The second week of the 2017 Indian Premier League was, as expected, full of action. As many as 3199 runs were scored and 109 wickets tumbled across the 10 matches played between April 10 and 16. Wisden India takes a closer look at some of the moments that made the last seven days in the tournament memorable.
Twin hat-trick Friday
On Friday (April 14), Samuel Badree and Andrew Tye registered the 15th and 16th hat-tricks in the history of the tournament.
In the end, though, Badree’s fascinating spell of 4 for 9 wasn’t enough to take Royal Challengers Bangalore to victory against Mumbai Indians, who chased their target down riding on Kieron Pollard’s brilliance.
Later in the evening, after spending two seasons on the bench, Tye grabbed the opportunity against Rising Pune Supergiant to make it a memorable debut. His figures of 5 for 17, which included a hat-trick, helped Gujarat Lions score their maiden victory in this edition.
The Royal downslide
Injuries had plagued Bangalore’s campaign even before the start of the tournament. With Virat Kohli absent initially, the Shane Watson-led side had to also begin the season without AB de Villiers and Sarfaraz Khan, while KL Rahul is out of the entire tournament. This week saw the return of de Villiers and Kohli. Though both made a mark with a solid half-century each, the team has failed to gel. With four losses in five games, Kohli and his men need to buck up soon, and look to pull off the kind of comeback that saw them squeeze through to the knockouts and into the final last year.
Delhi’s all-round formula
Delhi Daredevils, who haven’t made it to the playoffs since 2012, have had one of their best starts to the IPL. There has been a fascinating pattern in their two wins in three matches so far.
While all four foreign players got together to decimate Kings XI Punjab when they met at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi’s domestic players had earlier taken charge when the overseas contingent failed against Rising Pune Supergiant.
Sanju Samson smashed a clinical ton, and Rishabh Pant chipped in with valuable runs against Pune, who succumbed to a 97-run loss with Zaheer Khan and Amit Mishra bagging three wickets each.
Against Punjab, a half-century from Sam Billings and sturdy late-order hitting from Corey Anderson saw Delhi set their opponents 189 for victory. Chris Morris and Pat Cummins then produced excellent spells to make short work of the proceedings, which yielded a 51-run win.
Sanju Samson, the young wicketkeeper-batsman, had five IPL half-centuries against his name with a highest score of 76 before this edition, but broke records with a blistering 102 against Pune to enter an elite club in only his second outing of the season.
Samson’s effort – the 43rd century in the history of the tournament – was studded with eight boundaries and five sixes, making him the 15th Indian to get to the mark, and helping Delhi register a massive confidence-boosting victory to get their campaign off to a positive start.
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) April 11, 2017
The big flop show:
In his last 12 T20 appearances, Chris Gayle’s highest score is 44 – for Karachi Kings against Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League. His miserable run continued in the IPL, with the big Jamaican already being dropped twice from the playing XI with scores of 32, 6 and 22 against his name.
Gayle, who has turned out at more domestic T20 leagues around the world than international tournaments over the past few years, will need to redeem himself quickly to make sure he can retain the marauding reputation he holds in the shortest format.
Shot of the week:
— YES BANK (@YESBANK) April 11, 2017
Mohit Sharma is no Brett Lee, but he is no trundler either. De Villiers, playing his first match of the tournament, made the Kings XI Punjab bowler look pedestrian when he stood inside the crease and flicked the last ball of the 19th over out of the Holkar Stadium to trigger a roar across the stands. The previous ball had landed over the extra-cover fence, and this was the second time de Villiers had sent the ball to the roof of the park that night in his scintillating knock of 89 not out, fuelled by three boundaries and nine sixes.
“These are situations when champions are made. I thought of that and struck to my strength.”
A lacklustre campaign at the PSL, a quiet start to the IPL and a commentator’s ‘jibe’ is all it took to rouse the giant in Pollard, who bludgeoned his way back to form with a 47-ball 70 to carry Mumbai Indians to an unexpected win in Bangalore. Chasing 143, Mumbai were down to 7 for 4 courtesy Samuel Badree’s magical hat-trick, but Pollard counter-attacked with Krunal Pandya for support to take his side to a four-wicket win in thrilling fashion.
His deadpan response in the post-match presentation ceremony clearly indicated that he was there to put an end to the ‘verbal diarrhoea’ on air.
Mumbai’s six-wicket win against Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium was their 95th victory overall – the most by any side in Twenty20 cricket across the world. Rohit Sharma’s men went past Chennai Super Kings who, despite being in a dormant state since 2015, boast 94 wins.
Game to look forward to:
Match 27: Kolkata v Bangalore in Kolkata, Sunday, April 23
While Kolkata have got their campaign off to a solid start, bagging three wins in four games to grab the second spot in the eight-team points table, it’s still a long way to the top for Bangalore. But every time these two sides clash, there is drama in the middle. While images of Kohli and Gautam Gambhir having a go at each other in 2013 remain etched in fans’ memories, last year was about the Indian captain suffering a bad cut on his hand while fielding at Eden Gardens, but returning to bat with stitches to spearhead a fantastic chase.
Also read: IPL week 1 – Rashid unfurls bag of tricks