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[Cricket] Indian T20 League 2019 – Week 2 Recap

If the first week of the Indian T20 League was controversy riddled, the second was full of high-class, high-octane cricting action. From Sanju Samson’s century to Bairstow-Warner bromance to Sam Curran’s hat-trick and Andre Russell’s demolition of a hapless Bangalore. While the first half of week 2 belonged purely to the batsmen, the second half definitely belonged to the bowlers. Apart from Sam Curran’s hat-trick, Shreyas Gopal’s amazing spell that took out both Kohli and AB were standout performances from an exciting week gone by. As we move into week 3, there are four teams tied at six points and are only differentiated by net run rate.

True to form, after two weeks of action, the table should always start to take shape and that’s certainly been the case. After four matches, defending champs Chennai were the early pace setters but they’ve been edged out and sit at the 4th position.

All sides remain in with a chance of progression but Bangalore will be desperate for points as they sit at the bottom of the table with five defeats from five. Andre Russell blasted Kolkata to a win against Bangalore on April 5th, Friday blasting a 13 ball 48 to take the team from a hopeless losing position of needing 68 off 26 when he walked in to bat and 54 off 18 when he got going to finishing with 5 balls to spare. The knock took Kolkata straight to the 2nd position in the table.

Key Stats
Most Runs: 264 (David Warner, Hyderabad)
Most Wickets: 9 (Yuzvendra Chahal, Bangalore)
Highest Score: 114* (56) (Jonny Bairstow, Hyderabad)
Best Bowling: 4-11 (Mohammad Nabi, Hyderabad)

Points Table

Schedule – Week 3
06th APRIL – 04.00pm Match 18, CHENNAI vs PUNJAB
06th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 19, HYDERABAD vs MUMBAI
07th APRIL – 04.00pm Match 20, BANGALORE vs DELHI
07th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 21, RAJASTHAN vs KOLKATA
08th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 22, PUNJAB vs HYDERABAD
09th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 23, CHENNAI vs KOLKATA
10th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 24, MUMBAI vs PUNJAB
11th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 25, RAJASTHAN vs CHENNAI
12th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 26, KOLKATA vs DELHI
Top 5 Highlights from Week 2

Chasing 167, Delhi were comfortably on the track at 144/3 in 16.3 overs with 23 runs required of 21 balls. However, what happened next was even beyond our wildest imagination.

It all started with Rishabh Pant trying to heave Mohammed Shami for back to back sixes. The attempt failed miserably as his middle-stump was uprooted in the second attempt. Delhi lost the plot as they lost 6 more wickets in a span of just 8 runs.

Not just the young ones like Pant, Vihari, Rabada, but also the experienced ones like Ingram and Morris couldn’t help Delhi chase a modest 23 runs of 21 balls. They eventually lost the match by 14 runs as Punjab pulled-off an incredible win.

Under the guidance of stalwarts like Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting, Delhi needs to restrategize on playing situational cricket rather than glamour cricket.

The man responsible for the downfall of Delhi’s batting line-up, Sam Curran grabbed the first hat-trick of 2019 in only his second game.

The talented Englishman had a horror debut as he gave away 52 runs from 4 overs against Rajasthan earlier in the tournament.

Coming into the match, no one would have imagined Sam Curran would pick up 4 wickets including a hat-trick.

It all started in the 18th over when the young Curran was brought for his second spell as Delhi Capitals needed just 23 runs from 18 balls with 5 wickets in hand.

He first got rid of experienced Ingram for 38 (29) and Harshal Patel for a duck, thus giving away only 4 runs in that over. Defending 15 of the last over, he bowled Kagiso Rabada and Sandeep Lamichhane in successive deliveries, thus bagging 2019’s first hat-trick.

His fiery spell of 2.2-0-11-4 helped Punjab win the match by 14 runs. In the process, he also became the youngest player to grab a hat-trick in the League.

It is always a special moment to take the wicket of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, but doing it consistently and with so much ease is an extremely superb effort by Shreyas Gopal.

The match was actually a ‘Race for the Bottom‘ if we could call it rhetorically as the winless Bangalore and Rajasthan were locking horns with each other in Jaipur in search for their first win.

Batting first, Bangalore had a good start as they avoided the powerplay successfully scoring 48/0. That’s when Shreyas Gopal struck gold as he bowled Virat Kohli with a perfect wrong ‘un.

In the subsequent over, he foxed AB de Villiers this time as the batsman couldn’t read the wrong’ un, and a leading edge made way for a comfortable caught and bowled catch.

After putting Bangalore on the back foot with two huge wickets, Shreyas Gopal got rid of Shimron Hetmyer too as he rattled Bangalore to finish his amazing spell on 4-1-12-3.

Regarded as the El-Clasico of the League, the Mumbai-Chennai clash is one of the most awaited and exciting contests.

Chennai came into the match with three consecutive wins while Mumbai as always blew hot and cold in their first three matches.

Batting first, Mumbai were progressing decently scoring 125 in their first 18 overs. However, what happened next was simply unbelievable as they managed to score 45 runs from their last 2 overs to lift the score to 170. Hardik Pandya replicated MS Dhoni’s famous Helicopter shot too with ease.

Chasing 171, Chennai were in all spots of bother as they lost their openers cheaply for just 6 runs. Raina and Jadhav did give some hope, but it was Mumbai’s night as they ended Chennai’s unbeaten streak by winning the match by 37 runs.

Hardik Pandya was awarded the MOM for his superb all-around effort.

A fantastic achievement for Mumbai as they became the first team to register 100 wins in the League after beating Chennai Super Kings by 37 runs at their home den.

They currently sit right at the top with 100 wins from 175 matches with a winning percentage of 57.14%. Chennai stand second with 93 wins from 152 matches with the best winning percentage of 61.18%.

Mumbai and Chennai are two of the most successful teams winning 3 tournaments each. Kolkata Knight Riders sit third with 2 wins.

Mumbai won the tournament in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Chennai won the tournament in 2010, 2011 and 2018. While Kolkata Knight Riders won the tournament in 2012 and 2014.

Biggest Upset of Week 2
While Delhi’s tremendous collapse against Punjab is a strong candidate for the biggest upset, it really has to be Delhi’s stunning win against Kolkata which was really an unexpected result.

Delhi won the toss and chose to bowl at the Feroz Shah Kotla, and had Kolkata reeling for 44/4 with fears of an early finish. Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik, however, had other plans as the Caribbean smashed 62 off 28 balls, while DK stroked his way to a half-century to lead KolkataR to a strong total of 185.

Kolkata seemed to have the upper hand and their spinners looked like they were going to win the game for them. Young Prithvi Shaw, however, had other plans as he played beautifully from one end and held the innings together while wickets fell at regular intervals. Shaw was there till the end, and was about to score a hundred when there was another twist in the match. He got dismissed for 99 and the team’s fortunes turned around once more.

Rishabh Pant, Colin Ingram and Hanuma Vihari weren’t able to beat the spirited Kolkata bowling attack as Delhi failed to win the match from a winning position, dragging the match to a Super Over.

Delhi were sent in to bat first and managed 10 runs, a score which seemed sub-par while facing the might of Kolkata’s batting. Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik walked out to bat and Russell smashed a boundary of the first ball of the Super Over, which was bowled by Kagiso Rabada.

Rabada pulled things back remarkably though, and bowled some excellent yorkers to keep the batsmen from scoring, and cleaned up Russell with a well-executed yorker.

DC won the match in a dramatic fashion with many twists and turns, and though they looked in control, this was a big upset and an exciting match.

With Inputs From: ak4tsay1 & SportsKeeda

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