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IPL 9: The best performances from Week 5

May 17, 2016 08:36 IST

Harish Kotian/Rediff.com picks five performances that took spectators' breaths away in week 9: Five wonderful knocks and one magical spell of bowling.

The fifth week of the Indian Premier League witnessed some of the world's leading batsmen finally come to the fore.

As the tournament closes in on the play-offs, the top players are really making it count for their respective teams.

Cricket fans worldwide had an evening to remember as Virat Kohli and A B de Villiers blasted a century each in the same game in one of the finest attacking batting displays in recent times.

Hashim Amla confirmed his utility as a batsman in the T20 format with a sparkling 96 off 56 balls for the Kings XI Punjab.

The in-form Yusuf Pathan continued his attacking display to make the difference for the Kolkata Knight Riders in their quest for a play-off berth while Krunal Pandya kept the Mumbai Indians in the hunt with an awe-inspiring effort with the bat.

Check out the best performances from Week 5:

De Villers and Kohli steal the limelight

In T20 cricket, when a batsman hits a century it proves decisive. However, when two batsmen from the same team get to three figures it's as good as game over for the opposition.

It was a massacre of the bowlers at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on May 14 as Virat Kohli and A B de Villiers smashed centuries.

The Gujarat Lions bowlers all but gave up as de Villiers smashed a scintillating unbeaten 129 off 52 balls, inclusive of 10 fours and 12 sixes, while Kohli hit a brilliant 109 off 55 balls, with the help of 5 fours and 8 sixes.

RCB plundered a massive 248/3 as records fell by the wayside. This is the second highest score in IPL history behind RCB's 263/5 against the Pune Warriors.

Kohli and de Villiers eclipsed their own partnership record in pummeling the Lions with a staggering 229 runs from 98 balls for the second wicket.

The previous best was 215 against Mumbai Indians in IPL 8.

Gujarat Lions hardly posed a challenge and folded up for a paltry 104 in 18.4 overs.

RCB won by a massive 144 runs and broke the record for the biggest margin of victory in the IPL.

Kohli became the first player to score two centuries against the same opponents in the same IPL season and the first batsman to hit three hundreds in the same season.

Krunal steals the limelight

IMAGE: Krunal Pandya hits a six against the Delhi Daredevils. All Photographs: BCCI

At the start of IPL 9, Hardik Pandya was touted as one of the players to watch out for, but elder brother Krunal has stolen the limelight.

Krunal produced one of the best attacking innings of the tournament, slamming 86 runs off only 37 balls, as the Mumbai Indians routed the Delhi Daredevils by 80 runs to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.

Asked to bat, Mumbai lost skipper Rohit Sharma (31) after a steady start, but Pandya and Martin Guptill's aggressive knocks blew away the Daredevils, adding 98 runs off 50 deliveries for the second wicket.

Promoted to No 3, left-hander Pandya threw his bat at everything while exercising control and finding the boundaries with consummate ease. He was particularly severe on anything short as he smashed 7 fours and 6 sixes, most of them over the leg side.

Krunal also bowled well claiming 2/15.

Zampa takes 6 wickets

Adam Zampa

Australia seems to have uncovered another blonde leg-spinner in Adam Zampa, who claimed 6/19 runs in his 4 overs, the second-best bowling figures in IPL history.

Sadly, his team, the Rising Pune Supergiants were beaten by the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Zampa's magnificent spell helped Pune restrict the Sunrisers to a modest 137/8. The struggling Supergiants were unable to script a successful run chase, finishing with 133/8 in 20 overs.

Zampa's scalps included Yuvraj Singh (23) and Kane Williamson (32), two of the best batsmen in limited-overs cricket. He also accounted for Moises Henriques (10), Deepak Hooda (14), Naman Ojha (7) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1).

Yusuf's fireworks

IMAGE: Yusuf Pathan hits over the top for a six.

Yusuf Pathan shone brightly on a rain-hit evening at the Eden Gardens, blasting an unbeaten 37 runs off only 18 balls, to power the Kolkata Knight Riders to a convincing 8 wicket victory over the Rising Pune Supergiants.

KKR were set a run target from 9 overs via the Duckworth-Lewis method on a pitch offering a lot of assistance to the spinners.

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed both the KKR openers in the first over of the innings, dismissing Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir.

But Yusuf's counter-attack proved too much for the Pune bowlers. His blazing knock was laced with 3 sixes and 4 boundaries as KKR chased down the target with four overs remaining.

His knock ensured that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not be a part of the play-offs for the first time in IPL history. Dhoni led his previous (now banned for two years) team, the Chennai Superkings into the play-offs every IPL season.

It was one of Dhoni's worst knocks in T20 cricket. The Supergiants skipper struggled, scoring 8 from 22 balls.

Amla lives up to his billing

Hashim Amla

IMAGE: Hashim Amla, classy as always.

South African run-machine Hashim Amla was not picked at the IPL Players Auction and only came in as a replacement for the injured Shaun Marsh at the Kings XI Punjab.

In just his 4th game, he proved that he has it in him to succeed even in the T20 format as he smashed his way to a brilliant 96 from 56 balls.

The right-hander was a treat to watch as he tore apart the famed Sunrisers bowling attack. He struck 14 boundaries and 2 sixes.

Amla got into the act from the second ball of the innings, hitting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a four. He then came down heavily on Ashish Nehra, smacking the left-arm pacer for 3 fours in his first over, and then followed it up with 2 hits over the fence in the bowler's next. He brought up his 50 off just 30 balls.

The 33 year old fell agonisingly close to a century to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the final over.

Amla could only watch in dismay as the Sunrisers Hyderabad produced a collective batting performance to clinch a 7 wicket victory with 2 balls to spare.

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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