Cricketnext goes through a list of some of the best batting performances of the 2013 season which changed the course of the tide.
Chris Gayle (175 v Pune Warriors India): The single most memorable innings of this year's IPL was provided by none other than Christopher Henry Gayle. Royal Challengers Bangalore had an incredible run during the first half of the tournament in their backyard and when Pune Warriors went down south, Gayle lit up the Chinnaswamy Stadium with the most brutal display of power seen in the current era. His 175* off merely 66 balls rehashed the record books - the quickest century, maximum sixes in an innings (17) and highest score in all T20 matches. Pune's bowling attack was torn into pieces leaving whatever success Ishwar Pandey and Mitchell Marsh had in the tournament a distant memory.
David Miller (101* v Royal Challengers Bangalore): RCB's record away from home was not one to be too proud of, and their game against Kings XI Punjab is a classic example of that. After restricting KXIP to 64 for 4 in nine overs Virat Kohli and and his men had one foot in the play-off door until David Miller walked in. What followed was one of the most jaw-dropping innings in T20 history as "Killer" Miller took centre-stage and stormed to a 38-ball hundred. The South African snatched the game away putting on an unbeaten 130-run partnership with R Sathish and scored a scintillating 100 runs in five overs. The rub of the green went Miller's way when Kohli put down a sitter and Miller took full toll by smashing 60 off the next 17 balls. He gave the finishing touches to the game giving Gayle his own medicine and smashing one right over his head that ended behind the side screen.
Suresh Raina (100* v Kings XI Punjab): There's a reason Suresh Raina continues to be called the most consistent batsman of all six editions of the IPL. This year too he had a few excellent innings but the one that stands out is his 100* against Punjab at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Raina walked in the fourth over and started off cautiously on a hot day in Chennai before unleashing his wide range of shots. Playing his 92nd game for Chennai Super Kings, Raina notched up his maiden IPL hundred in which he smashed six massive sixes. During this innings, he also crossed the 2600-run mark in the tournament to further prove his credentials as a leading T20 player. His century paved the way for CSK's seventh consecutive win.
Shane Watson (98* v Sunrisers Hyderabad): After his century against CSK went in vain, Watson continued his rich vein of form against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. After Hyderabad recovered from 39 for 6 to manage 144 mainly thanks to their lower order, Rajasthan had an early jitter when Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed leaving RR at 7 for 1. Watson came in at No.3 and decided to bat through the innings. On a testing pitch that supported swing and seam bowling, Watson went with a strike-rate of almost 185 and hit 13 boundaries and four sixes. His 74-run partnership with Rahul Dravid made sure that Rajasthan did not damage their wickets column any further. His blistering unbeaten 98 proved to be the difference as Rajasthan chased down the total with 13 balls to spare.
Virat Kolhi (99 v Delhi Daredevils): - Delhi Daredevils were merely a shadow of their last year's dominance and RCB, like many other sides picked on them when the two faced each other. Kohli had a memorable season and his 99 not out in this fixture was one of his best innings; in fact his career-best. He did not go bizarre with big hits but banked on normal cricketing shots throughout the innings. Not once did he go unorthodox and along with AB de Villiers accumulated 77 in the last four overs. After watchfully negotiating the middle overs, he switched gears to take Umesh Yadav to the cleaners and hammered him for 18 and 23 runs in his last two overs respectively. Kolhi's onslaught took all of 58 deliveries in which he hit 10 fours and four sixes.
Kieron Pollard (66* v Sunrisers Hyderabad): - Pollard's explosion in this IPL was due and when it finally arrived, it hushed Hyderabad with an innings labelled as a "hurricane" by many. Pollard came in with Mumbai in a tight predicament needing 80 off 40 balls. In the 17th over, he got ready to face Thisara Perera in what was the beginning of a carnage. Pollard bludgeoned Perera for three gigantic sixes and followed another three in the next over from legspinner Amit Mishra. Having just nine runs to his name in the first 10 balls, the 26-year Trinidadian hammered 41 off the next 10. Pollard hit six sixes in seven balls to set up a Mumbai win which kept their unbeaten record at home this season intact.
Michael Hussey (88 v Rajasthan Royals): - After having retired from international cricket earlier this year, Hussey showed why he still remains next to impossible to distract at the crease. Hussey managed six half-centuries and one of those six was an 88 against Rajasthan. Chasing a challenging 186, Hussey once again took charge at the top as he began his innings with a flurry of boundaries which made sure that Chennai never got too much behind the required run-rate. After Murali Vijay was dismissed early, Hussey got along with Raina who wasn't his fluent best. Hussey became the aggressor as Chennai crossed the 100-run mark in only the 10th over. His innings took 51 deliveries and before being run-out by Dravid in the 17th over, he had set-up the platform required for CSK to win.
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