IPL 2022 Top Moments No.9: The First Century in Tournament Revolutionises Cricket

Brendon McCullum blasted 158 in the first match of the Indian Premier League against Royal Challengers Bangalore and cricket was never the same.

Brendon McCullum blasted the first century in IPL in 2008. (Image credit: Twitter)
By Siddharth vishwanathan | Mar 15, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

When Twenty20 cricket began during the first decade of the 21st century, India was not taken in by the format. Having been played in the County Circuit in England, it produced some thrilling exhibitions. When the T20 format was recognized and Australia defeated New Zealand in the first match, it had assumed some theatrical proportions. The era of slam, bang cricket was now going to get kickstarted. India was one of the few nations that did not get swept in by the T20 revolution. In fact, they played only one match which they won against South Africa in 2006.

When the 2007 ICC World T20 came up, India was rank outsiders. The match against Scotland was rained out and they were on the cusp of elimination. But, a miraculous match against Pakistan saw them hang on. They lost to New Zealand by 10 runs after qualifying for the playoffs. But, India put on a spectacular show by hammering England with Yuvraj Singh smashing a 12-ball fifty. In that match, Yuvraj hit six sixes in one over bowled by Stuart Broad. After knocking out South Africa, India reached the semifinal where they knocked out Australia.

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But, the crowning moment came in the final when India defeated Pakistan by five runs. That win kickstarted a revolution that changed the face of Indian cricket forever. In the aftermath of the win, there was the Indian Cricket League which gave a platform for all the players. But, with the BCCI not giving approval to the league, it stagnated. Then the BCCI decided to start their own T20 League. It was named the Indian Premier League or IPL.

The IPL Begins With Glamour and Glitz

Before even a ball was bowled in the IPL, there was a frenzy. An auction process was conducted in which players were bought by the franchise. Icon players like MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, and many other people went to eight franchises. Players from all over the globe were bought for this T20 tournament that would assume a carnival atmosphere. Before relations deteriorated, there were players from Pakistan also in the league.

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The first match of the tournament featured Kolkata Knight Riders taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Shah Rukh Khan, the Bollywood Star, was one of the owners of the KKR side. Rahul Dravid was the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore side.

But, the match became historic for one reason. And that was due to the brilliance of New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum who blasted a knock for the ages.

McCullum bulldozes RCB

Kolkata Knight Riders chose to bat and Brendon McCullum tore into the RCB attack with ferocity. He hit three fours and a six in the second over bowled by Zaheer Khan. In fact, it was McCullum who hit the first four and six in IPL. McCullum continued the onslaught from that point in time, passing 50 in just the fourth over. The Kiwi right-hander notched up his fifty in just 32 balls but the stage was set for more carnage.

McCullum dealt predominantly in sixes and fours as he raced towards a hundred. He reached 99 with two fours and two sixes off Cameron White as RCB struggled. McCullum reached his hundred off 53 balls as the crowd went ballistic. Shah Rukh Khan was dancing in the stands, appreciating his greatness.

From that point in, there was no stopping McCullum as he blasted 10 fours and 13 sixes to finish on 158 off 73 balls. KKR finished on 222/3. A shell-shocked RCB never recovered and they were bowled out for 82. KKR won by 140 runs and the world was never the same again.

Over 1000 IPL matches have been played in the 14 years ever since it started. But, it is one of the best leagues in the world primarily because of how Brendon McCullum played on that day.