The intriguing ongoing season of VIVO Indian premier league has completed a couple of weeks now and it has provided one heck of a Cricketainment (Cricket+Entertainment) thus far to the fans. We at cricpick have already provided you the key points of week 1, now it’s time to go through the second week and relive some best moments of the week gone by.
1. Narine, Narine!
In their first home game of the season, Kolkata Knight Riders stunned everyone with the bold move of sending the ace spinner Sunil Narine to open. KKR was chasing 174 which was challenging against a quality attack, everyone expected Uthappa to open in the absence of Lynn but wait, people couldn’t believe what they saw. A short figure was walking out with Gambhir and he was none other than Sunil Narine. The move surprised even the Punjab bowlers as Sunil smashed 37 runs from just 18 balls making it a bold and courageous move. Although Narine has opened in Big bash before but nobody had expected him to do the same in IPL. KKR was able to chase the target successfully and comfortably. The decision to send Narine open soon became the talk of the town as social media was abuzz with it. However, it didn’t pay off in other games and now KKR is struggling to get a partner for GG.
Earlier in the game, Indian speedster Umesh Yadav made his comeback and made his presence felt with an excellent figure of 4-33. Thanks to his performance, KKR was able to restrict Punjab under a chaseable score.
2. Down, but not out
Yes this was something happened in the two games played this week where middle-lower order batsmen showed terrific application to pull the rabbit out of the hole.
We are talking about RCB vs MI game where MI bowled in good areas to restrict RCB to a mere 142 which wasn’t a good score on that wicket from any sort of imaginations but what followed made it an epic match.
Samuel Badree who was making a debut for RCB went through the defence of Rohit Sharma to take a stunning hattrick. MI was struggling at 7-4, then came the big man Keiron Pollard with some intent and applications. While almost every cricket pundit thought that the game is gone for MI, KP & KP, Keiron Pollard and Krunal Pandya turned the tides to their favour with an amazing 119 runs partnerships for 5th wicket which consisted of great skills, determination and calculated risks. They stunned the home fans and snatched the victory from jaws of defeat. Pollard was adjudged Man of the match for his 70.
3. W,W,W – A day of Hattricks
T20 is a format where bowlers generally are smashed out of the park however, skillful bowlers still find their place here but for fans, seeing a hattrick in this format is as rare as a middle class woman buying diamond necklace. But guess what, we not only witnessed 1 , we got to see a couple of hattricks in a single day.
RCB had made a poultry score of 142 on a wicket like Chinnaswamy and they needed someone to bowl miraculously to give them some hope and Samuel Badree who was making his debut for the team did that.
First, he bowled a flighted delivery to which Parthiv Patel couldn’t resist and thought to go over short cover but perished as he found the big man Gayle in his way. MI sent Mcclenaghan as a pinch hitter to count badree but he held on to deep midwicket very next ball. Now it was hattrick ball and Rohit Sharma, who was already struggling in the tournament could not read a wrong-un which went through his bat pad only to lighten the bails. The stadium erupted in jubilation as Badree took a hattrick which made MI crawl at 7-4 though it went in a losing cause as MI chased down the target.
The other hattrick came in the night game played between Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant where it was the turn of Aussie speedster Andrew Tye who was making his IPL debut to con the batters. Pune was looking comfortable for a near 200 score but AJ Tye had other ideas as he restricted the Supergiant to 171-8.
First he deceived Ankit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary with his slower balls as they held on to the boundary while his third victim was Shardul Thakur who was completely mesmerized by the knuckle ball that hit his timbre. Tye celebrated and Gujarat got a relatively easier target to chase and thankfully this didn’t go down in a losing cause as Mccullum-Smith partnership ensured the Lions victory.
4. Close, Very very close
It was a Monday to remember, not only we got 2 matches on Monday but also, two epic and memorable ones where the pendulum kept swinging every ball and it was some individual brilliance which turned the table in the end.
KKR was struggling after losing Gautam Gambhir when their score was 21 while chasing 170. Then combined the Pandey and Pathan to rescue them. They built up the inning first and then tormented the good DD bowling attack. Pathan was absolutely devastative as usual while Manish played an anchor’s role for most part of the inning. Team was leading towards an easy win but few hiccups in the end made it tough, KKR needed 9 from 6 and Zaheer Khan played a gamble by giving ball to the experienced Amit Mishra. He tightened the screw by bowling 2 dot balls, out of which one was a wicket one. Sunil Narine took a single on third ball and all of a sudden KKR found them in pressure to get 8 from 3 but one of the best emerging cricketer, Manish Pandey kept his composure to seal the deal with a ball to spare. He first hit Mishra for 6 and then ran a sensible 2 to finish the game. He was adjudged man of the match for this brilliant knock of 69.
The second match was a bit more to remember. It will be remembered for three men brilliance. Against Kings Eleven Punjab, on a slow pitch, Warner played a gutsy 70 to take his side to a competitive 159. In reply, the best T20 bowler of India at the moment went through one of his finest spell is dismantle the kings top and middle order. At one stage, Kings were struggling at 62-5 and it looked like SRH will wrap things up quickly but stylish Manan Vohra started to fight back, he paced his inning beautiful. He hit Rashid Khan for plenty and came very close to take Punjab over the line from a losing position but yet again, Bhuvaneshwar delivered under pressure and SRH somehow managed to win by 5 runs. Manan scored 95 while Bhuvi took 5 wickets for 19. Bhuvi was given Man of the Match while Vohra won a billions hearts that night.
5. Gaylestorm hits the Rajkot
Cricket fans and especially the RCB fans were waiting to clap on Gayle’s success since long. He kept struggling and the team kept backing him and finally it paid off.
In a must win game against Gujarat, he started slowly, leaving everything to kohli initially but the introduction of spin was enough for him to catch on. He started with Jadeja and kept going. Gayle didn’t bother about anything and neither did the ball which kept going for sixes even when fielder caught it. The storm finally cooled down on 77(38) when he was dismissed by Thampi. During that inning, Gayle became the first batsman ever to score 10000 T20 runs. It was his heroics and late order cameos which gave RCB a couple of important points.
6. The “Kane” star
Yes, that’s why he’s counted as modern great. Kane Williamson got his first game for SRH this year and the kiwi grabbed the opportunity from both hands.
Against a quality Delhi attack led by Zaheer Khan and after losing Warner early, SRH was under some serious pressure but this man showed why he’s among the contemporaries of Kohli, Smith or Root. In an absolutely flawless inning of 89(51) which was a mixture of both conventional and unorthodox shorts, Kane looked absolutely stylish and gave SRH a lot to cheer for. He propelled SRH to mammoth 191 which was successfully defended by the quality SRH bowling lineup.
7. Few minor highlights
Roof tower six:
Kaboom! That’s the sound bat of Dhoni made when he advanced down the track to Chahal to loft one over his head. The ball kept going long and long until it finished on the roof of Chinnaswamy. Later RPS defeated RCB to stun the home crowd but this six was cheered and applauded by everyone.
Uthappa’s friendship with luck: It really looked like nobody would’ve dismissed Uthappa that day. Initially his edge wasn’t spotted by the umpire followed by dropped catches. Robin used all these opportunities to the most as KKR posted 172 against SRH which was later defended successfully. Uthappa scored 64 in that match.
That’s all we have from this week. Hoping for some more memorable actions from week 3.