04.04.2019 Author: C.NAMASIVAYAMThe 12th edition of IPL is 10 days and 13 matches old. But in this short span of time, there has been plenty of action, controversy, narrow wins, humiliating defeats, ecstasy, and heartbreaks. If one were to borrow the famous quote of the famous Australian commentator Bill Lawry - It is all happening here at the IPL 2019.
In this article, let us revisit 10 of those exhilarating action-packed moments in the first 10 days of IPL 2019.
#10 RCB’s meek surrender in season's opener against CSKBefore the season started, there was a plethora of hype on the season opener between RCB and defending champions CSK at Chennai. But unfortunately, that match never took off as RCB crumbled to 70 on a treacherous wicket at Chepauk.
The 12th edition of IPL started with a misfielded boundary scored by Parthiv Patel. But the ball started to turn square from the second over of the match bowled by Harbhajan Singh.
In the fourth over of the innings bowled by Harbhajan, he got the wicket of the world’s best batsman Virat Kohli caught by the world’s best fielder Ravindra Jadeja. The first wicket of IPL 2019 fell in the 21st ball of the tournament.
In no time, Harbhajan ran through the RCB top order to finish with figures of 4-0-20-3. Later Imran Tahir too joined in the amusement with 3 wickets and RCB folded up for 70.
It was another matter that CSK huffed and puffed to reach that smallest of targets in the 18th over.
#9 Blistering knocks by Andre Russell, Rishabh Pant and Chris GayleIn the second match between SRH and KKR at the Eden Gardens, KKR was facing certain defeat needing an improbable 53 in 3 overs. But a blistering 49 off 19 balls by Andre Russell ensured that KKR reaches the target with 2 balls to spare.
In the next match between MI and DC, Pant plundered 78 off 27 balls which spelled doom for MI. The last 6 overs of Delhi’s innings produced 99 runs.
Chris Gayle announced his arrival in this year’s edition with an innings of 79 off 44 balls against RR to take his team to a 14 run win. But that match was remembered for the wrong reasons.
#8 The “Mankading” episodeThe much-awaited controversy always associated with IPL showed its ugly face in the fourth match of IPL 2019 between KXIP and RR.
Chasing 185 for a win, RR were comfortably placed at 105 for 1 in 12 overs. In a desperate attempt to give a breakthrough for his team, the Kings XI Punjab Captain R Ashwin resorted to mankading the well-set Jos Buttler who was backing too far at the non-striker's end. That ungainly wicket caused a collapse in the RR camp and in the end, they lost the plot and the match by 14 runs.
Ashwin’s mankading of Buttler has racked up a huge controversy and there was a bundle of opinions supporting and criticizing Ashwin’s act. Though Ashwin got a lot of flak in the first few days, supports started to pour in for him at a later stage.
The latest controversy has brought to light the fact that there have been some batsmen who have been the regular serial offenders in this case. But the million dollar question is “ Should Ashwin have done the same if the non-striker happened to be a Virat Kohli or an MS Dhoni?
#7 The no-ball controversyBefore the mankading controversy died down, the no-ball controversy erupted in the 7th match between MI and RCB at Bangalore.
RCB needed 6 runs off the last ball to level the score and take the match to the Super Over. Malinga bowled a no-ball which went unnoticed by the on-field umpire S. Ravi.
Had that last ball been called a no-ball, RCB would have needed 5 runs in 1 ball with a free hit to go with for which AB de Villiers would have been on strike. As it turned out, RCB lost an IPL match for the first time while chasing where AB de Villiers remained not out.
The mute point on everyone’s mind was what prevented the umpires to stop the celebration of the Mumbai team and ask Malinga to bowl one more ball when the glitch was brought to their notice.
In a recent Test match between the West Indies and England, the England batsman Ben Stokes who was wrongly given out and had to leave the field was interrupted in the showers by the fourth umpire to bring him back to the middle to resume his innings. The same logic should have been followed in Bangalore..
Now about Umpire S.Ravi, the less said the better. He is topping the list of International umpires whose on-field decisions have been overturned by the third umpire for the most number of times in the recent past. It is a pity that S. Ravi is the only umpire from India who is in the ICC elite panel of umpires..
#6 The Super OverThe Super Over arrived early this year in the 10th match between KKR and DC.
In this match, DC needed 18 runs off 18 balls with 8 wickets in hand. But the wicket of Rishabh Pant turned the tide in KKR’s favor with Delhi managing to score a mere 17 runs off the last 18 balls to trigger a Super Over tiebreaker.
