IPL review - Week 3
Chris Gayle provided the big story during the last week of the Indian Premier League (IPL) thanks to the fastest twenty20 (T20) century that he hammered against the Pune Warriors, but AB de Villiers provided a cameo during Gayle’s whirlwind knock that has almost gone unnoticed.
Gayle has, rightfully, garnered the plaudits for his 175 not out off a mere 66 balls, which included reaching his century off just 30 balls, but De Villiers played a handy knock, in partnership with Gayle, as South Africa’s one-day international captain blazed his way to 31 off a trifling eight balls.
De Villiers was at his inventive best as he struck three fours and three sixes during his innings with a flicked six over fine leg off the bowling of seamer Mitchell Marsh being, arguably, the pick of the strokes played by De Villiers during his brief, but devastating, knock.
Much has been written about Gayle’s world-record innings and it truly was an astonishing effort that had fans around the world scurrying to find a television set to watch the sublime exhibition of hitting from the big West Indian opening batsman.
Gayle struck 13 fours and 17 sixes while two overs, in particular, stand out.
There was the 28 runs Gayle blasted off a Marsh over in a sequence that read 6, 6, 4, 0, 6, 6 before 29 runs were scored off an over from Australian seamer Aaron Finch that read 1, 6, 6, 4, 6, 6. The 29 runs off the Finch over was the most runs scored off an over so far in this year’s IPL.
It was a relatively quiet week for the South Africans in the IPL this week but Jacques Kallis showed his all-round class during Kolkata Knight Riders’ six-wicket win over the Kings XI Punjab.
Kallis picked up the Man-of-the-Match award thanks to his 2-14 off four overs and his 33-ball 37 as the veteran all-rounder showed that his form and fitness shows no sign of flagging which is good news for the Proteas’ selectors with the Champions Trophy fast approaching.
Chris Morris continued to add to his reputation as a fine fast bowler and the big all-rounder has now taken 10 wickets in eight matches while he showed that he is comfortable bowling at the death with a superb final over against Kolkata during Sunday’s early game.
Kolkata needed an unlikely 19 runs to win the match off the Morris over but the paceman served up a mixture of yorkers and low full tosses to concede just four runs as Chennai sealed a 14-run win to move to the top of the table on 14 points after nine matches.
Gayle may have garnered many of the headlines during the past week but Australian and Rajasthan Royals’ all-rounder Shane Watson also had a week to remember as he blazed 101 against Chennai before he blasted 98 not out off 53 balls as the Royals beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets.
Watson may have mauled most of Hyderabad’s bowlers but Dale Steyn continued his fine form by finishing with figures of 4-1-15-1.
Speedster Steyn ended the week with 10 wickets from nine games but it is his economy rate which is so impressive with Steyn conceding just 5.91 runs to the over off his 35.5 overs.
The much-heralded Quinton de Kock has had a tough introduction to IPL cricket with the talented wicketkeeper/batsman having scores of 2, 0 and 4 during his three matches for the Sunrisers.