IPL review - Week 2
The net result of a week that saw hat-tricks, thrilling finishes and a win (at last!) for the Delhi Daredevils is a points table that is increasingly log-jammed. Only the men from Delhi appear to be cut adrift, with just six points separating the other eight sides.
The South African contingent once again produced some notable performances.
Proteas ODI captain AB de Villiers took centre stage in the Royal Challengers Bangalore one-over eliminator triumph over the Daredevils. A Ravi Rampaul maximum in the final over saw Bangalore match their opponents’ total of 152 to force the Super Over, before the destructive De Villiers smashed two sixes to close out an over of 15. Delhi were able to amass only 11 in reply, and remained without a win.
Chris Morris was the outstanding performer once again with the ball for the men from the Republic. Having played in all three matches for the Chennai Super Kings this week, Morris’s total of nine overs yielded four wickets at a cost of just 50 runs.
However, the performance of the week without question went to David Miller.
His Kings XI Punjab team were set a massive target of 186 for victory by the Warriors, and few would have given them a chance when he arrived at the crease with 128 needed off 80 deliveries.
However, the Dolphins left-hander smashed five fours and five sixes en route to an undefeated 41-ball innings of 80, and his unbroken stand of 128 with Mandeep Singh (77 not out) saw the Kings home with one delivery to spare.
Earlier in the week, an Aaron Finch-inspired Pune Warriors outfit kicked things off with their second win of the campaign against the Super Kings.
The Australian smashed 67 from just 45 deliveries to guide his team to an imposing 159 for five, and it proved to be 24 runs too many for the hosts.
Tuesday and Wednseday then yielded two hat-tricks. The first of the competition came in Tuesday’s encounter between the Kings XI Punjab and the Kolkata Knight Riders. The Punjab side were on course for a big total batting first until West Indian Sunil Narine pegged things back with a sensational hat-trick in the 15th over.
However, the legspinner was then carted for 23 in the penultimate over, and it proved crucial as the Kings snuck home by four runs – only their second triumph of the competition.
Defeat may have taken the gloss off Narine’s hat-trick, but Amit Mishra’s efforts the following day in the game between the Warriors and the Sunrisers Hyderabad provided no shortage of drama.
In a low-scoring affair, the men from Pune were well on course for victory needing 19 runs from 19 deliveries with six wickets in hand.
Two quick wickets stunned them, but by the time Mishra took the ball for the penultimate over, they were still on top needing just 14.
Mishra then got rid of captain Angelo Mathews with his second delivery, and, after a single in the ball that followed, struck the three times in succession to seal an unlikely and remarkable 11-run victory for his side.
On Sunday, the Daredevils eventually got the monkey off their backs with a convincing nine-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
Despite seeing the Indians post an impressive 161 for four, the home side romped to victory thanks to Virender Sehwag mauling the opposition for 95 from just 57 deliveries.
In terms of the table, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad lead the way on 10 points as they were victorious in both their respective games this week.
However, with two teams on eight points and a further two on six, the playoff places are still very much up for grabs.
In the batting stakes, Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli tops the standings, with his 322 runs coming at an impressive 53.66. De Villiers is the highest placed South African, his 147 runs coming at an average of 36.75.
Bangalore also has a player at the top of the bowling standings, with R Vinay Kumar’s 12 wickets taken at an average of 17.33. Narine and Mishra are one wicket behind after their hat-tricks.
Lions paceman Chris Morris leads the way for the South Africans with nine wickets at a useful average of 13.