Kohli smashes Gayle's IPL run record

NEW DELHI • Red-hot Virat Kohli has smashed an unbeaten half-century to break Chris Gayle's record for the most runs in a single Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain has racked up 752 runs in 12 matches so far this year, including three centuries and five 50s.

His 75-run blitz on Monday kept his side's play-off hopes alive after they crushed the Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets.

Kohli overtook Gayle, who scored 733 runs in 15 matches in 2012, as well as Australia's Mike Hussey, who tallied the same figure in 17 games in 2013.

The Indian batsman, who batted despite nursing an injured finger, stitched together a 115-run unbeaten stand with A.B. de Villiers (59).

Their partnership comes just two days after they recorded the highest partnership (229) in Twenty20 cricket history in the Challengers' match against the Gujarat Lions.

"I was afraid that I had split my webbing badly but I told the physio that I want to play anyhow," Kohli said.

"A bit of injury gives extra motivation and it feels sweeter to do that extra bit for the team."

Team-mate Gayle, who also found form at Eden Gardens with 49 runs from 31 balls, praised the in-form duo, saying: "Those two guys are playing like Batman and Superman. They are in the form of their life."

Meanwhile, Glenn Maxwell became the fifth Australian to pull out of the IPL yesterday, but his injury is unlikely to keep him out of an upcoming West Indies tour.

The hard-hitting batsman suffered a strain in his left abdomen playing for the Kings XI Punjab and is returning home as a precaution.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline 'Kohli smashes Gayle's IPL run record'. Print Edition | Subscribe