Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has become the first batsman to score 6000 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) – but the great man was still upstaged by his young opening partner.
India skipper Kohli reached the milestone in 196 matches and leads the list ahead of Chennai’s Suresh Raina (5448 runs), Delhi’s Shikhar Dhawan (5428), Hyderabad’s David Warner (5384) and Mumbai’s Rohit Sharma (5368).
But his unbeaten knock of 72 on Thursday was eclipsed by 20-year-old Devdutt Padikkal, who smashed 101 off 52 balls in a 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals to become the youngest batsman to score a century during an IPL chase.
“I had the best seat in the house,” Kohli said after Padikkal smashed six sixes and 11 fours and Bangalore reached 181 without loss to top Rajasthan’s 9-177.
“You can’t always be the guy going dominant… Tonight, my role was different and I wanted to hang in there.”
Bangalore remain the only team unbeaten after four rounds, while Rajasthan are now last in the eight-team league.
Rajasthan’s target was imposing but Paddikal and Kohli cruised, sparing nobody.
“The conversation was very clear, we both realised when we were going good,” Paddikal said.
“There were times when he was going better, times when I was going better. We just wanted to rotate the strike.”
Paddikal brought up his 50 in 27 deliveries with a boundary through extra cover in the eighth over and, in the ninth, he swatted legspinner Rahul Tewatia for consecutive sixes.
The century partnership came up in the 10th when Paddikal swivelled on his back foot and pulled Mustafizur over deep square leg.
While Paddikal stalled in the 80s, Kohli rushed from the 20s to his 50, getting there off 34 balls after slapping Chris Morris over mid-off.
Paddikal then achieved the second hundred of this IPL by hitting Mustafizur over deep square leg.
“Flawless innings,” said an admiring Kohli, who himself hit six fours and three sixes in his support act.