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IPL 2022, Ninth Week Top Performances: All round Maxwell, Moeen, Ashwin, fired up Kohli brights up the last week of the IPL League stage

Gujrat Titans, Rajasthan Royals, Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore finish as the top four teams of the season.

After 59 non stop days of action, the 15th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has finally successfully ended its league games. The top four teams that have entered the playoffs race are going to be- Gujrat Titans (GT), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Game 66, KKR vs LSG: Mohsin Khan’s menacing 3-20 in a 400+ game becomes the life jacket for the drowning Giants:

After a total of 210-0 and keeping in mind KKR’s batting records everyone thought it was already an end for KKR. But destiny had written it differently. The target always seemed a stiff one for this surface, but KKR never gave up. When they lost their openers early, Rana and Iyer stepped up. Billings also chipped in and at the halfway mark, the chase was well and truly on.

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But then LSG’s defending skills came to the fore with the run rate being squeezed. Mohsin’s 3-20 with made the difference! He picked up the openers early in the chase; V Iyer edged to de Kock while Tomar hit the ball straight to Rahul. He silenced KKR with only 5 runs an over and ultimately placed the cherry on cake by picking up the biggest fish in the tank Andre Russell, crushing almost all hopes of the Knights!

Game 67, GT vs RCB: Off form Kohli gets in mojo back with classical half century:

Chasing 169 under pressure, RCB needed their chase master to click on the stage. He looked positive from the very first ball and he received some luck with the balls racing up to the boundary with the inside edges as RCB cracked 55/0 in the powerplay. Kohli was 34 off 23 balls in the first six overs.

He kept the onslaught going and with a six hoisted over the mid-wicket, Kohli notched his second fifty against GT in 33 balls. He became the first person to score 7000 T20 runs for a single team. Kohli at last departed for 56 in 40 balls as he kept RCB in the hunt of remaining alive.

TATA IPL 2022: Eighth Week Top Performances: Bumrah 5-fer, Bairstow fire in the powerplay, Livingstone 70, Marsh 89 tops the week

Game 68, RR vs CSK: Moeen and his all-round masterclass at the Brabourne:

Winning the toss, Dhoni’s men went with their pads on into the crease. The two openers Ruturaj and Conway returned to the pavilion early, paving an early entry to Moeen Ali. As the powerplay was still on, Moeen didn’t think twice and started smashing the balls all around the park. At the end of powerplay, CSK’s score stood at 75-1 and Moeen looked pretty solid making a 59 off 21 deliveries only.

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It seemed at this point that the men in yellow were all set to post a fiery 200+ total but did not fold out exactly the way one had apprehend! Wickets started crumbling from the other end in no time and this even forced Moeen to curb his shots and hold onto one end. All of a sudden, the momentum was now with Rajasthan. Moeen’s knock of 93 off 57 balls that included 13 fours and 3 sixes was the only light in otherwise poor batting performances in the camp that helped CSK reach at least a respectable total of 150, something to fight for!

He too had 1-21 in four overs including the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal on 3.

Game 69, MI vs DC: Bumrah mayhem crush Delhi’s hopes, Bangalore qualify:

Batting first Delhi didn’t really have the start they would have preferred in a knock-out game like this! Bumrah coming into the attack did what he is known for, turning the fire on and grilling the opponents! He picked up Marsh from a thick edge followed by Prithvi from an unplayable bouncer smashing the gloves and flying to the keeper.

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DC was now under immense pressure loosing 3 early crucial wickets right up front. Further Boom-boom squeezed runs allowing only 6 an over, pushing the Capitals more and more to the backseat. Final nail in the coffin was hit when he bowled a perfect yorker to knock off the off stump behind Rovman Powell, sending him back to the pavilion and forcing the Capitals to land in the middle of nowhere! He finished with 3-25 in four overs.

Game 68, RR vs CSK: Ravi Ashwin with all round performance secures the second spot for the Royals: 

Chasing a mediocre total from CSK, The Royals lost Buttler early in the run chase, but the knocks by Jaiswal and Ashwin proved to be enough as they got over the line eventually. Ashwin once again proved his worth. In addition to his fine spell with the ball with figures of 1/28 in his four overs, the all-rounder also chipped in with a significant contribution with the bat.

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As a result of his all-round excellence, the Royals finish as the second ranked team in the points table. His blazing knock of 40 off 23 that consisted of three sixes and two boundaries, has deported Rajasthan safely from Mumbai to Kolkata to play the Qualifier-1 against Gujarat at Eden Gardens!

Game 67, RCB vs GT: Maxwell comes right on the money on a crucial night for the Bangalore:

After a decent 4 overs spell with the ball in a figure of 1/28 in four overs, we witnessed the Glen Maxwell show once again with the bat at hand. After steady start from the openers and with Virat still on the crease on other end scores stood at 139-1 at the end of 16 overs. Maxwell came in and went for the blinder knock of 40 runs from 18 deliveries only at the strike rate of 222 that consisted of two fours and five sixes.

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Smashing 10 runs of Yash Dayal in the 18th over and then three boundaries back-to-back of Ferguson in the second last over, Maxwell made Bangalore put a tick mark against their last resort for the playoff!

Game 66, KKR vs LSG: De Kock’s second IPL ton help Lucknow escape a white-knuckle:

A significant game in many ways it could be called. Lucknow wanted a crucial win to keep there top-2 spot alive in the play-offs whereas Kolkata Knight Riders needed this desperate win by a considerable margin to have their feeble play-off contention ablaze.

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Winning the toss Giants went in to bat first without a second doubt as their batting second record for the season has been horrible. It was a no-brainer that the openers Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul had it on them to put up a big score and not expose the middle order as long as possible in the game. They executed their plan to the tee.

They started off cautiously rotating strike and playing in singles and doubles. Quinton was dropped by Abhishek Tomar in the second over of the game and from there, he never looked back! Both the openers gave zero chances to the opponents as they never took risks and displayed clean hitting of shots. After 15 overs score stood at 110-0 and from their De Kock took the front lead to attack.

He played a stupendous knock of 140* at the strike rate of 200 that included 10 boundaries and 10 over boundaries. His knock was absolute textbook innings of how an inning should be progressed. At the end of 13 overs, he was 57 off 41 but it was the last few overs when he smashed spin as well seam accelerated his innings and finally ended up with a 140 off 70 only.

Game 70, SRH vs PBKS: Brar spins Hyderabad sun to the west:

In the last game of the IPL 2022 league stage who was addressed as a dead rubber between SRH and PBKS, Harpreet Brar spins Hyderabad in the west zone with his magical bowling. He deceived Abhishek Sharma with a beautiful slider on 43 before catching the end of Rahul Tripathi on 20.

He went on to get rid of Aiden Markram on 21 thanks to a stumping making sure that the opponents would be wounded with regular wickets finishing with 3-25 in four overs and bowled in the middle overs. Punjab restricted SRH to 157/8 in 20 overs.

What’s to come:

The first qualifier will be played between GT and RR on 24th May at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata of whose losing side will meet the winner between RCB and LSG for the qualifier two. Both qualifying sides from Q1 and Q2 will meet themselves in the IPL 2022 final on 29th of May at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Gujrat.

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