By Shrey Siddharth
Yet another extraordinary week of the cricketing spectacle comes to an end. We saw the class and impact of the grizzled old veterans as well as the promise and temperament of the rising youngsters in world cricket. Here are the highlights from this week’s action:-
Sir Jadeja’s epic carnage:-
Despite the warm and humid conditions, Chennai Super Kings started positively as Faf du Plessis scored 55 and built partnerships with the rest of the batsmen. Royal Challengers Bangalore seemed to have control over the game until the last over as Ravindra Jadeja smashed the purple cap holder Harshal Patel for 5 sixes and a boundary to pull off an unbelievable 37 run over. Jadeja put up one of the greatest all-round performances as he picked up 3 wickets and scored a runout. Imran Tahir finished with 2-16 in his comeback game. CSK dominatingly won the game by 69 runs.
Prithvi and Axar steal the show:-
This year’s IPL had its first super over. With Prithvi Shaw’s aggressive 53 and later Pant and Smith’s handy contributions, Delhi Capitals scored 159. Right when Johnny Bairstow and Williamson seemed to take the game away, Avesh Khan and Axar Patel provided the breakthroughs. In the end, Kane Williamson was unable to play the winning runs and SRH ended exactly at the score of 159. In the super over, Axar Patel restricted the batsmen to 7 runs and was easily chased by Rishab Pant to take DC to victory.
KKR’s bowling unit conquer PBKS:-
The day belonged to all the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers as none of the batsmen from Punjab Kings got a move on. Shivam Mavi finished with 1-13, Varun Chakravarthy got 1 wicket, Narine and Cummins had 2 wickets each, and Prasidh got 3 wickets to restrict PBKS to 123. Rahul Tripathi took KKR to a controlled start scoring 41. Eoin Morgan led from the front to score 47 and also reached 7000 T20 runs in the process. KKR won the game comprehensively by 5 wickets.
RCB hold their nerves:-
Rajat Patidar and Glenn Maxwell helped RCB to control the early onslaught by the DC bowlers. AB de Villiers came in with the counterattack, showed a glimpse of his 360° strokeplay and anchored his way to an unbeaten 75, also reaching the 5000 run milestone in IPL. RCB scored 171. DC’s top order was de-rooted by the RCB pacemen. But then Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer destroyed the bowling attack and took the game down the wire as DC needed 14 from the last over. Siraj delivered 4 accurate yorkers and even if Pant scored 2 boundaries off the last 2 balls, RCB won the game by 1 run.
CSK’s match-winning opening stand:-
After winning the toss, SRH skipper Warner went off to a slow start and struggled his way to his slowest fifty. Although he achieved 10000 runs in T20 cricket and reached 200 sixes in IPL. Manish Pandey scored 61 to support his team. Williamson and Kedar Jadhav attacked the CSK bowlers to take the score to 171-3. The CSK openers du Plessis and Gaikwad went off to a flying start and put up a stroke-filled 129 for the first wicket. Gaikwad got out after a scintillating 75, whereas du Plessis made 56. Raina reached 500 fours in IPL and finished the game with Jadeja. CSK won the game by 7 wickets.
de Kock, the gamechanger for MI:-
Although none of the batsmen from Rajasthan Royals played a big knock, the top order batsmen after Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Butler went off to a positive start. With Rahul Chahar picking up 2 crucial wickets, and Bumrah and Boult’s disciplined bowling in the death overs, RR were restricted to 171. Quinton de Kock had been lacklustre with the bat so far, struck form when Mumbai Indians needed him and played a flawless unbeaten 70 and finished the game with Pollard as MI won the match by 7 wickets.
Prithvi’s Colossal Show:-
KKR had a slow start to the game. Shubman Gill scored 43 and with the help of Russell’s big-hitting 45, KKR managed to score 154. But then Prithvi Shaw cracked KKR’s Shivam Mavi for 6 fours in the very first over, becoming the second man to do so in IPL. He didn’t stop there as the southpaw achieved his fifty in 18 balls and went on to score 82 with some beautifully timed cover drives and lifted hits. DC won the match by 7 wickets.
Harpreet “The Giantkiller” Brar:-
Despite losing the toss, Punjab Kings went off to a blistering start as Chris Gayle struck Kyle Jamieson for 5 boundaries in an over and scored a well made 46. With the help of KL Rahul’s responsible 91 and cameo inning of 25 by Harpreet, PBKS posted 179. RCB batsmen didn’t get any move on throughout the innings as Harpreet Brar deceived RCB’s superstar trio of Kohli, Maxwell and de Villiers in a matter of 7 balls and took PBKS to victory convincingly by 34 runs.
5 Star IPL El- Classico delivers:-
The big game commenced as MI put CSK into bat and CSK capitalized on it immensely. Faf du Plessis scored his 4th consecutive fifty this season, Moeen Ali smashed the MI bowlers in the middle overs for his 58 and Ambati Rayudu batted like a man possessed as he cracked 7 sixes out of the park to finish with an unbeaten 72 off 27 to take CSK to a mammoth total of 218. Kieron Pollard picked up 2 crucial wickets. Rohit and de Kock attacked from the word go to put up a 71 stand until MI faced a Minnie collapse. In came Pollard and played a whirlwind of an innings, striking 8 sixes to score an unbeaten 87 with positive support from Krunal and Hardik. Pollard finished the game in the last over as MI did the unthinkable and chased down 219 and achieved victory by 4 wickets.
CSK, DC and RCB are placed at the top with 10 points each followed by MI at 8 points and PBKS at 6. KKR and RR have 4 points each and SRH are placed at the bottom with one victory. KL Rahul has the orange cap with 331 runs, whereas Harshal Patel holds the purple cap with 17 wickets.
By Shrey Siddharth