England's Bairstow Makes Case For T20 World Cup Inclusion With IPL Ton

Sports Desk

Published: 28 Apr 2024, 11:16 am

England's Cricket Player Jonny Bairstow. File Photo: Reuters

England's Cricket Player Jonny Bairstow. File Photo: Reuters

Jonny Bairstow sent England selectors a timely reminder of his big-hitting abilities before they pick a squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in June by scoring an explosive unbeaten century in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Having returned to the Punjab Kings side after missing their last two matches due to patchy form, Bairstow struck an unbeaten 108 off 48 balls as his side pulled off the highest successful run chase in T20 history on Friday.

Needing 262 to defeat Kolkata Knight Riders, Bairstow and Shashank Singh helped Punjab cross the finish line with eight wickets and eight balls left, breaking the record held by South Africa when they made 259 to beat the West Indies last year.

"We knew we had to go ballistic after how they batted," said Bairstow, who smashed eight fours and nine sixes to be named man of the match.

"We had to take risks and thankfully they came off. I've never been faced with a target like that before. So we knew the powerplay would be important and if anything is close to being in your area you've got to make the most of it."

Bairstow and Shashank - who hit an unbeaten 68 off 28 balls - stitched together an unbroken 84-run third-wicket partnership as Punjab posted the joint-highest score in the IPL for a team batting second.

The 34-year-old heaped praise on his Indian team mate who produced some late fireworks himself.

"Shashank's done it all season, a lovely guy and special player," Bairstow said. "To have someone like him coming in and doing that is unbelievable."

England are expected to name their World Cup squad next week for the tournament that will be held in the West Indies and the United States._Reuters

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