IPL 2023: Top 5 batting performances from the league stage.
The league stage of the 2023 edition of IPL has ended and we now move on to the knockouts with the top-4 teams vying for glory. Gujarat Titans, Chennai Super Kings, Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians have all qualified for the next stage and there have been several scintillating batting performances along the way.
Here are 5 such knocks that will be etched in the memory of IPL fans.
Heinrich Klaasen’s 104 off 51 vs RCB at Hyderabad
This has to be the finest knock of this IPL and is definitely amongst the best innings played by an overseas batter in the IPL. The South African keeper-batter was the best batter on display for the Sunrisers Hyderabad throughout the tournament and he had very little support from the rest of the batters, both Indian talent as well as the foreign contingent. The rest had an ordinary season, and this was one of the reasons why SRH finished at the last spot in the points table.
Hence, the only solace in the batting department came in the form of Henrich Klaasen who finished the season as the leading run-scorer for the Orange Army with 448 runs in 11 outings and his 104 against RCB at home is the best among his three fifty-plus scores in the season.
Coming to the knock, Klaasen’s 104 was all class and the way he played spin was simply outstanding. He attacked them from the word go and was particularly severe on the loose balls on offer. The fact that the rest of SRH batters scored only 82 off 69 balls shows the surface wasn’t that easy to bat either. He applied himself on that tricky Hyderabad wicket to bring up his century off only 49 deliveries.
Klaasen’s masterful innings included 6 sixes and 8 boundaries, and this propelled SRH to 186. However, that wasn’t enough to get them over line as RCB chased it down courtesy of a century by Virat Kohli.
Rinku Singh’s 48* including 5 sixes vs GT at Ahmedabad
Rinku Singh before IPL 2023 and after are two different stories. Pre-IPL, many would have hoped that Rinku Singh would just be another player for KKR but at the end of the league, the left-hander is now regarded as one of the best finishers in the country.
And the reason is his remarkable 5-ball 5-sixes against the defending champions Gujarat Titans at Ahmedabad. In his side’s daunting chase of 205, 29 runs were required off the final over and Rinku Singh did the unimaginable. After Umesh Yadav took a single of the first ball of the final over, Rinku took matters upon himself by smashing 5 maximums in the next 5 balls off Yash Dayal to register a stunning win.
He ended with an unbeaten 48 and his fame only grew as the season progressed as Rinku returned as the leading run-scorer of the season for KKR with 474 runs at an average of 59 which is sensational specially for a player coming at No.6.
Suryakumar Yadav's 84 vs RCB at Wankhede
Suryakumar Yadav started the season with a string of poor scores with not even a single 50+ score in first 5 innings but he came back to his usual self in the latter half of the season. In the next 7 innings, he scored four 50s and a century and one such breath-taking performance came in a high-profile run chase against RCB at Wankhede.
Chasing 200 on what was a belter of a wicket, Surya showed his full range in his stunning 35-ball 83 as MI chased down the target in the 17th over. He scored 6 maximums in his effort, and this made MI reach the target with relative ease.
Nicholas Pooran’s 58 off 30 against KKR at Eden Gardens
One of the reasons why the Lucknow Super Giants are in the playoffs is due to their middle order prowess and Nicholas Pooran played a key role in that. Having played several useful match-winning knocks along the way, Pooran proved his worth in a must-win game against the KKR at Eden Gardens.
Needing a win in their last league game to reach the playoffs, LSG were in all sorts of trouble at 73/5 when Pooran entered the fray and the left-hander completely shifted the momentum in his side’s favour. He hit a flurry of sixes upon his arrival and made a match-winning 58 off 30 to take LSG to 176/8, a score which they might not have anticipated at the halfway point. Eventually, it proved to be a massive difference as LSG won the important game by a solitary run to book their place in playoffs.
Marcus Stoinis’ 89 off 47 against MI at Lucknow
LSG are in a position of strength this season due to the good work done by their middle order batters and Marcus Stoinis was at the forefront of this charge. He along with Pooran took the responsibility to score quick runs in the middle overs.
However, the Ekana Stadium wasn’t that conducive to batting and we witnessed several low-scoring encounters in this season. LSG lost quite a few games at their home venue but come their last home game against the MI which was a must-win for them to stay alive, Stoinis played a blinder of a knock.
On a slow Lucknow wicket, LSG found themselves in trouble at 35/3 before Stoinis came to bat and he trounced MI bowlers all around the park to take them to total of 177/3. Stoinis hit a whopping 8 sixes in his staggering unbeaten knock of 89 off only 47 balls and this helped the home side win by 5 runs.