Four weeks into the fifth edition of Indian Premier League, the cash-rich league has already witnessed a couple of match-winning performances in the tournament. Ajinkya Rahane's maiden century in IPL 5, tops the list of match-winning performances this season.
A few teams have created an impact in this year's IPL though its still early to term them favourites to win the title. Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore have impressed everyone with their fantastic performances this season.
Ajinkya Rahane, with 332 runs from 8 matches, has been the backbone of Royals' batting as he has already scored a ton and a fifty, holds the record for the maximum fours in IPL 5. With a highest score of 103* off 60 balls he helped the team register a win against Royal Challengers Bangalore at M Chinnaswamy Stadium on 15 April 2012 which is considered to be the best knock ever.
Royal Challengers Bangalore's AB de Villiers, has been phenomenal in guiding the team to three victories from the jaws of defeat scoring runs at the death overs and taking the team home. RCB wholly depends on Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, while the latter takes care of the middle-order as none of the batsmen have created an impact leaving it to the South African to finish the game.
With 228 runs from 8 matches, de Villiers has scored runs at an amazing strike rate of 164.02. His three fifties suggest that he is undoubtedly the best player for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 5.
Kevin Pietersen, has been fantastic this year as he is involved in a lot of Dare-devilry knocks causing nightmares for bowlers, being one of the important players for Delhi Daredevils and moreover, his 103* off 64 balls against Deccan Chargers is considered to be the best knock so far, as it marked his maiden T20 ton and ever since that game, he has been in fine form giving Delhi an edge over other teams.
He has already scored 214 runs off 5 matches with an amazing strike rate of 150.70. He has hit 16 sixes in this season while 9 of those big hits came in the match against Deccan Chargers while he scored his maiden ton. Since he is leaving on May 2, 2012 for National duty, he is eager to utilise the opportunities that come his way ahead of his departure.
Chris Gayle, has been another player who has taken IPL 5 by storm, as his two 80-plus scores have helped Royal Challengers to win the match against Pune and Punjab. His five sixes off Pune Warriors' Rahul Sharma shows how the Jamaican storm can take the game away from the opposition. He holds the record for the maximum sixes in IPL 5, as Chris Gayle's name strikes as soon as we talk about a huge hit.
He has 250 runs to his credit off 7 matches, with a highest score of 87and a strike rate just over 152. RCB's batting depends heavily on Gayle and the Carribean giant has not disappointed the fans so far as he has been truly phenomenal.
Last but not the least, we have another classic performer from Chennai, Faf du Plessis another South African, who is currently playing for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 5, has also scripted many wins for his team as his 46 ball 71 floored Bangalore as Chennai chased a mammoth 206 to register a win against RCB.
With three fifties to his credit, he has been the most consistent player for CSK, as he has been the replaced Michael Hussey in the playing XI. He is as destructive as RCB's AB de Villiers.
With 42 more matches, IPL 5 has already witnessed a couple of records and match winning performances as these cricketers have already set a bench-mark for others, making it difficult for them to surpass the existing records, but IPL 5 is sure to witness many more match-winning knocks as the tournament progresses.