Three weeks have been passed with thriller, action, suspense and so many skills have been disclosed in the utter surprise of the fans. The inaugural champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals, are the table toppers while Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are sitting in the second position.
Let’s dissect few top performances of the third week:
Game 20, RR vs LSG: Hetmyer shimmies Royals to match winning total:
The Rajasthan Royals didn’t make a great start being pushed at 67-4 in the 10th over with not much batting left in the line-up. But Shimron Hetmyer caught the spot light; he wasn’t considered for his national West Indies side due to fitness issues but he after a steady 68 run stand with R Ashwin went blizzare in the later stage of the game to register another half century.
Some of the shots he cracked was of sheer timing and effortless power. And in a game, where RR went on to win by a small margin, Hetmyer’s unbeaten 59 off 36 balls was certainly a match winning knock.
Respect, Shimron Hetmyer. 🙌💗 pic.twitter.com/NEjvCpZZoy
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) April 10, 2022
Game 19, KKR vs DC: Kuldeep Yadav had a sweet revenge against the Knight Riders:
Kuldeep Yadav even after being with their present opponents Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) hardly had spent time in the game for the last two seasons. There he had a great chance with Delhi Capitals to take a sweet revenge against them.
Defending 216, The KKR side were going at a decent rate with Kuldeep was smashed in the first 16 balls of his spell. The opponent captain, Shreyas Iyer, had just reached his half-century before Kuldeep used his magic stick to stump him in his spin wizard.
In the last over, he just changed the course of the game with three wickets in just six balls. He sent back Pat Cummins wo single handedly won their last game against Mumbai Indians before dismissing Sunil Narine and Umesh Yadav; in case of Umesh, Kuldeep ran too many yards to grab an excellent catch.
Delhi went on to win the game by 44 runs as Kuldeep was adjusted the man of the match.
A statement from Kuldeep Yadav v KKR.
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) April 10, 2022
Game 12, SRH vs LSG: Avesh Khan destroys Sunrisers:
In the 12th match of the tournament between Lucknow Super Giants and Sunrisers Hyderabad, LSG batted first and scored 169 runs and set a target before SRH. It seemed that openers of SRH would give a good start to the innings but Avesh Khan had some other plans. He didn’t try to do something different. He just carried on bowling in good line and length. At first Kane Williamson tried to scoop one of his deliveries in the first over to make a boundary for him. But it found the fielder in backward short leg.
Then Abhishek Sharma tried to play a big shot against him but only managed to misjudge it and fell prey to him.
In his last over Avesh took two back-to-back wickets. Dangerous looking Pooran couldn’t escape him as he hit a ball in the long off region and got out. Then Samad tried to drive a fuller length ball which took the inside edge and found the gloves of the keeper.
Avesh ended up taking 4 wickets for 24 runs in 4 overs.
Game 16, PBKS vs GT: Tewatia Does What He Does Best:
Rahul Tewatia, Punjab Kings and West Indian fast bowler. Isn’t it enough to build a story?
Tewatia became famous after hitting five sixes against Sheldon Cottrell last year. And now when Gujarat Titans were in grave danger even after an impressive innings of 96 runs of Shubman Gill, it was Tewatia who came, conquered and left the ground. 19 runs were required in the last over. Miller hit a boundary and took runs.
And ultimately 12 runs were needed in two balls. It was a tough job. But champions love tough things and not the easy ones. Odean Smith bowled a length ball outside off stump and Tewatia swung his bat and smacked it for a six over deep mid wicket.
Rahul Tewatia against Punjab Kings in 2020 IPL and now in 2022 IPL. – Two Unbelievable Finish. pic.twitter.com/i0PoQefp81
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) April 8, 2022
Six needed off one ball. Could Tewatia do it?
Again, a length delivery outside off stump. Tewatia shuffled and hit it hard and ball flew over the long on region for a biggie. And the job was done! GT won the match.
Tewatia did a Tewatia.
Game 17, CSK vs SRH: Abhishek Sharma Masterclass fainted Chennai:
In the 17th match of Tata IPL 2022, both the teams, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad were under pressure as they were yet to register points in the table. However, having batted first CSK could not put up a very big score on a slow track. And for SRH, an excellent combination of young left-handed Abhishek Sharma and vastly experienced right-handed Kane Williamson came to open. Abhishek showed controlled aggression from the very beginning while his partner played slowly.
At first some problems were there regarding perfect touch of bat and ball. But the young man handled it perfectly. Seemingly an onside dominated player, Sharma played pull or other onside shots perfectly. But his offside shots were also extremely eye-catching. After 25th innings in IPL, he achieved the first half century and went to the pavilion only after ensuring the victory of SRH. His 75-run innings off 50 balls was surely the show stopper of the match.
Game 14, KKR vs MI: Pat-Cummins record half-century stunned Kolkata:
Mumbai Indians didn’t make a great start being pushed for 55/3 after 11 overs. But Surya Kumar Yadav and Tilak waited patiently up until Umesh’s last over when Rahane drops Tilak at 3 runs and suddenly the momentum shifts towards MI and they took the total to 161/4 in 20 overs, a commendable job by Surya, Pollard and Tilak as 132 seemed to be difficult at one point in time.
KKR as not so famous for their batting approach and not enough effort from top order, lost Rahane and Shreyas quite early and Venky on the other hand was not still making good connection with the ball. Billings did come early of Rana and took on the spinners but at 17 fell trap to a clever delivery of Murugan Ashwin.
When Patrick Cummins came on the pitch with Venky holding the innings on the other end, there was still 60+ runs left to score. From there, there was no looking back as Pat started hitting the ball from middle of the bat and throwing them into the stands and in no time scored the fastest fifty off mere 14 balls. Pat smashed 35 runs of his fellow mate Daniel Sams and finished the game with 4 overs remaining to go.
Game 13, RR vs RCB: Never say Never with Dinesh Karthik:
What we saw was a slow wicket were Rajasthan was put to bat by Bangalore after winning the toss and putting them in trouble with early wickets of Jaiswal and Sanju Samson. But Jos the boss along with Shimron at the back stuck around, took the game deep and helped Rajasthan post a decent total of 169/3.
At the chase the two openers (Faf and Anuj) did start in a controlled manner, but early wickets of Virat, Willey and Rutherford brought RR on the top again. Then out of nowhere, Dinesh Karthik started batting as if this was a belter of a track which it clearly was not, and RR’s bowlers lost the plot completely too.
Also got to question Samson’s tactics here. Chahal should surely have bowled the thirteenth over which Ashwin bowled, or at least the one after that. Instead, he has been held back which is too late now. DK’s rampant 44 off 23 helped RCB cross the line and RR couldn’t really believe their first loss in the tournament.
“DK is someone with a lot of experience.” –Sanju at post-match conference.
Game 15: LSG vs DC: De Kock stands tall for Lucknow:
Delhi surely did not start well with a tight Lucknow bowling, that hardly gave any runs. They were able to reach up to a total of 149 only for the loss of 3 wickets.
As Lucknow came down to chase the low total, they pretty much had the game set for themselves as the openers provided a decent start and sealed half the game there. Delhi bowlers did make a comeback where Kuldeep picked up two wickets and the spinners kept their run rates below 6, but not much fruitful as De Kock stayed on one end as a set batsman and anchored the innings eventually bringing Lucknow the win.
“It was a matter of just playing what’s in front of you, reacting to it.”– De Kock revealed in the end.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 10, 2022
What’s to come:
The two losing sides CSK and MI will try their best to get their first points in the IPL 2022 while the others will try to stretch their time in the upper part of the table.