In 2012, a young South African batsman made his IPL debut. He impressed everyone with his elegant batting style and soon became a permanent part of this tournament. Now, he is close to getting 4000 IPL runs and is leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore. That cricketer is none other than Faf du Plessis. The two-time IPL champion has many spectacular batting performances in the league.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 of those:
1. 86 off 59 vs. Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021 Final
Chennai were eyeing their 4th IPL title as their openers provided them with an 81-run opening stand. Gaikwad departed, but Faf stayed at the crease for the whole 20 overs. He was dismissed on the final ball of the first innings after playing a marvelous innings of 86 runs. He faced 59 balls to hit 7 fours and 3 sixes. His innings took the score to 192 and gave his side a 27-run win. The South African was the Player of the Match in the final.
2. 67 off 42 vs.Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2018
It was the first qualifier of the edition, and Chennai restricted Hyderabad to 139 for 7 in the first innings. Shane Watson departed for a 5-ball duck in the first over of the chase. Suresh Raina came in at #3 and hammered 22 off 13. But his dismissal was followed by a flurry of wickets. The 6th wicket fell at the score of 62, and CSK required 78 more runs to win in just 45 balls. Faf du Plessis stitched a 30-run partnership off 15 deliveries with Deepak Chahar.
After Deepak’s wicket, Harbhajan Singh played a horror innings of 2(9) to make things harder for the Protea. Now, the equation was 27 off 13, and Faf picked a boundary to end the 18th over. The penultimate over went for 17, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had 6 to defend in the last over. His first 3 overs had gone for just 8, and he had picked up a wicket. With just 2 wickets left, there was plenty of pressure on Faf. But he drilled the first ball over the boundary ropes to secure an unlikely win and send his team to the final.
3. 73* off 50 vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022
RCB lost Virat Kohli for a golden duck in the first over of the innings. But the skipper, Faf du Plessis, didn’t let the opposition dominate. His high-quality innings of 73* off 50 helped his side get to 192 for 3 in their batting innings. He hit 8 fours and 2 sixes in this knock. In reply, SRH were bowled out for just 125.
4. 71 off 46 vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2012
RCB set CSK a huge target of 206 runs in a league match. Murali Vijay was dismissed for a 15-ball 11 in the chase. His opening partner Faf du Plessis, took control of the innings and hit 71 off just 46. His knock had 5 fours and 4 sixes in it. After his departure, fine cameos from MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, and Albie Morkel gave Chennai a last-ball win. In this game, Albie Morkel plundered Virat Kohli for 28 runs in the penultimate over.
5. 95* off 60 vs. Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021
Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad formed an opening partnership of 115 runs in this match. Gaikwad was dismissed for 64, but Faf batted through the innings. He scored 95* off 60 with the help of 9 fours and 4 sixes. Chennai asked Kolkata to chase 221, but they lost the game by 18 runs.
6. 73 off 52 vs. Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2012
It was Faf’s debut IPL season, and he was playing for the Chennai Super Kings. His team was chasing 147 runs in 20 overs. Subramaniam Badrinath was partnering the Protea at the top of the order. The Indian had a miserable outing, consuming 22 balls for his 15 runs. Suresh Raina was the one-down batsman for the chasing side. He, too, played a slow innings of 26 off 24. These two sluggish knocks put du Plessis under plenty of pressure. However, he single-handedly took the game away from the opposition.
His high-class batting effort of 73 runs took 52 balls and included 6 boundaries and 2 maximums. He got out after reducing the equation to 31 off 23. Chennai needed just 16 off the last 2 overs, but the match went down to the last ball. MS Dhoni was on strike on the last ball with 2 runs needed. He placed the ball in the on-side to get a double and win the match. The slow nature of the pitch tells about the quality of Faf’s innings. The fact that CSK couldn’t even hit a single boundary in the last 2 overs shows how important that knock was.
7. 33 off 17 vs. Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021
Chennai Super Kings were batting first, and du Plessis played a breezy knock at the top. He whacked 2 sixes and 4 fours in 17 balls to score 33. CSK scored 188 runs in their 20 overs, and Rajasthan fell short by 45 runs. Wondering what makes a 33-run innings so special in a total of 188? You may be surprised to know that Faf was the highest run-scorer in the innings as no other CSK batter entered 30s.
8. 58* off 44 vs. Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020
Chennai Super Kings faced their arch-rivals Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi. MI asked CSK to chase down a target of 163 runs. The chase didn’t start well as both the openers departed for just 6 runs in 2 overs. Coming in at a one-down position, the Protea formed a 115-run alliance with Ambati Rayudu.
The duo batted together for 14 overs, and when Rayudu departed, the target was 42 runs in 4 overs. Faf’s calculated innings saw CSK home in the final over. He picked 6 boundaries in his 44-ball innings to score 58 runs.
9. 50 off 39 vs. Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019
It was the 2nd qualifier of the season, and a win was a must to get to the final. Delhi batted first and could only reach 147 for 9 in 20 overs. Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson started the chase with an opening partnership of 81 runs. The former contributed more to the alliance, as he made 50. The first wicket fell as Faf was removed after facing 39 balls and hitting 7 fours and a six. CSK got an easy 6-wicket win to reach the final.
10. 55 off 41 vs.Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2015
The Protea is best known for his ability to score runs in difficult conditions and sluggish tracks. Chennai Super Kings needed to chase 131 runs on such a pitch. They lost the two big wickets of Brendon McCullum and Michael Hussey at the score of just 10. Batting at #3, du Plessis steadied the ship with a 92-run partnership with Suresh Raina. He faced 41 balls to score 55 runs and hit 5 fours and a maximum. At his dismissal, the equation was 29 off 39, and CSK eased to a 7-wicket victory.