Devdutt Padikkal hits maiden IPL hundred

IPL 2021, RCB vs RR: Padikkal set up RCB's chase with a stellar 100 coming off just 51 deliveries. He reached the milestone with a pristine drive through extra cover for four.

Devdutt Padikkal slammed his maiden IPL hundred off just 51 deliveries.   -  BCCI/IPL

Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Devdutt Padikkal smashed his maiden IPL century against the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.

Padikkal set up RCB's chase with a stellar 100 coming off just 51 deliveries. The elegant left-hander launched six sixes and 11 fours. He reached the milestone with a pristine drive through extra cover for four. He finished unbeaten on 101 as RCB beat RR by 10 wickets.

RCB vs RR HIGHLIGHTS

Padikkal, who returned to action after recovering from COVID-19, had got off to a poor start with scores of 25 and 11 in his last two innings. The Karnataka cricketer scored the fastest IPL century for an uncapped player, edging out previous record holder Paul Valthaty (52 balls, KXIP v CSK in 2011) by one ball.

"It was an outstanding innings, he batted really well for his first season last time as well," Virat Kohli said after the match. "Bit of a talk about accelerating after 40-50, this was the best way to put it to rest. Great talent, great one to look forward in the future. I had the best seat in the house."

Virat Kohli becomes first player to reach 6000 IPL runs  

The 20-year-old was RCB's best batsman last season, having scored 473 runs in 15 matches. Earlier this year, the Karnataka batsman lit up the domestic season by racking up 747 runs in seven innings with a record four consecutive hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Padikkal made a statement when he became the only player in IPL history to score three fifties in his first four games last season. Padikkal was part of Royal Challengers’ roster in 2019, too, but he didn’t play a single game. That, however, didn’t deter his spirit. “I knew that whenever I get a chance to play (for RCB), I will be 100 percent ready. I am glad I was able to make an impact as soon as I got a chance,” Padikkal had told Sporstar.

Padikkal says batting alongside Kohli and A. B. de Villiers has helped him grow as a cricketer. “They have so much experience,” he says. “They help you through your batting, and it makes your job much easier... It is a real treat batting with them. Hopefully we will have many more partnerships.”

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