in the second innings.
Andre Russell (vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore) – Truthfully any one of the Jamaican’s knocks this season can be used as an example of power hitting at its best, but his display at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru helped Kolkata Knight Riders snatch a win from the jaws of defeat.
Chasing 206, KKR needed 53 runs in the final 3 overs when Russell came in to bat. He then proceeded to hit 48 off 13 balls – which included smashing Tim Southee for 28 off the penultimate over. Not only did KKR end up winning the match, they did so with 5 balls to spare.
Virat Kohli (vs. Kolkata Knight Riders) – RCB had only won one match at that point and Kohli’s form with the bat had also been inconsistent. Yet the skipper showed that class is permanent as he starred in his side’s second win of the season.
Kohli came out to open and batted through the innings. He showed attacking intent early and scored 100 in 58 balls, slamming 9 fours and 4 sixes to take his side to 213-4. The target eventually proved too much despite Russell and Nitish Rana threatening to turn the game around at one point.
Jonny Bairstow (vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore) – Bairstow didn’t play all the IPL matches this year since he left early to join the England camp ahead of the 2019 World Cup, but he put in a number of decent showings for Sunrisers Hyderabad at the top of the order.
His best innings came against RCB at Hyderabad. Bairstow kept the scoreboard moving even as partner David Warner started slow. The Englishman eventually hit 12 fours and 7 sixes to notch a well-made century. Warner himself reached triple figures soon thereafter, leaving RCB too big a mountain to climb.
KL Rahul (vs. Chennai Super Kings) – The opening batsman has been Kings XI Punjab’s star with the bat for the past two seasons and showed his class once again in his side’s final league match with a quick-fire 71 that helped them end the tournament on a high.
Riding on a 55-ball 96 from Faf du Plessis and a half-century from Suresh Raina, CSK had posted 170-5 in their 20 overs. Undeterred, Rahul took on the bowling attack early and scored 71 off 36 balls before being dismissed. However, his knock had built the foundation for KXIP’s eventual win.
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