Two matches were played on April 15, the 8th day of IPL 4th edition. Mumbai Indians played Kochi Tuskers Kerala at Mumbai, while Kolkata Knight Riders played Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur. Except Warne the other three captains, Sachin (MI), Gambhir (KKR), and Mahela gave memorable performances.
Gautam Gambhir (KKR Captain)
When KKR played Rajasthan Royals, the history must have been in their mind which showed only two victory but four losses against Royals. Warne is still Royals captain, but KKR has Gambhir at helm, after Ganguly and Brendum McCullum. Playing at home, Rajasthan Royals scored 159. Target was impossible, if past record of Royals were to be considered. They have never lost defending any total above 145 runs. Commendable record and considering the exceptional performances of their bowlers in the last two games of 2011 edition, the score appeared almost unreachable that too at Jaipur.
When Gambhir arrived, KKR has lost first wicket just at the score of 9. He came at number 3 to take the bull from horn. What followed created a new record. His quick undefeated 75 runs and the joint 2nd best biggest partnership of IPL history, resulted in a heavy 9 wicket win for KKR.
Mahela Jayawardene (KTK Captain)
Kochi Tuskers had lost both their first matches. Their bowlers were taken to cleaners even by Mumbai Indian batsmen who milked them for 182 runs in 20 overs. But, Mahela wanted to make a statement that his team is not a pushover. To prove that, he took the battle on his hand and promoted himself to open with Brendum McCullum. What followed shocked everyone. He scored a quick but silent 36 ball 56 runs in a match-turning first wicket partnership, record for IPL 2011, of 128 runs. His quick inning and partnership ensured that even after his departure Kochi went on to win the game, that too with an over to spare.
Sachin Tendulkar (MI Captain)
The Mumbai Indian captain has added another feather in his cap. Batting first against Kochi Tuskers, he went on to score his maiden Twenty20 century, becoming the 14th centurion for IPL and the second centurion of current edition of 2011. His century ensured a high total for Mumbai Indians. Unfortunately, some poor captaincy decisions and bowlers could not lead his team to victory and his innings would be marked one of the many jinxed centuries that could not ensure team’s victory.
The day saw three big partnerships. The three captains were involved in each of them.
1. 152* run partnerships between Gambhir and Kallis for 2nd wicket against Rajasthan Royals is the joint second highest partnership in IPL history.
2. 128 run 1st wicket partnership between Mahela and McCullum against Mumbai Indians is the best opening stand of IPL 2011.
3. 116 run partnership for 2nd wicket between Tendulkar and Rayudu against Kochi Tuskers.
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