The fight for the playoff berth gets more exciting as the ongoing Indian Premier League progresses into its business end. It is almost sure that Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians are making it to the playoffs but the fight for the fourth spot is still on.
In the past week we saw Shikhar Dhawan hit consecutive centuries to make a new IPL record. Kings XI Punjab putting up a splendid fightback, securing three wins in a row and Kolkata Knight Riders crumbling against RCB.
1. ABD’s class act
In the match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore on October 17, Steve Smith’s Royals batted first and scored 177 in 20 overs with the help of skipper’s gutsy 57 runs in just 36 balls. Uthappa also showed some spark by scoring 41 off 22 balls. In reply, RCB’s AB de Villiers’ 55 off 22 balls blew off RR as Virat Kohli’s team won this match by 7 wickets. AB de Villiers got the player of the match.
2.Gabbar’s consecutive centuries
The next match of the season was between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals on October 18. Batting first CSK scored 179 runs in 20 overs. Faf du Plessis was the highest run-scorer for CSK with 58 runs in 47 balls. Capitals chased down the target easily with the help of Dhawan’s unbeaten century. He blasted 101 runs in just 58 balls and helped DC win the game by 5 wickets. It was also his maiden IPL ton.
Dhawan’s superb form continued in Delhi’s match against Kings XI Punjab when he went on to hit another century. He scored an unbeaten 106 but his knock went in vain as KXIP chased down the target of 165 with an over to spare. It’s the first time that a batsman hit consecutive tons in IPL.
3.Three super-overs in two matches
The last week also witnessed an unprecedented cricket story as both the contest on Sunday was decided in Super Overs. In the first match both KKR and SRH ended up scoring 163 runs in 20 overs, pushing the contest to Super Over. Lockie Ferguson dismatled SRH batsmen in the Super Over as they could only mange two before losing both their wickets. In response, it turned out to be a calewalk for KKR batters and they went on to win the match.
In the second and final clash of the day, Mumbai Indians lock horns with King XI Punjab. Batting first, MI scored 176 in 20 overs and KXIP also ended up scoring the same number of runs. Bumrah’s then bowled a clinical Super Over giving just 5 runs in it. What followed next was extraordinary as Shami matched up with Bumrah’s magnificence, with the seamer giving only 5 in his over and pushing the match into a second Super Over. MI then kicked off the following Super Over and scored 11 runs in it. In response, Chris Gayle started off with a six and he along with Mayank Agarwal went on to finish the match for Punjab.
4. Lowest total in this season so far
Mohammad Siraj combined with Navdeep Saini as KKR were shown reality by RCB. The team was bundled out the Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata unit for the lowest score of the season so far, 84 in 20 overs. RCB won the match by 8 wickets. Siraj conceded only 8 runs and scalped 3 wickets. He got the Player of the Match for his extraordinary spell.
5.The Manish Pandey show
Rajasthan and Hyderabad locked horns in the 40th match of the season on October 22. RR struggled a bit with the bat but ended up putting 154 runs in 20 overs. Manish Pandey came into action for Hyderabad as he scored an unbeaten 83 off just 47 balls. Vijay Shankar also showed some power and scored an unbeaten 52. SRH won this match by 8 wickets and Pandey bagged the Player of the Match for his solid knock.
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