On This Day: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers redefine batting in IPL with world-record stand

Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers butchered a hapless Gujarat Lions bowlers as they both smashed centuries and stitched a world record 229-run stand in IPL 2016.

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli hit centuries as they stitched a world record 229-run stand in the IPL 2016 match against Gujarat Lions. (Image credit: Twitter)
By Siddharth vishwanathan | May 14, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

14 fours and 20 sixes. 96 balls of carnage that redefined batting in the modern era. For every team in the world, their worst nightmare is seeing AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli fire in unison. On May 14, 2016, Gujarat Lions faced their ultimate nightmare against Royal Challengers Bangalore. De Villiers and Kohli blasted them all around the M Chinnaswamy stadium. It was like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in fine form and scoring goals just for fun. De Villiers and Kohli were smashing boundaries for fun as if they were in an exhibition match.

When Chris Gayle fell cheaply to Dhawal Kulkarni, Gujarat Lions believed that they had a fair chance of restricting RCB. Little did they know that Kohli and de Villiers had planned destruction. When de Villiers got off the mark with a big six off Shivil Kaushik, the path was laid for Royal Challengers Bangalore to blow the opponents away.

De Villiers, Kohli and six-hitting melee

It was de Villiers who set the ball rolling when he blasted a four and a six off Pravin Tambe. In just six balls, he had caught up with Kohli. In the next three balls, he overhauled him with a boundary off Kaushik. At the end of the ninth over, Royal Challengers Bangalore were 63/1. Gujarat Lions had done a good job in restricting the duo. When Kohli and de Villiers hit a boundary off Dwayne Smith, Royal Challengers Bangalore had reached 76/1 in 10 overs.

However, the carnage was only beginning. De Villiers hit two sixes and two fours off Kulkarni to reach his fifty off just 25 balls. Ravindra Jadeja also bore the brunt of ABD’s tour-de-force when he was hit for a six and a four. After Dwayne Bravo conceded just seven runs, Royal Challengers Bangalore had reached 122/1 in 14 overs. The next six overs saw hitting which left everybody in awe.

Kohli notched up his fifty off 40 balls but de Villiers neared his ton with a six and a four off Tambe. After the strategic time-out, things went horribly pear-shaped for Gujarat Lions.

Kohli, de Villiers notch up milestones

De Villiers blasted three sixes and a four in one over bowled by Tambe as he notched up his century off just 43 balls. The damage was just beginning. De Villiers hit two more sixes of Jadeja. Kohli, who was on 52 off 41 balls, was admiring the brilliance of de Villiers at the other end.

However, the next two overs saw hitting which redefined even stick cricket rules. Kohli hit a six and a four off Bravo. The Windies all-rounder did himself no favours by bowling a no-ball that went to the boundary. De Villiers punished Bravo with two sixes as 30 runs came in the 18th over.

In the 19th over, Kohli decided to do an ABD. Kohli blasted four sixes and a four as another over read 30 runs. In two overs, 60 runs. Even stick cricket hitting would not be so consistent. Kohli notched up his century in grand style with two sixes off Praveen Kumar as Royal Challengers Bangalore ended on 248/4.

Records galore for Kohli and de Villiers

De Villiers ended unbeaten on 129 off 52 balls while Kohli blasted 109. It was his third century in IPL 2016. The partnership of 229 was the highest in the format at that time. Three years later, Usman Ghani and Hazratullah Zazai broke the record. The duo stitched a stand of 236 for the opening wicket for Afghanistan against Ireland in Dehradun.

During the innings break, Kohli and de Villiers revealed their plan to decimate the Gujarat Lions bowlers. “It’s always wonderful to bat with AB. Like in my first two hundreds, I never though I would get to a hundred. I wasn’t thinking about the hundred. But then I saw the chinaman and AB asked me, ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ I told him, ‘No, just be quiet. I don’t want to hear it.’ I never felt like I was in a race with AB,” Kohli said.

Gujarat Lions were dismissed for 104, a total below Kohli and de Villiers’ individual scores. One can argue that Gujarat Lions lost by five runs or 25 runs to Kohli and de Villiers alone. But, the assault had totally destroyed Gujarat Lions.

May 14 will forever be remembered as the day when AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli redefined batting. It was sad that despite Kohli’s four tons and 973 runs, Royal Challengers Bangalore still could not win the title.

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