The ability to hit a six has often been defined as the most important quality in a T-20 batsman. The IPL has been home to several big hitters over the years, ranging from explosive openers to aggressive finishers. In this article, we will look at the players who have hit the most sixes in an IPL innings.
#5 Chris Gayle – 12 sixes vs Kings XI Punjab, 2015
The Universe Boss features three times in this list and it is a known fact that nobody can match his love for sixes. In the 40th game of the 2015 edition, RCB faced Punjab, with a victory likely to increase their progress to play-offs. Gayle opened along with Kohli and showed little mercy towards the Punjab bowling attack. He destroyed Johnson in the second over with two sixes and two fours.
Sandeep Sharma faced the same fate in the next over as RCB scored 50 runs in four overs. Karanveer Singh was the biggest victim of the Gayle storm as he conceded hat-trick sixes in the 15th over. Gayle got to his century and RCB registered a thumping win in the game by bowling out Punjab for just 88.
#4 AB de Villiers – 12 sixes vs Gujarat Lions, 2016
This match is still remembered fondly for the double century partnership between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. RCB lost Gayle early but ABD and Kohli produced a ruthless counter-attack as RCB scored 248 runs. ABD was in murderous form as he thumped the ball to all parts of the ground. He started the assault with a brilliant back foot six against Shivil Kaushik in the 5th over.
The bowlers kept bowling short to ABD and the ball kept flying towards the midwicket and cow corner region. As the innings progressed, Gujarat bowlers tried to change their line and length but ABD was well set by then and every ball was met with disdain. ABD scored 129 runs and RCB won the game by a margin of 144 runs.
#3 Chris Gayle – 13 sixes vs Delhi Daredevils, 2012
This innings is special since RCB needed a victory against Delhi Daredevils to stay alive in the knockouts race. Daredevils had a fiery attack comprising Yadav, Aaron, Irfan Pathan and Andre Russell. But Gayle was up to the task and forged a century partnership with Kohli to take RCB to 215/1. Gayle took some time to settle at the crease as only 79 runs came off the first 10 overs.
What followed was an onslaught for the ages as Gayle targeted Pathan and scored three sixes off him. Negi tried to shorten his length but was hit for three consecutive sixes in the 16th over. In the end, RCB won a closely fought game by 21 runs to keep their playoff hopes alive.
#2 Brendon McCullum – 13 sixes vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2008
This innings was far ahead of its time as McCullum wrote the gospel of T-20 batting in the very first game of IPL itself. The carnage started in the second over itself as Zaheer Khan was hit for three fours and a six by the future New Zealand skipper.
He repeatedly came down the track to fast bowlers, even after powerplay ended and hit them all over the park. McCullum primarily targeted the cow corner region and scored 65 runs in that area. He ended the innings in style with three sixes off Praveen Kumar and Kolkata won the match by 140 runs.
#1 Chris Gayle – 17 sixes vs Pune Warriors India, 2013
In this game, Gayle registered the highest score in T-20 history and RCB posted the highest T-20 total of all time. Gayle got to his fifty in the 5th over itself by hitting Mitchell Marsh for four sixes and a four.
Warriors skipper Finch made a horrible error and brought himself into the attack in the 8th over and was hit for 29 runs. Gayle got to his hundred off just 30 balls and was on his way to a double century. ABD’s assault from the other end and Bhuvaneshwar’s disciplined bowling at the death kept his tally to 175.