The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 got postponed earlier this week after the Covid-19 breached the bio-bubble of different franchises, infecting few players along with the support staff.
Teams like Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Delhi Capitals (DC) were mostly affected. Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Wriddhiman Saha, Amit Mishra and Michael Hussey are few such names who have been tested positive in recent days.
There are some speculations regarding the rearrangement of the fourteenth season as BCCI is exploring options like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to stage the tournament there. Recently, few England county clubs also came forwards and offered to host the remainder of IPL 2021.
So far, only 29 matches had taken place in IPL 2021, with DC being the number one side in the points table after winning 6 out of 8 games. After these many games, there were quite a few memorable batting performances that garnered all the attention. Let’s have a look at five such players who smashed the highest scores in IPL 2021:
5.) Faf du Plessis (Chennai Super Kings) – 95*
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener and mainstay in the batting department, Faf du Plessis, enjoyed several fruitful outings in the 2021 edition of the cash-rich league. The former South Africa skipper played seven matches this year, scoring 320 runs at a remarkable average of 64 and a stunning strike rate of 145.45.
During a game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday (April 21), Du Plessis lit the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai with his spectacular batting display. The right-handed batsman took KKR bowlers to the cleaners, playing a brilliant unbeaten knock of 95 runs from just 60 balls at a strike rate of 158.33. Du Plessis slammed 13 boundaries, including four sixes. Riding on his outstanding batting, CSK posted 220/3 in their allotted 20 overs and defeated KKR by 18 runs.
4.) Mayank Agarwal (Punjab Kings) – 99*
The Punjab Kings (PBKS) opener Mayank Agarwal had a tremendous season in IPL 2020, and he continued the same momentum this year as well. Mayank scored 260 runs from seven matches at an average of 43.33 and a strike rate of 141.30.
Ahead of PBKS’ seventh game in the competition against Capitals – which was also the last fixture before IPL 2021 was suspended – skipper KL Rahul had to miss the match as he was hospitalised after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis.
In his absence, Mayank led the team and scored a brilliant unbeaten 99 off 58 balls, including eight fours and four sixes. Although, Punjab lost that contest by seven wickets as DC chased down the target of 166 in 17.4 overs.
3.) Devdutt Padikkal (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 101*
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) young batting sensation Devdutt Padikkal displayed his ‘A-Game’ when he smashed his IPL career’s maiden century on Thursday (April 22) at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium against Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Chasing 180, Padikkal smashed an unbeaten 101 off 52 balls with the help of 11 fours and 6 maximums. RCB did not lose a single wicket as skipper Virat Kohli stayed not out at the other end on 72 to help his side defeat the Royals by 10 wickets.
2.) Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals) – 119
Rajasthan Royals (RR) new captain Sanju Samson started the fourteenth season of the lucrative league in grand style after smashing the first century of IPL 2021 in the fourth match of the competition.
Chasing a humungous target of 222 runs set by Punjab Kings (PBKS), Sanju came out all guns blazing and almost pulled off a miraculous victory for his side. The Kerala batter scored 119 runs off 63 balls packed with 12 fours and seven gigantic sixes. However, his efforts went in vain as the Royals lost the match by a mere four runs.
1.) Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) – 124
RR’s explosive stroke maker Jos Buttler tops the list with his scintillating batting display against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Sunday (May 02). The wicketkeeper-batsman cannonaded the SRH bowling unit, smashing 124 runs and recording the highest score of IPL 2021.
Buttler scored these runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 193.75, slamming 11 fours and eight huge sixes. Riding on his tremendous knock, RR posted 220/3 in their allotted 20 overs. In reply, the Kane Williamson-led side only managed to reach 165/8, losing the fixture by 55 runs.
Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians) – 87*
Mumbai Indians (MI) power-hitter Kieron Pollard‘s jaw-dropping batting exhibition against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is arguably one of the best innings in the history of the IPL. The MS Dhoni-led team had set MI a massive target of 219, and Pollard came out to bat in the 10th over when MI needed 14 runs an over.
The West Indies giant spent some time in the middle, and the required rate soared to 16 per over. But then, Pollard changed the course of the match by producing one of the most high-class and dominating batting display.
The right-handed batsman smashed eight sixes and six fours during his power-packed 87 runs knock. Pollard reached his half-century off just 17 deliveries – the fastest in IPL 2021. Despite hitting back-to-back boundaries, MI still needed 16 off the final over. Pollard took Lungi Ngidi to the cleaners, hitting a 4, 4 and 6 off the first five deliveries before picking up a couple off the final ball to take MI over the finish line.