A solid start is a prerequisite for success in the game’s shortest format as well. For a batting side, it means stitching a hefty opening stand and setting the right platform for the middle-order batsmen to launch from. The eventual result is obviously heartening for the side as they end up setting a daunting total on the board and give enough for their illustrious bowlers to bowl at. This has indeed been the success formula for many teams, who started off at a high and finished in the same fashion. We have seen many such opening stands in the history of the IPL which gave the opposition a run for their money. But, we will be focusing only on the highest ones in the present article. In the below piece, we look at 5 highest opening partnerships in the history of the IPL:
1. Jonny Bairstow and David Warner – 185 runs
It came during the 11th match between SRH and RCB at Hyderabad in IPL 2019. Owing to the highest opening stand of 185 runs between Warner and Bairstow, SRH posted a massive total of 231-2 at the end of 20 overs. The former scored 100(55) while the latter hammered 114(56).
In reply, RCB were bowled out for a paltry score of 113 in 19.5 overs, losing the contest by a huge margin of 118 runs. Off-spinner Nabi with his spell of 4-11 and pacer Sandeep with 3-19 did all the damage for the Hyderabad-based franchise.
2. Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn – 184 runs
This partnership came during the 3rd game between GL and KKR at Rajkot in IPL 2017. Batting first, Gujarat posted a commanding total of 183-4 in their 20 overs, courtesy innings of 68(51) by Raina and 47(25) by Karthik.
The target, though, difficult was easily achieved by KKR in the end on the back of a solid opening stand of 184 runs between Gambhir and Lynn. The former struck 76(48) while the latter smashed 93(41) to help KKR win by 10 wickets and more than 5 overs to spare.
3. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal – 183 runs
The Karnataka duo stitched this partnership during the 9th game between PK and RR at Sharjah in IPL 2020. The Punjab side, courtesy of an enormous opening stand of 183 runs between Rahul and Agarwal, posted 223-2 in their 20 overs. The former mustered 69(54) while the latter smashed a century, scoring 106(50).
The target was a daunting one, but Samson and Smith with their respective knocks of 85(42) and 50(27) at the start and Tewatia with his unbelievable innings of 53(31) at the end, ensured that RR won the contest by 4 wickets and 3 balls to spare.
4. Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis – 181 runs
The 2 stylish right-handers achieved the feat during the 18th game between CSK and PK at Dubai in IPL 2020. The Punjab side while batting first, posted a competitive total of 178-4 in their 20 overs, on the back of knocks of 63(52) by Rahul and 33(17) by Pooran.
In reply, CSK chased the target down by 10 wickets and 14 balls to spare, courtesy of a match-winning opening partnership of 181 runs between Watson and du Plessis. The former scored 83(53) while the latter stroked 87(53) to facilitate this easy win.
5. Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan – 167 runs
It came during the 31st game between RCB and PWI at Bengaluru in IPL 2013. Batting first, RCB posted a mammoth total of 263-5 in their 20 overs, courtesy of a 167 runs opening stand between Gayle and Dilshan. The former plundered 175(66) while the latter only contributed 33(36) to the eventual total.
As expected, the Pune side was unable to chase the mountain like total put in front of them, being restricted to 133-9 at the end of their 20 overs. Pacers Rampaul and Unadkat were the pick of the bowlers for RCB, scalping 2-21 and 2-37 respectively, and playing a crucial role in the colossal 130 runs victory.