A century in a T-20 game is a big deal for any player and perhaps more so in the Indian Premier League where a player’s popularity can soar after a hundred. 62 centuries have been scored so far in thirteen seasons. A few hundreds are remembered more so than the others due to the player’s star power or the popularity of the game. Many great knocks played over the years in IPL have not stood the test of time. In this article, we look at five knocks that ought to be remembered more by fans.
#5 Andrew Symonds – 117* vs Rajasthan Royals, 2008
Symonds in his prime was a world-class all-rounder and against Royals, he showed that his power-hitting skills are inferior to none. He came in at number 4 after the dismissals of two great hitters Afridi and Gilchrist. Symonds did not waste any time at the crease and brought his half-century off 29 balls. He took a liking for Aussie legend Shane Warne and scored three sixes and two fours off him in this knock.
#4 Mahela Jayawardene – 110* vs Kolkata Knight Riders, 2010
The diminutive Lankan is not a hard hitter of the ball by any means and that could be a reason why this classy knock is not talked about much. Punjab were chasing a target of 201 and Mahela opened with Manvinder Bisla.
He played some delightful shots in the powerplay and often looked to play the ball in the gaps rather than go for a big hit. His fifty came off 26 balls and a solid partnership with Sangakkara turned the game in Punjab’s favour. Jayawardene reached his hundred off 55 balls and ensured an easy win for Punjab.
#3 Ajinkya Rahane – 103* vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2012
In 2012, the Royals’ opening strategy was dissimilar to other teams as they opened with two orthodox batsmen Dravid and Rahane. Dravid took 32 balls to reach his 25 and the Royals scored only 60 runs in the first 10 overs.
Rahane’s first 50 runs came off 41 balls and he took just 17 more deliveries to reach his century. Owais Shah played the perfect foil to Rahane and their partnership for the second wicket changed the course of the game. Rahane scored 12 fours and 5 sixes in this knock to take Rajasthan to 195/2 at the end of 20 overs.
#2 Quinton de Kock – 108 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2016
RCB batted first in this game and posted a total of 191, thanks to half-centuries from Kohli and ABD. Quinton de Kock made a mockery of the chase as he struck the ball to all parts of the ground and made short work of the target. Against the spinners, he played a few delightful cut shots in the powerplay and the fast bowlers were often hit straight down the ground.
De Kock’s IPL hundred came off 48 balls and included three sixes. Although he was dismissed after his century, Delhi Daredevils won the game with five balls to spare.
#1 Steve Smith – 101 vs Gujarat Lions, 2016
Steve Smith is popularly considered to be a test match specialist but this innings is proof that he can change the gears when needed. Steve Smith arrived at the crease with three overs of powerplay remaining and produced arguably his best knock in IPL. It was a calculated assault from the Aussie as he never took a risk after hitting a six or boundary and kept running hard between the wickets.