The ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has reached its climax with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on first-time finalists Delhi Capitals in the summit showdown of the tournament at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
During this two-month period, a number of players have come up with impressive knocks, some in winning cause while the other in losing cause.
From Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan bringing up back-to-back tons to Kings XI Punjab Mayank Agarwal scoring his maiden T20 century, a total of five centuries have been scored in the 2020 edition of the IPL so far.
Dhawan scripted history at this year’s IPL by notching up back-to-back centuries. He became the only batsman in the thirteen years of IPL history to achieve this feat.
Dhawan notched up his first century of the season during his franchise’s ninth league stage clash against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on October 17.Chasing a target of 180 runs to win, the Indian opener brought up an unbeaten quick-fire knock of 101 runs off just 58 deliveries to help Delhi Capitals cross the mark with a ball to spare. Dhawan’s impressive innings was decorated with 14 boundaries and a maximum.
In the Delhi Capitals’ next fixture against KL Rahul-led Kings XI Punjab on October 20, Dhawan once again shone with the bat and hammered his second consecutive hundred of the season at the Dubai International Stadium.
Fresh off a blistering century in the previous game, Dhawan slammed another unbeaten knock of 106 runs off 61 balls which comprised of 12 boundaries and three sixes to guide Delhi Capitals to a score of 164 for five against Kings XI Punjab.However, the opener’s sensational efforts went in vain as Delhi slumped to a five-defeat at the hands of the Rahul-led team during that match.It was during the same clash that Dhawan crossed 5,000 IPL runs.
Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul is standing second in the list of players with most centuries this season after Dhawan.Rahul’s only knock at this year’s IPL came against Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Dubai International Stadium on September 24.Asked to bat first, skipper-cum opener Rahul led from the front by playing a captain’s knock of 132 runs off 69 deliveries to power KXIP to a good total of 206 for three in their stipulated 20 overs.
Rahul’s knock was decorated with 14 boundaries and seven sixes and it was the highest individual score by an Indian in the history of the IPL.Notably,KXIP went on to win that match by 97 runs.
Rahul’s KXIP team-mate and opening partner Mayank Agarwal is standing behind the captain in the list of players with most centuries this season.Agarwal hammered his maiden ton of the IPL during KXIP’s clash against Rajasthan Royals on September 27 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.After being asked to bat first, Agarwal not only notched up an incredible knock of 106 runs off 61 balls but also stitched a huge 172-run stand for the opening wicket with KL Rahul (69) to guide KXIP to a good total of 223 runs.
En route to his knock, he brought up the second fastest century by an Indian off 45 deliveries and smashed as many as seven sixes and nine fours along the way.The fastest hundred by an Indian belongs to Yusuf Pathan, who reached the three-figure mark off just 37 deliveries while playing for Mumbai Indians against Rajasthan Royakls in 2010.
Besides them, Rajasthan Royals’ Ben Stokes is the only other player to bring up a century in the ongoing season of the cash-rich league. In fact, the all-rounder became the first player in the IPL to score hundreds in two successful chases when he smashed an unbeaten knock of 107 against Mumbai Indians on October 25 at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Stokes hammered the Mumbai Indians bowlers all around and stitched a mammoth partnership with Sanju Smason (unbeaten at 54) to make a mockery of 196-run target and help his side seal a dominating eight-wicket win.
Ahead of the high-octane final clash, let us take a look at those tons:
It will now be interesting to see if Delhi Capitals’ Shikhar Dhawan will manage to add another century to his account before the conclusion of this year’s T20 league.