The Cricketing world was abuzz with plenty of action this week and it wasn’t just the Indian T20 League in focus. The World Cup took center-stage with six top title contenders announcing their squads. And as usual, India’s squad selection had its fair share of discussions. With experts and everybody else weighing in.
Back to the League madness – we’ reached the critical stage where six teams are still in contention for four playoff spots and this season could see the tightest run ever. As we head into Week 5, we can effectively rule out the chances of Rajasthan and Bangalore making a comeback so that leaves the other six franchises in serious contention. The next seven days are likely to see our first set of qualifications and eliminations so let’s get straight on and see what’s in store.
Most Runs: 450 (David Warner, Hyderabad)
Most Wickets: 19 (Kagiso Rabada, Delhi)
Highest Score: 114* (56) (Jonny Bairstow, Hyderabad)
Best Bowling: 6-12 (Alzarri Joseph, Mumbai)
20th APRIL – 04.00pm Match 36, RAJASTHAN vs MUMBAI
20th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 37, DELHI vs PUNJAB
21st APRIL – 04.00pm Match 38, HYDERABAD vs KOLKATA
21st APRIL – 08.00pm Match 39, BANGALORE vs CHENNAI
22nd APRIL – 08.00pm Match 40, RAJASTHAN vs DELHI
23rd APRIL – 08.00pm Match 41, CHENNAI vs HYDERABAD
24th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 42, BANGALORE vs PUNJAB
25th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 43, KOLKATA vs RAJASTHAN
26th APRIL – 08.00pm Match 44, CHENNAI vs MUMBAI
HIGHLIGHTS FROM WEEK 4
JOS BUTTLER ROARS AT WANKHADE STADIUM
It is a painful sight for any Mumbai fan to see their team getting slaughtered on their home ground. However, as surprising it may sound, Mumbai were floored by Jos Buttler. The batsman made a mockery of the bowling to clinch 2 important points to keep Rajasthan alive in the tournament.
Chasing a target of 188, Jos Buttler complemented Ajinkya Rahane really well early on in the innings as Rahane went bonkers. In the opening partnership of 60, Jos Buttler scored only 21(16). However, once Rahane got out, Buttler brought his ‘A’ smashing the next 29 runs in just 13 deliveries.
Post completing his fifty, Buttler smashed the young, Alzarri Joseph for 28 in an over to take his score to 89(42) with 7 fours and 7 sixes. He did get out on 89, however, he had set up the chase perfectly for other batsmen. In the end, Rajasthan chased the target in 19.3 overs.
LYNNSANITY CAME TO LIFE FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS SEASON
Chris Lynn, who is regarded as a dangerous attacking batsman had been struggling for consistency and big scores. However, all that changed against Chennai as Lynnsanity finally came to life.
Batting first, Chris Lynn was atrocious right from the start as he smashed Chennai’s best pace bowler, Deepak Chahar for 22 in his first 2 overs. He didn’t stop there as he reached his fifty of just 36 deliveries.
Post his fifty, Lynn went berserk as smashed 32 runs of the next 14 deliveries to take his score to 82. The best highlight of his innings was his three continuous sixes off Ravindra Jadeja.
Courtesy of Lynn’s 82(51) with 7 fours and 6 sixes, Kolkata reached a healthy target of 161. However, Chennai chased it down in 19.4 overs.
SHIKHAR DHAWAN FINALLY UNLEASED
Shikhar Dhawan, just like his Team India opening partner, Rohit Sharma had been having a Luke Warm tournament before the match against Kolkata. However, it was in this innings that he changed perceptions by playing his best knock in the history of the League.
Chasing 179 on their home turf, Delhi were off to a flying start as they scored 57 in the power play, while losing two wickets in the process. Dhawan, who was 37(21) at that time reached his fifty in just 31 balls.
With 91 needed of last 7 overs, Dhawan and Pant kept the scoring rate intact throughout the match. In the end, Dhawan with 97(63) with 11 fours and 2 sixes top-scored as Delhi chased down the target in just 18.5 overs.
