Right from the first season of the IPL, in which he scored 436 runs at an average of 33 and a strike-rate of 137, Adam Gilchrist's performances with the bat have influenced how well or poorly his team does. In fact, only five times in four seasons has he scored a half-century and ended up on the losing side. Ahead of Kings XI Punjab's IPL 5 opener, we take a look back at Gilchrist's most memorable innings in the tournament.
109 not out off 49 balls, 2008
On April 27, 2008, at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, Gilchrist awoke from his slumber – he had scored 23, 8 and 13 in three successive defeats until today – to bludgeon the Mumbai Indians' attack and take his former team Deccan Chargers to their first win of the tournament. Set a target of 155, Deccan romped home by ten wickets with 48 deliveries in hand, thanks to Gilchrist's 47-ball 109 that included nine fours and ten sixes.
Gilchrist was savage from the time Deccan began their run-chase. He took two fours off the first over from Ashish Nehra and cut and pull anything even fractionally short of a length. His first six came in the fifth over as Sanath Jayasuriya was heaved over deep midwicket, and then Gilchrist trained his attention on Shaun Pollock after the Powerplay. In four balls, Gilchrist larruped three sixes and four off the bowler, with his first maximum bringing up his maiden Twenty20 fifty off just 28 balls. That 23-run over was followed by a sixth six, off Dwayne Bravo, and numbers seven, eight and nine came in Abhishek Nayar's first and last over which went for 22. The fifth delivery of that hapless over brought up Gilchrist's century in 42 balls, as he latched onto a short-of-length ball and swung it for an enormous six.
At the other end, Gilchrist's opening partner VVS Laxman scored 37 in a partnership of 144, the highest of the tournament. Deccan ended up the season at the bottom of the points table, but that stunning century from Gilchrist remains in the memory.
54 off 36 balls, 2008
Deccan's second win of the tournament was again influenced by Gilchrist, who laced a brisk half-century that hastened a seven-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in Chennai. Set a target of 145 after an insipid batting effort from the home team, Deccan eased over the finish line with 12 balls in hand. Standing-in as captain on the day, Gilchrist overcame a sluggish start by pulling two boundaries off Albie Morkel in the fourth over. Makhaya Ntini's first ball was pulled into the stands behind midwicket, the second drilled over the umpire for four, and the third smacked for a straight six as Deccan sped to 50 for 1 after six overs. By the time he departed for 54, cutting Morkel to point, the asking rate had come down to almost six and Deccan eased home. Gilchrist picked up the Man-of-the-Match award.
71 off 45 balls, 2009
At Newlands in Cape Town, Deccan's 24-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore – whom they would beat in the final five weeks later – was set up by Gilchrist. Having opted to bat, Gilchrist tucked into the RCB attack with 71 off 45 balls, inclusive of six fours and five sixes.
With Herschelle Gibbs at one end, Gilchrist helped add 46 in just 3.5 overs. He announced his intent from the first over, taking three consecutive boundaries off Praveen Kumar. He showed no signs of not having played competitive cricket since the first IPL, proceeding to cut Dale Steyn for two fours and dumping him for a straight six. His half-century came up off 31 balls with a pull for six off Jesse Ryder, and then Gilchrist struck Anil Kumble for six more to raise Deccan's 100. His innings helped set up a match-winning total of 184 and Gilchrist was the deserved Man of the Match.
85 off 35 balls, 2009
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. With his team in the semi-finals, Gilchrist produced another stunning innings to knock out Delhi Daredevils and take Deccan to the summit. Making the semi-final at Centurion his own, Gilchrist smashed a 35-ball 85 as Deccan chased down 154 with six wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare.
Five consecutive boundaries off Dirk Nannes in the first over put Delhi onto the back foot, and from there it was one-way traffic. Pradeep Sangwan's first three deliveries went for two fours and a six and in three overs Deccan were 41 for 1. The team's fifty came up in 23 balls, with Gilchrist's contribution being 48 off 14 balls. Virender Sehwag's first over cost 25, with Gilchrist taking Delhi's captain for three successive sixes. The result was a formality from there on.
106 off 58 balls, 2011
Gilchrist had had a quiet tournament as captain of Kings XI Punjab, getting off to starts but failing to carry on. His 12 innings preceding this stunning assault on Bangalore's bowlers in Dharamsala read 1, 19, 61, 28, 42, 26, 0, 0, 3, 28, 9, and 9. After another slow start, Gilchrist teed off with a pull for six over square leg; it was his 100th six in Twenty20s and switched him into a different gear.
Next, Gilchrist charged Sreenath Aravind and picked up another six. Chris Gayle was hit for successive sixes, and then Charl Langeveldt heaved over the leg side for three in a row as Gilchrist reached his half-century off just 25 balls. Soon he began taking some risks, making room and shuffling across his stumps before employing a full and fast swing of his bat. In all, he collected eight fours and nine sixes as he surged to a stunning century that set up a 111-run win for Punjab. It was an audacious assault.