Batsman Devdutt Padikkal has sealed an incredible slice of history in a breathtaking knock for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
In the same match where his skipper Virat Kohli became the first man to reach 6,000 runs in the IPL, Padikkal blasted an unbeaten 101 to steer Bangalore to a commanding 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals.
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Padikkal and Kohli combined in devastating fashion to blow Rajasthan out of the water, with Bangalore reaching 181 without loss to easily reel in Rajasthan's 9-177.
The perfect performance from the openers continued Padikkal's stunning rise in cricket after the young batsman was found COVID-19 positive before the IPL 2021 began and missed the first match.
Against Rajasthan the 20-year-old made up for lost time in a scintillating knock that forced Kohli to take a back seat.
Kohli became the first batsman to score 6,000 runs in the IPL - but the great man was still upstaged by his young opening partner.
Padikkal’s swashbuckling century helped RCB go top of the table and the 52-ball ton was also the quickest by an uncapped player in the history of the competition.
“It’s been special. I could only wait my turn. When I was down with COVID, all I was thinking of was to come here and play the first match here," Padikkal said after the match.
"I couldn’t do that but was keen to contribute to the team’s win. The wicket was coming on really well and we got a good start. When you get into a partnership like that, it helps as runs come from both ends."
Despite Padikkal's incredible feat, the youngster said his contribution to the team was more important than any individual records.
"For me it’s not about getting to a hundred, I wouldn’t mind missing out on hundreds as long as I contribute to team’s wins," he added.
"Throughout the innings there were times when he was going better and then I was going better. Rotation of strike is important. We just clicked well."
It's not often that Kohli is upstaged by his teammates with the bat but the youngster did just that after smashing 11 fours and 6 sixes in the extraordinary knock.
Viewers were understandably awestruck by the performance on social media.
Maiden IPL century for Devdutt Padikkal, his best IPL knock. For the first time in 12 years a guy not named Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers has scored a century for RCB. The way he attacked the bowlers was just wonderful, totally fluent innings. pic.twitter.com/2kqWMQzrnN
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) April 22, 2021
This is the highest partnership for RCB in the opening wicket in IPL history - Top knock from Padikkal and Kohli.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) April 22, 2021
— Nafly Faizan (@Nafly412) April 22, 2021
— ᴍᴏʜɪᴛ45 (@MohitRohitian2) April 22, 2021
— Jay shankar Kumar🇮🇳 (@JSK047) April 22, 2021
Hundred for Devdutt Padikkal. He scored 101* runs from 51 balls including 11 Fours and 6 SIXES. What an Amazing Innings Devdutt Padikkal. Maiden IPL Hundred. pic.twitter.com/fDcnPrL5XX
— CricketMAN2 (@man4_cricket) April 22, 2021
India skipper Kohli reached his 6000-run milestone in 196 matches and leads the list ahead of Chennai's Suresh Raina (5,448 runs), Delhi's Shikhar Dhawan (5,428), Hyderabad's David Warner (5,384) and Mumbai's Rohit Sharma (5,368).
The India legend was quick to shift the focus on his young teammate after the match though.
Kohli full of praise for young teammate
"I had the best seat in the house," Kohli said about Padikkal's record-breaking knock.
"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.
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