IPL 2017: From Super Over to double hat-trick, here's league stage in a nutshell
With the tenth season of Indian Premier League rolling into the play-offs stage, here is a trip down to some memorable moments from the league stage...
New Delhi: With the tenth season of Indian Premier League rolling into the play-offs stage, here is a trip down to some memorable moments from the league stage...
1. Season's first super over – A lightning bolt throw from Ravindra Jadeja ceased the match between Gujarat Lions and Mumbai Indians to a draw, on April 29, at Rajkot. Thus came along season's first Super Over to play the decider.
Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler opened for Mumbai while Faulkner was the bowler. Pollard smashed a boundary and a six as both departed with a delivery to spare and set a target of 12 runs.
Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum arrived at the pitch and Bumrah was with the ball. A no ball, a wide and a leg bye was all that came from the duo as Bumrah outfoxed the two overseas power-hitters to restrict them to mere six runs.
2. Double header, double hat- trick – Not one, but two hat-tricks light up just another double-header Friday night. It was April 14. While Royal Challengers Bangalore took on Mumbai Indians at M Chinnaswamy stadium, Gujarat Lions served hosts to Rising Pune Supergiant.
40,000 RCB fans remained dumbstruck and stupefied when Samuel Badree reduced Mumbai top-order batting line-up to mere 7/4 in just three deliveries. Parthiv Patel fell first, then surprise entry Mitchell McClenaghan was the second victim and then went down the skipper Rohit Sharma to a delightful googly. Badree finished off 4/9 in four overs. Much to the fan's surprise, the visitors stole the thunder in the end.
The story is quite different for Andrew Tye. The Aussie finally had his chance after warming the bench for two seasons. Last over of the game, and skipper Suresh Raina gave the responsibility to the 30-year-old. First ball, and batsman Ankit Sharma departed. Manoj Tiwary followed him on the next delivery and finally Shardul Thakur flew back on a golden duck. Tye, in fact not only got a hat-trick, but also completed a fi-fer on his debut. GL had won by 7 wickets.
3. Warner goes all BOOM BOOM – The honour of the fortress was at stake. Kolkata Knight Riders flew down south to Hyderabad, to clinch another victory and move closer to the play-offs spot. But none anticipated Warner to come out all strong to drive away the mighty knights off the arena with a thumping 48-runs victory. Eight huge sixes, seven ravishing boundaries, all led to a blistering knock of 126 off mere 59 deliveries. There were cover drives, ample sweeps and spectacular switch hits that entertained the home fans. So delighted was Mr. IPL, that he pinned the entire video of Warner's innings on its official Twitter page.
4. Spirit of Cricket – On one hand there is competition, the thirst to win and then there is true spirit of sportsmanship. And the latter always overshadows loss and defeat, low score, poor performance. Or so was seen from Hashim Amla's gesture when Kings XI Punjab faced Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 6.
First over, fourth delivery. RCB pacer Aniket Chaudhury seams the ball across the stumps, well outside off as Amla looking for a punch down cover gets only a feather touch off his bat and Kedar Jadhav takes it behind. None did appeal, but Amla walked off. It was only then that umpire raised his finger and RCB rejoiced to the occasion. The South African may have scored poorly, but Amla did win a million heart.
Just nights earlier, MS Dhoni had done the same thing when a Kuldeep Yadav googly got a slight knick off the bat and as soon as Kolkata appealed, he walked off.
5. The RCB demolition – What can be expected from a side which boasts the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle? Surely not 49 all out, isn't it?
Unexpected you may say, but that is where Royal Challengers Bangalore fell, this season. An explosive ninth edition witnessed by their fans could only raise the expectations above limits. But Virat Kohli's men stumbled, were crumbled and beaten down to the bottom of the table as they signed off this season as a 'forgettable' event.
6. Lynnsanity – 'See ball, hit ball' is the probably the best phrase to describe his blazing innings. It took just 19 deliveries for the Aussie international to notch up a 50, which ended at 93 off 41 against the Lions at Rajkot. But in Kolkata's match against Mumbai, Lynn injured his shoulder whilst fielding and ultimately was sidelined from the tournament.
Three weeks and Lynnsanity was back to the pitch all fit and fine as he once again knocked up a fifty, against RCB, to hoist his flag of dominance.
7. The discovery of a Pinch-Hitter – None would have even in their wildest thought, put Sunil Narine up the order to open up for Kolkata Knight Riders. But they did and results were breathtaking.
Singles are off the board, just fours and sixes are what his bat comprehends. In their last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the West Indian battered his fellow country-mate Badree to thunder away to fifty in record-breaking 15 deliveries.
Apart from that, Narine has remained Gautam Gambhir's 'go-to-man' as a bowler. In 14 matches he has bagged 10 wickets.
8. The Mumbai Juggernaut – Mumbai Indians turning out to be an early contender for the play-offs was a bit unusual not only for their fans, but also for cricket analysts. They are usually signified as 'slow starters', heading on to the play-offs as last entry. But this season, it was different.
The Mumbai-based franchise won 10 matches off the the total 14 to finish atop with 20 points and net run rate at +0.784, qualifying for the next round much ahead of the rest of the teams.
A major concern however ponders over them as they head into the play-offs. Mumbai will face Rising Pune Supergiant in Qualifier 1, the team that defeated them twice (both at home and away).
9. The Stokes efficiency – 'INR14.5 crore' – was where the bidding stopped as Ben Stokes joined Rising Pune Supergiant in his inaugural IPL season. But nothing came of him during the initial matches. As the season unveiled, he got better and better, winning three Man of the Match titles. He was bowling, getting wickets, taking spectacular catches and scoring runs for his teams.
He scored 316 runs in the 12 matches he played, including a scintillating century against Gujarat Lions. Apart from that, he took 12 wickets too. RPS will definitely miss out on his service as the Englishman heads to Spain for a national camp.
10. From googlies to knuckle balls – As the 10th season of IPL rolled in its way, the leg-spinners turned out to be death-dealers for batsmen. It was the googlies that were creating much of the damage. Well, its architects include Imran Tahir and Rashid Khan, who scalped most of their wickets off this troubling delivery.
But the later half of the group stage had a different set of rulers. There was a sudden usage of a word called 'Knuckle ball'. Zaheer Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Andrew Tye, Siddarth Kaul – have all earned quite a number of wickets using it. But what makes this delivery so dangerous?
For any normal delivery bowled by the bowler, the batsman can easily predict the length and strike accordingly, but for knuckle ball, it is slow and the dips so suddenly that the batsman misjudges it most of the time.