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Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore v Gujarat Lions, 2016) – 229
“This is like Ronaldo and Messi on the same team!” tweeted Jos Buttler, as Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers assembled the IPL’s greatest ever partnership for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2016.
RCB hadn’t made a fast start to their innings against the Gujarat Lions, with Chris Gayle being dismissed for 6 (13) as his side made it to just 19/1 from their first four overs.
That start was soon forgotten as Kohli and De Villiers smashed 229 from the following 95 deliveries, including 20 sixes and 15 fours, as all but one of the Lions’ seven bowlers went at 11 runs per over or more. Kolhi ended on 109 with De Villiers scoring 129*.
Though the onslaught was ended with one ball of the innings remaining, Kohli finally losing his wicket, the final total of 248-3 remains the IPL’s second-highest of all time.
Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians, 2015) – 215*
There is a reason why Kohli and De Villiers’ partnership is known as arguably the most iconic in IPL history.
A year and four days earlier, the pair foreshadowed their later efforts with an unbeaten partnership of 215 that was almost as thrilling as what was to come.
This time there was just one centurion (De Villiers with 133*), eight sixes and 29 fours, but the damage did include a young Jasprit Bumrah going for 52 runs off his four overs and Harbhajan Singh conceding 30 from his two.
Considering that team scores of 215 or higher are rare, the pair’s double place in history seems likely to be preserved for a while to come.
Adam Gilchrist & Shaun Marsh (Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2011) – 206
Kohli and De Villiers were involved in another record partnership as early as 2011, but this time they were the victims.
RCB’s skipper and lieutenant could only watch as two Australian batsmen took their side apart in May 2011, except for when Kolhi brought himself on to bowl for one costly over of 13.
Captain and wicket-keeper of Kings XI Punjab, Gilchrist, was the key protagonist, hitting 106 from 55 deliveries, including eight fours and nine sixes.
Marsh played a more than decent support act, striking 79 from 49 deliveries, to set up what was at the time the biggest partnership the competition had seen.
Chris Gayle & Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore v Delhi Daredevils, 2012) – 204*
You-know-who makes his third entry into this list after an unbeaten partnership of 204 with Chris Gayle in 2012.
Once again, though, Kohli (73) took a back seat as Chris Gayle smashed Delhi Daredevils all around the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
After crushing seven fours and 13 sixes, Gayle finished on 128* (62), despite having taken no runs from his first eight deliveries. Each of Delhi’s six bowlers went at 9.5 runs per over or more.
The one sour note? Kohli needed just three runs from the final delivery to turn this into what would have then been the biggest IPL partnership ever. For once, he missed the ball completely for a dot.
David Warner & Naman Ojha (Delhi Daredevils v Deccan Chargers, 2012) – 189*
Warner’s IPL career will be remembered for his time as captain and lynchpin of Sunrisers Hyderabad, but his time at Delhi Daredevils featured its fair share of history.
Deccan Chargers batted first in this match, their total of 187-4 only enough to set up the highest partnership ever recorded in an IPL run chase.
Warner went at more than two runs per delivery, scoring 109 (54), including 10 fours and seven sixes. Naman Ojha’s 64 (46) proved valuable support.
Once again, the bowling figures made for grim reading, with five bowlers going at 11 runs per over or more, allowing the chase to be completed with 20 balls to spare.
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