Fortunately for DC, Rabada bowled beautifully in the Super Over to defend 10 runs and Delhi managed to secure a hard-earned victory.
#5 Sanju Samson scoring the first century of the seasonSanju Samson of RR scored the first century of this year’s IPL when he scored 102 off 55 balls against SRH. But his effort was in vain as SRH powered by David Warner and Jonny Bairstow reached the target of 200 for the loss of 5 wickets only..
The thing about Sanju Samson in IPL is that he has always been a fantastic starter at the beginning of the season only to fade away at the end. In 2018, Samson scored 178 in his first 3 matches. In 2017, he scored a century in his second match. One only hopes Sanju’s form is more consistent this year..
#4 Records galore at HyderabadIn the 11th match between RCB and SRH at Hyderabad, when the RCB Captain won the toss and put SRH to bat, he never knew what was coming. For the next 16 overs, it was total mayhem as David Warner and Jonny Bairstow put on a record 185 runs opening partnership surpassing the earlier IPL record of 184 between Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn..
Both Warner and Bairstow managed to score their individual hundreds. Their partnership of 185 is the 5th highest partnership for any wicket in IPL history.
As a result of the partnership between Warner and Bairstow, RCB suffered the second heaviest defeat in IPL history in terms of the number of runs.
#3 The roar of the LionIn the 12th match between CSK and RR at Chennai, RR had CSK on the mat at 27 for 3 before the CSK captain MS Dhoni once again came to his team’s rescue.
As always, Dhoni was slow to start with scoring 12 off 16 balls before he opened up. Dhoni added 61 for the fourth wicket with Suresh Raina and 60 for the fifth wicket with Dwayne Bravo.
At the end of the 17th over, CSK was on 115 for 4 at a run rate of 6.76. But Dhoni and Bravo hammered 24 runs in the 18th over bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni. After a quiet 19th over bowled by Archer, Dhoni was severe on Unadkat in the 20th over trouncing him for 4 sixes. The last 3 overs produced 60 runs for CSK. In the process, Dhoni reached his highest IPL score at Chepauk..
In reply, RR needed 12 runs off the last over with Ben Stokes and Archer adding 56 runs in 3 overs. But Bravo kept his cool in the last over conceding a mere 3 runs and CSK emerged victoriously.
#2 Sam Curran’s hat-trick and Delhi’s second capitulation in two daysIn the 12th match of IPL 2019 between DC and KXIP, DC was cruising to a comfortable win needing 23 runs in 21 balls with 7 wickets in hand. But Delhi lost Pant and Chris Morris in the 17th over.
The KXIP Captain Ashwin brought back Sam Curran for his final 2 overs. He gave away 2 runs in the 18th over and took two wickets. Shami accounted for Hanuma Vihari in the 19th over.
In the first ball of the last over, Curran sent Rabada’s leg-stump cartwheeling and suddenly he was on a hat-trick. Off the next ball, Curran knocked off Lamichhane’s off-stump to complete the hat-trick.
Delhi Capitals lost their last 7 wickets in 17 balls for an addition of 8 runs. This could very well be the most spectacular collapse in IPL history. This was Delhi’s second collapse in 2 days. Against KKR, they were saved by Rabada’s super over. But at Mohali, they had no place to hide..
#1 Fortune favoring the favoritesIn IPL 2019 so far, it is the story of fortune favoring the favorites or the stronger team.
RR could have won easily won their match against Kings XI Punjab but for Ashwin mankadingJos Buttler.
RCB was done in by Umpire Ravi in their match against MI.
In the match between CSK and RR, Dhoni when on zero let the ball to roll on to the stumps only to find to his relief that the bail has not been dislodged. Dhoni went on to score a match-winning 75.
In the match between KKR and Kings XI, Punjab, Mohammad Shami bowled a perfect yorker to knock off the dangerous Andre Russell’s stumps and found to his dismay that there were only 3 fielders inside the 30 yards circle and hence a no-ball was called. Russell was on 4 off 4 then and thereafter cracked 44 runs off the next 14 balls..
In the match against MI and Kings XI, Punjab, Rohit Sharma decided not to review his dismissal. However, replays later showed that the ball was conveniently missing the leg-stump. That was the turning point of that match..
To make matters worse, the out-of-form teams like RCB and RR were not at all smart with their decisions at the toss. Their penchant to opt to chase in all the matches irrespective of the conditions led to their downfall. For teams like RCB, MI and RR, the choice going forward in the tournament would be to bat first and put runs on the board.