By Shrey Siddharth
The second week of India’s iconic T20 tournament witnessed top quality cricket and athleticism. The international players performed and proved their value, but the week belonged to the up and coming Indian players who showed their class and took their team over the line. Here are some of the highlights from this week:-
Superman and Big Show conquer KKR:-
After losing the top order batsmen, Glenn Maxwell steadied the innings with Devdutt Padikkal. When Maxwell was joined by de Villiers, both batsmen attacked from both the ends, especially de Villiers who smashed the wide length deliveries for sixes at will and finished with an unbeaten 74. Maxwell scored 78. With wickets falling from both ends and some disciplined bowling by Siraj and Jamieson, Royal Challengers Bangalore won the game by 38 runs.
The Punjab Kings went off to a great start with skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal putting up an opening stand of 122. Mayank scored a quickfire 69 off 36 and PBKS reached 195, thanks to some fireworks in the death from Shahrukh Khan and Hooda. Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw attacked the bowling attack from the get go. Dhawan scored 92 before he got bowled by Richardson. Despite the fall of wickets, Lalit Yadav and Stoinis ensured an easy victory for Delhi Capitals by 6 wickets and 10 balls to spare.
Moeen Ali spins CSK to victory:-
The Chennai Super Kings batting line had small contributions starting from Faf du Plessis’ 33 in the first 6 overs. Ambati Rayudu’s 27 and DJ Bravo’s 20 at the death overs helped CSK score 188. Despite Jos Butler’s promising 49, Rajasthan Royals struggled to get any momentum as Moeen Ali casted a complete spin web as he finished with 3-7 and 2 wickets each for Jadeja and Sam Curran. Jadeja had an extraordinary day in the field as he took 4 catches. CSK won the game convincingly by 45 runs.
Mishra’s veteran display:-
Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav gave Mumbai Indians a stable start but the middle order could not capitalize on it. The comeback man Amit Mishra used the pitch condition and his wrong-un deliveries to great effect to get 4 big wickets to restrict MI to just 137. Delhi Capitals had one match winning partnership between Dhawan and Steve Smith for 53 runs. Shimron Hetmyer won the game for Delhi Capitals in the last over by 6 wickets.
SRH’s bowling spectacle:-
All the bowlers of Sunrisers Hyderabad performed as a unit and didn’t give away any chance to PBKS batsmen in the whole innings. Rashid Khan, Abhishek Sharma and Khaleel Ahmad with their disciplined bowling restricted PBKS to a paltry 120. All it took was a sensible 63 by Bairstow to take SRH home by 9 wickets to post their first victory in the tournament.
CSK topple KKR in a high scoring thriller:-
CSK openers, the in-form du Plessis and Rituraj Gaikwad, went off to a magnificent start and played some unorthodox shots to put up an opening stand of 115 runs. With du Plessis’s hardhitting unbeaten 95, Gaikwad’s 64 and cameos from M.S. Dhoni and Moeen Ali, CSK scored a mammoth 220. Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi simply ran over the KKR batting line-up. Karthik and Russell started smashing the CSK pacers but couldn’t finish the game. But then, Pat Cummins produced an amazing 66 off 34 out of nowhere but got out in the last over as CSK won the game by 18 runs.
Despite the top order collapse, Shivam Dube’s 46 followed by Parag and Tewatia’s valuable contributions, RR posted 177-9. Mohammad Siraj showed great control as he finished with 3-27. Devdutt Padikkal played the most elegant innings, scoring his first IPL century and becoming the third Indian uncapped player to do so. With Virat Kohli’s support at the other, Padikkal played some marvellous shots, especially the lofted drives to great effect. Padikkal and Kohli stayed unbeaten at 101 and 72 respectively, RCB dominantly steered to victory by 10 wickets.
Rahul and Gayle outplay MI:-
MI once again could not capitalize on the good start given by Rohit and Suryakumar as Mohammad Shami and the leggie Ravi Bishnoi took 2 wickets each for 21 runs and tore apart the MI batting line up. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle played steadily with selective strokeplay and remained watchful to the MI spinners, not letting away anything. Both batsmen stood their ground and PBKS won by 9 wickets.
Morris Mayhem continues:-
KKR once again struggled with their batting as no batsmen except Rahul Tripathi, who scored 36, could get a move on. Chris Morris choked the middle order as he got 4-23 as KKR could only manage 133. Sanju Samson’s 42, with the help from Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dube and Miller, anchored RR to victory by 6 wickets.
RCB remains on top of the table with 4 wins. CSK and DC have 3 each. MI, PBKS and RR have 2 wins each. SRH and KKR are at the bottom with a single win each.