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Parthiv Patel has made a cracking start to the 2014 Indian Premier League, setting up two successful chases for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Parthiv is one of the few players to have stacked up runs consistently despite moving around teams in the seven seasons so far.
Part of it is his understanding of his own game, he is not the powerhitter of the Chris Gayle kind or unorthodox batsman like AB de Villiers but can take on any bowling line up in his own style and at his own tempo. He makes a sensible opener who can play anchor without eating into the run rate, good when you're setting a target and especially good when chasing one.
Here are five of the Ahmedabad batsman's top knocks in the IPL.
1) 51* (48b 8x4) - 2nd Semifinal, IPL 2008
CSK vs KXIP, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Chennai's bowlers had run through KXIP to keep them to 112/8. In reply they lost Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan early but Parthiv allayed fears of a two paced pitch by calmly compiling a fifty in a 102 run partnership with Suresh Raina to take them to the final, winning the game by 9 wickets.
2) 34* (26b 4x4 1x6), IPL 2011
KTK vs CSK, Nehru Stadium, Kochi
Parthiv helped Kochi to quite a few wins in the team's one season appearance in the IPL. He had been shuffled around the batting order with mixed success - he hadn't notched up the landmarks but his knocks had been solid and invaluable to the team.
A rain reduced match had seen batsmen struggle and CSK managed to post only 131 in 17 overs, a target revised to 135 from 17 overs for Kochi. Parthiv's 34 meant Brendon McCullum could carry on his assault at the other end, while Parthiv helped himself to boundaries off Southee before moving on to attack the spinners and set up a comfortable win for Kochi.
3) 61 (47b 5x4 2x6), IPL 2013
KXIP vs SRH, PCA Stadium, Mohali
This was a slow, calculated knock from Parthiv Patel on a lively surface that helped his team post a defendable target against a dangerous opponent. He made a slow start, taking his time to settle in but as wickets fell he turned busy, rotating the strike and finding the occasional boundary without giving in to the temptation of finding release with big shots.
His presence allowed Thisara Perera to tee off at end, cutting loose himself in the death overs to make up for his watchful play at the beginning. The Sunrisers defended their total fairly easily, securing a Man of the Match nod for Parthiv.
4) 47 (37b 7x4), IPL 2013
SRH vs KKR, Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
A place in the play offs was up for grabs and Parthiv stepped up to the challenge, setting the tone for even Shikhar Dhawan to follow. He dominated the start of the innings, latching onto any width offered and making the bowlers pay.
Patel and Dhawan raised 89 for the first wicket by the 12th over and were both dismissed soon but their positive intent meant that the target of 131 was not too far away. They got there after a few nervous moments, earning a second Man of the Match nod for Parthiv.
5) 57* (45b 7x4), IPL 2014
RCB vs MI, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Malinga was at his threatening best and Zaheer was on fire. RCB had lost three wickets in six balls to slide to 17/3 and suddenly the chase of 115 looked dicey with the only remaining recognized batting pair of Parthiv and AB de Villiers in the middle.
Parthiv calmly played out the remainder of their spell and set about repairing the chase with AB. The slower bowlers were milked and by the time Malinga returned, he was set well enough to pick his variations and take boundaries off the Sri Lankan. Ojha was the next to bear the treatment as Patel changed gears with the target in sight to bring up his fifty. Malinga came back and this time Parthiv finished the game with authority to put RCB on the top of the table with two consecutive wins to start the IPL 7 campaign.
— parthiv patel (@parthiv9) April 18, 2014