T-20 format has always been looked at as a big hitters’ territory and quite rightly so considering the number of sixes hit in each IPL. However, a different breed of batsmen have also found reasonable success in the format such as Virat Kohli and Babar Azam. Both of them rarely play a lofted shot, even in the shortest format and value fours and running between the wickets more than sixes. In this article, we will look at the players to have scored the most fours in a single IPL innings.
#5 Glenn Maxwell – 15 fours vs CSK, 2014
Maxwell is a surprising inclusion in this list considering his penchant for big hits. This innings is a testament to Maxi’s ability to pick the gaps effortlessly on either side of the pitch. Whenever the ball was full, he was quick to drive off the front foot and when the length was shorter he was quick to go back and pull.
The Sweep shot was his biggest strength against the spinners, and he occasionally played the switch hit too. Maxwell bravely targeted CSK’s best bowler Ravi Ashwin and never allowed him to settle. His 43 ball 95 helped Punjab chase down 206 with relative ease.
#4 Ajinkya Rahane – 16 fours vs KXIP, 2012
In the Royals’ first game of the 2012 season, Dravid opened along with Rahane, two classical players who are not best suited for T-20. However, both of them never let the run rate go below par while continuing to play orthodox shots. Rahane in particular showed a lot of composure and took only calculated risks in his 66 ball 98.
He was at his fluent best in the powerplay, punching and driving along the ground exquisitely and made batting look so easy. Once the powerplay was over, Rahane preferred the lofted shot over the bowler’s head which often fetched him four runs. His innings paved the way for a comfortable Royals victory.
#3 Michael Lumb – 16 fours vs KXIP, 2010
On his day, Lumb was a swashbuckling opener who was never afraid to take the attack to the opposition. In this game, Lumb opened along with Naman Ojha to achieve the target of 154. He played to his strength throughout the knock and the small target meant that he could wait for the loose ball.
He cut and pulled fiercely and even the overpitched deliveries were hit a square of the wicket. While facing spinners, he exploited the lack of turn and often pre-meditated his shots. Lumb’s 83 gave Royals the victory with five overs remaining and nine wickets in hand.
#2 Paul Valthaty – 19 fours vs CSK, 2011
This game is still talked about to this day due to two special knocks from Vijay and Valthaty. Vijay’s 74 meant that Punjab would be chasing a target of 189. Valthaty had played only one IPL game before this but played the innings of his life against one of the best attacks in the tournament.
He was getting better with each shot and CSK’s strategy to bowl shorter to him did not help their cause. Throughout the innings, Valthaty just stood at the crease and thrashed the ball everywhere. A mini-collapse in the middle could have easily resulted in a defeat for Punjab. But Valthaty showed maturity to go along with his ruthless aggression and ensured Punjab strode past the target.
#1 AB de Villiers – 19 fours vs Mumbai Indians, 2015
ABD’s highest score in T-20s came courtesy of the record champions Mumbai Indians. ABD combined with Kohli to produce a record IPL partnership and the same pair broke the record one year later against Gujarat Lions. He played pure cricketing strokes in the first ten overs and changed gears at the death.
Two young Indians, Bumrah and Hardik Pandya were the worst affected by ABD’s onslaught. Under pressure, MI bowlers delivered lots of full tosses and gleefully accepted the greetings. His 133* secured a famous victory by 39 runs for the Bangalore based franchise.