OTD in 2016: AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli set record for highest T20 partnership for second wicket

RCB were completely dominant towards the end of the tournament but lost to SRH in the final in front of their home fans by 8 runs, which is still haunting every RCBians.

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Jerin K Tomy
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Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers in IPL 2024 (Source: X)

Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers in IPL 2024 (Source: X)

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Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), formerly known as Royal Challengers Bangalore, is one of the few Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises not to have won a title despite being part of the tournament since its inception. The team has managed to reach the final thrice, with their dream run in the 2016 season ending with a heartbreaking loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). 

RCB had a poor start to their campaign with a series of defeats. But a complete turnaround in the second half of the season saw them finish second in the points table with 16 points and an impressive net run rate of +0.932. Two legends of the game, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, were behind this unbelievable redemption of the team.

Both carried the team on their shoulders when almost every game became do-or-die to qualify for the playoffs. At such a stage, RCB played against Gujarat Lions in the 44th match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Batting first, the home team had only one objective - to win by a huge margin. 

Absolute carnage in Bengaluru on a scorching Saturday afternoon

Gujarat pacer Dhawal Kulkarni silenced the crowd with the big wicket of Chris Gayle in the fourth over. RCB were 19/1 in 3.5 overs, but what followed was absolute carnage at a venue known for helping batters. AB de Villiers came at one down and slammed the opposition bowlers in almost every part of the ground.

The alien from South Africa stormed to 100 runs off just 43 balls, leaving the Lions bowlers clueless. His partner at the other end, was enjoying his best friend taunting the bowlers. There was no stopping de Villiers as he continued to punish the visitors. A couple of overs later, the then-team skipper Kohli also shifted his gears and it was raining boundaries in Bengaluru.

Gujarat opted to go with left-arm wrist-spinner Shivil Kaushik in the 19th over and Kohli treated him with a career-ending blast. The RCB opener accumulated 30 runs in that over with the help of four sixes and a four. Kohli went from 65 off 45 balls to 95 off 51 balls in no time and completed his near-perfect century in the very next over.

He was dismissed on the fifth ball of the last over, but only after forming a record partnership of 229 runs with de Villiers. The duo set a record for the highest T20 partnership for the second wicket, which remains unbroken eight years later. This is also the highest IPL stand for any wicket.

ABD’s unbeaten 129 off 52 balls (10 fours and 12 sixes) and Kohli’s 109 off 55 balls (5 fours and 8 sixes) helped RCB to post 248/3 on the board. In reply, the RCB bowlers bowled out the league stage table-toppers for 104 runs, helping them to a massive 144-run win. RCB were completely dominant towards the end of the tournament but lost to SRH in the final in front of their home fans by 8 runs, which is still haunting every RCBians.

IPL 2024 Virat Kohli Royal Challengers Bengaluru