We are 29 matches into the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Delhi Capitals, having played a match more than Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, are two points ahead. If one includes the resurgent Mumbai Indians, the top four are on the way of breaking away from the bottom four. However, 27 matches remain in the IPL league phase, and a lot may change during that. Here are the highlights from the last week.
Best performance: Harpreet Brar
What is it with Bangalore and left-arm-spin-bowling all-rounders? They were demolished by Ravindra Jadeja in the Chennai Super Kings match. Now, while playing Punjab Kings, they ran into Brar, whose IPL career until then read two seasons, three matches, no wicket. Brar got a brisk 25 not out, held a catch, got Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell with consecutive deliveries, and added the wicket of AB de Villiers to his tally.
Most outrageous performance: Kieron Pollard
Let us, for a moment, ignore the fact that Pollard had figures of 2-0-12-2 in an innings of 218/4. His wickets, off consecutive balls, were of Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina. This is about what followed. Mumbai Indians needed 125 in the final eight overs. The Pollard assault helped them add 75 in the next four. Despite a superb over from Sam Curran, Mumbai won off the last ball. Six fours, eight sixes, 87 not out in 34 balls. Arguably the innings of this season.
Best moment: David Warner
Warner had struggled throughout his painstaking fifty against Chennai. The frustration was visible every time he failed to find the gaps. He was the first to accept blame for the defeat. Shortly afterwards, Warner was first sacked a captain, then dropped from the side. However, in Hyderabad’s next match, against Rajasthan Royals, Warner – Hyderabad’s most successful captain and three-time winner of the IPL Orange Cap – ran out with refreshments for his teammates during the strategic timeout.
News that slipped under the radar: The Pandyas
Just ahead of the clash between Mumbai and Chennai in Delhi, Hardik Pandya announced that he and his brother Krunal would be donating 200 oxygen cylinders to rural India. In an interview with Star Sports, Hardik also expressed gratitude towards frontline workers waging a relentless battle against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Best quote: Jos Buttler
‘Finally got Alastair Cook to stop saying he’s got one more T20 hundred than me.’
– The other satisfaction Buttler derived from his maiden T20 ton.
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