BANGALORE WIN THEIR FIRST MATCH OF 2019
After a series of six continuous losses, Virat Kohli-led Bangalore finally managed to win their first match as they chased the target of 174 with ease.
Punjab’s first Innings score was backed by Chris Gayle, whose 99(64) lifted their target to 173 in 20 overs. The innings was his unnatural self as rarely you would see Chris Gayle playing an unnatural waiting game.
After completing his fifty of just 28 deliveries, Gayle could only manage 49 of the next 36 as wickets crumbled at the other end.
Chasing 174, Bangalore were backed by another Kohli-ABD show as the duo scored attacking half-centuries to help chase the target in 19.2 overs. Kohli scored 67(53) while ABD 59(38).
The win helped Bangalore get off the mark with the daunting task of needing to win all their remaining matches to be in playoff contention.
KEEMO PAUL – THE SURPRISE PACKAGE
Certainly, the moment of Week 4 as Keemo Paul surprised everyone with an awesome spell of 4-0-17-3.
Delhi could manage only 155 from their 20 overs, on a slightly slow pitch and a lot was dependant on the opening pair of Warner-Bairstow for Hyderabad’s chase. The pair didn’t disappoint as they added 72 for the first wicket in 10 overs. However, the young, Keemo Paul in his second over got rid of the dangerous, Jonny Bairstow for 41(31).
Looking at the slow nature of the pitch, Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer gave Keemo another over. It paid dividends as he got rid of skipper Kane Williamson with a brilliant slower ball. His first 3 over spell read 3-0-13-2.
With 56 required of the last 5 overs, Iyer brought back Paul for his final over. The bowler used the pitch perfectly as he got Ricky Bui with yet another slower delivery.
His match-defining spell of 4-0-17-3 along with Chris Morris’s 3 wickets and Rabada’s 4 wickets helped Delhi beat Hyderabad by 39 runs to clinch 2 important points.
This was the first instance where all overseas players got all the 10 wickets in an innings.
After powering Mumbai to a 5-Wicket win over Bangalore, Hardik paired up with big brother
Krunal to set up a comprehensive 40-run win for Mumbai in the return leg vs Delhi at the Kotla.
Hardik (32 off 15) and Krunal (37 not out off 26) propelled Mumbai to 168 for five after the team lost its way in the middle overs.
Pandya went on to grab the MoM for both games.
After opening the week with their first win of the season, in one of the most explosive matches yet, Dale Steyn donned the Bangalore jersey after 3128 days to close out Week 4 wkith their second win. It was Virat Kohli (58-ball 100) and Moeen Ali (28-ball 66) who stole the limelight in a nail-biting high-scoring affair though.
Well, those two weren’t the only ones who lit up Eden Gardens, as Nitish Rana (46-ball 85*) and Andre Russell (25-ball 65) added 118 runs in 48 deliveries to almost pull off yet another heist. Despite needing 113 runs in six overs, Kolkata only lost by 10 runs. Things could have been different if the top-order wouldn’t have wasted a sizeable chunk of deliveries.
AGE CATCHING UP MSD?
MSD did not captain Chennai in a League match for the first time since 2010 when he sat out the game against Hyderbad. Dhoni was out with back spasms and Suresh Raina led the team in his stead. The last time Dhoni missed a Chennai match was in 2010 against Bangalore. Chennai won that match by 36 runs.
– Rohit Sharma added a fresh feather to his already illustrious cap as he became only the third Indian cricketer to complete 8000 T20 runs. Chennai’s Suresh Raina was the first to do so, followed by Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli. Rohit took the most number of innings to achieve this feat among the three
– Delhi’s spinner Amit Mishra became the first Indian to complete 150 wickets in the League. Mishra is also the second cricketer after Lasith Malinga to achieve this feat and the leggie is placed at the second spot in the list of highest wicket-takers in the cash-rich league
With Inputs From: ak4tsay1
Ready for Week 4 of 2019 Folks?
Who is your Super 8?
Leagues up in the Lobby, Go get ’em champs!