The sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to take off on April 3, but one amazing record from the first-ever game still stands.
On that April day in 2008, after the inaugural ceremony fireworks were over, Kolkata Knight Riders' Brendon McCullum took charge. He hammered the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers to all parts of the ground while making an unbeaten 158.
His blitzkrieg took just 73 balls and contained 10 fours and 13 sixes. The runs came at a strike rate of 216.43, stunning considering the fact that he wasn’t even off the mark after the first six deliveries!
The finish was simply breathtaking as the Kiwi plundered three sixes in the final over bowled by Praveen Kumar. Though McCullum tallied just 188 runs that season (strike rate: 204.34), his Chinnaswamy Classic is an innings that will always be remembered.
It’s a bit surprising that even the ‘Gayleforce” has not been able to dislodge McCullum from the top. Gayle was in rocking form in the 2012 edition with three ‘bests’ to his credit – the Orange Cap for maximum runs (733 in 14 innings), highest individual score (128 not out) and the maximum sixes (59).
Despite going hammer and tongs at the bowlers, Gayle has not been able to even come close to McCullum’s record (30 short at the moment).
Since the West Indian bats at the top of the order, he will have another chance to go after McCullum’s mark in IPL-VI. Chennai’s ‘Super King’ M.S. Dhoni, though possessing the firepower to match and even better McCullum’s effort, does not have the luxury of time and deliveries as he bats in the middle-order.
For the RCB fans, it’ll be a double delight if Gayle crosses the magical score of 158 and also helps his team cover itself with IPL glory, finally.