Cricket Article

Indian Premier League 2018 - Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Top, Mumbai Struggling

IPL 2018 Week 1 Update

Tuesday’s match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders was played amidst unprecedented security because of an ongoing water-sharing dispute between the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. As a result, supporters were banned from bringing banners, flags, car keys, water and food to the match, and were not even allowed to wear black clothing. However, it was what happened on the pitch that will last in the memory, as 31 sixes were scored in the match, a new IPL record. Batting first, Kolkata struggled and slumped to 89 – 5, until their innings was rescued by a brilliant 88 not out from just 36 balls by Andre Russell, with the Jamaican hitting no less than 11 sixes. His unbeaten stand for the 7th wicket with Tom Curran saw Kolkata score 37 runs of the last 14 balls, with Curran scoring just 2 of them, as the Knight Riders reached 202 – 6.

Faced with such a tough score, Chennai needed a fast start, and they got it through openers Shane Watson (42) and Ambati Rayudu (39) who put on 75 inside six overs. However, it was England batsman Sam Billings, playing his first match for Chennai, who really helped them get close to the target, with a man-of-the-match 56 scored off just 23 balls, including 5 sixes and 2 fours. When he was out, the Super Kings still needed 19 runs off 8 balls, but Dwayne Bravo pushed them closer to the line before Ravindra Jadega sealed victory with yet another six.

However, one unfortunate postscript for Chennai has seen all future matches this season moved out of the city due to security concerns, following protests outside the ground.

Wednesday saw the Rajasthan Royals beat the Delhi Daredevils in a rain-affected match. Batting first, Rajasthan lost two early wickets before Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson steadied matters with a stand of 62 for the third wicket. Man-of-the-match Samson was bowled by Shabhaz Nadeem for 37, and Rahane fell to the same bowler top-scoring with 45, but Jos Buttler and Rahul Tripathi helped push the score to 153, when the rain started to fall.

The heavy downpour halted the Royals innings, and meant a revised total of 71 in just six overs was set for Delhi to win under the Duckworth/Lewis method. In the event they fell short by 10 runs, as tight bowling restricted them to 60 -4, with Rishabh Pant top-scoring with 20 and Glenn Maxwell and Chris Morris both making 17. The win was Rajasthan’s first at home since being restored to the IPL and sent the crowd home happy, although they would have preferred to see a full match.

Thursday saw a cliff-hanger as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat by the Mumbai Indians by one wicket off the last ball of the match. Mumbai, put into bat, lost captain Rohit Sharma early for 11, but Evin Lewis (29) and Ishan Khan put on 37 for the second wicket before Mumbai slipped to 72 – 4. It was left to Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard, who both scored 28, to lead the recovery before the visitors lost a flurry of late wickets to close on 147 – 8.

In reply, Hyderabad got off to a fine start through Shikhar Dhawan (45) and Wriddhiman Saha (22), and looked to be in control, before both openers fell to Mayank Markande, whilst Kane Williamson was out to Mustafizur Rahman. Markande then took the wickets of Manish Pandey and Shakib Al Hasan as the Sunrisers’ innings faltered, and the hosts then lost 4 wickets in 9 balls to slump to 137 – 9. However, Deepak Hooda was batting well, hitting 32 off just 25 balls, and together with Billy Stanlake, saw the hosts through to victory, with Stanlake hitting the last ball for four.

The first week concluded with Royal Challengers Bangalore beating Kings XI Punjab by 4 wickets. Bangalore’s victory owed much to the bowling prowess of Umesh Radav and the batting of their South African test pair Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers, as they restricted Punjab to 155 all-out, and then chased down their target with 3 balls to spare. Put into bat, the Kings XI struggled when Yadav took the wickets of three of their top order batsmen in the same over, with Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh all falling to the paceman. KL Rahul (47) and Karun Nair (29) led a recovery, but both fell in quick succession, and it was left to captain Ravichandran Ashwin with a brisk 33 to help them to their final total, as wickets fell with regularity, Mujeeb Zadran last man out in the final over.

The Bangalore innings got off to a bad start when opener Brendon McCullum was out without scoring in the second innings, and Virat Kohli disappointed the crowd by only scoring 21. However, de Kock and de Villiers put on 54 for the third wicket, and although the home side lost both de Kock (45) and Sarfaraz Khan to successive balls from Ashwin, de Villiers and Mandeep Singh steered their side close to victory. Both fell before the end, de Villiers for a 57 which included 4 sixes and 2 fours, and Singh run out, but Chris Woakes and Washington Sundar were able to seal the win for the hosts.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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