Indian Premier League is known and enjoyed by the fans all over the world for the thrill, the entertainment and the excitement it provides with the explosive hitting, last over nail biters and many more events of that sort.
And all of this has been experienced more so in the last two days of the 2nd week of the tournament. To beat the Monday blues, we had a couple of matches starting with Delhi Daredevils locking horns with Kolkata Knight Riders at Kotla. It turned out to be quite an exciting affair as one got to witness the likes of Rishabh Pant displaying his class and smashing a 16 ball 38. All thanks to the change made by KKR of getting in Nathan Coulter-Nile. The Australian chipped in 3 wickets including that of Pant and helped the team restrict the hosts to 168/7 which was still challenging. The innings that followed will be remembered for the sheer brilliance of Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey.
The “P” Power proved to be heavy on the Daredevils; former smacking the opposition picking the right deliveries and the latter playing smart shots, pulling off a Dhoni in the last over and remaining unbeaten by guiding his team to a 4 wicket win. It was a game that was alive till the last over with 9 being needed off it
The evening was no less when the North played against the South. The Sunrisers captain anchored the innings which went down as not being one of his finest ones but he just about managed to get his team reach a respectable total of 159/6. It came as a total shock to the Kings when they lost Amla on a Golden Duck, PLUMB it was!
Nevertheless what came next was just nerve-wracking; a 50 ball 95 hit by Manan Vohra consisting of some really clever and dynamic shots that brought a different kind of energy among the masses and on the social media timelines.
It was his misfortune that he kept running out of partners and eventually it was the Bhuvirilliance that slayed. 11 being required from the last over, Punjab were eventually bowled out on 154. Bhuvneshwar Kumar – the Purple Cap owner chipped in 5 wickets conceding just 19 runs in what became his best bowling figures in IPL. The most unfortunate part of this clash was that either Vohra or Bhuvi could be on the winning side while both equally deserved to be there.
Came Tuesday and the bottom two teams had one cracker of a match at Rajkot. Considering their run in IPL so far, Royal Challengers Bangalore posted a befitting total of 213/2 with Chris Gayle making the most of the conditions and the set up around. The West Indian heavyweight rose to the occasion and gave the Gujarat bowlers some tough time scoring 77 from 38 deliveries and also completing 10,000 T20 runs! He was awarded as the Man of the Match later on. The fun fact remains that he got lucky at 38 when Brendon Mcculum took an eye opening catch but his hat touched the boundary rope ending up in the former getting a Six.
He was accompanied by Captain Kohli who registered his 28th IPL Fifty. Started by these two, the innings was brought to a great end by Kedhar Jadhav & Travis Head. Gujarat Lions had some of the finest hitting happening in the middle but the target was just too big to be achieved. Meanwhile, as Harsha Bhogle mentioned that a fearless young Indian batsman announced himself, Ishan Kishan who could have done the unthinkable had he played up the order. RCB sealed the match, winning by 21 runs.
Early days in the tournament and things are heating up along with the atmosphere this summer. Looking forward to more such encounters in the days to come!
– by Akshata Tilwankar