March 23, 2019: The Biggest Indian Cricket Fest was back. Players were ready and so were our Fantasy Gamers, Cricket Lovers, people from all walks of life to welcome the Indian Premier League with open arms. With the first weekend coming to an end, let’s take a look at how our first 3 matches of the 12th Season looked like:
Match 1: RCB v CSK
Credits: DNA India
With Chennai coming back to their home turf, it was evident that CSK would be on a roll. It wasn’t very long until the Imran Tahir-Harbhajan Singh duo ripped through the RCB Batting Line Up, that never really looked in control of the match. The Turbanator proved his mettle that he’s still got a lot of cricket still left in him dismissing the skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers & Moeen Ali cheaply. The entire RCB batting line up kept losing wickets around the opener Parthiv Patel who eventually perished during the final few overs. Royal Challengers, in the end, could only manage 70 runs on the board in reply to which Chennai, after a few early hiccups managed to win the game quite comfortably with Rayudu & Jadhav contributing majorly to the scoreboard. We also saw Suresh Raina crossing the mark of 5000 runs in IPL Cricket & becoming the first cricketer to do so in his innings of 19 runs.
Credits: Hindustan Times
Match 2: KKR v SRH
Credits: India TV
Eden Gardens, Kolkata a high scoring wicket, as always was ready to witness a superstar’s comeback to the Indian Premier League after his last season ban- Yes, we’re talking about none other than the destructive Australian Opener David Warner! Dinesh Kartik won the toss and opted to bowl first trusting his team’s chasing abilities. Warner and Bairstow went off to a flier as the former scored his half-century in almost no time and announced his comeback in style. When SRH were looking ahead towards a huge total on the board David Warner got dismissed to a Robin Uthappa stunner at mid-wicket for a well made 85. Vijay Shankar joined in the party and hit a few good shots to take SRH to a good total of 181 runs in their quota of 20 Overs.
Credits: Hindustan Times
First Time Captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a not-so-easy task at hand to defend the total since KKR were at their home ground but he did exceptionally well during the start of the innings dismissing Chris Lynn cheaply. But, it was Nitish Rana who took care of the run rate, scoring a breathtaking knock of 68 from just 47 deliveries. Robin Uthappa was off to a good start but he could only manage 35 before Siddharth Kaul cleaned him- all ends up!
Credits: India TV
The turning point of the match, however, was a scintillating knock of 49 from just 19 deliveries by the scariest finisher in T20 Cricket- Andre Russel who snatched the match from SRH’s jaws to eventually take KKR to an unlikely win. Shubman Gill, the wonder boy hit 2 straight sixes in the 20th over to end proceedings and conclude the match with a happy SRK jumping in absolute joy in the stands!
Match 3: MI vs DC
Credits: Indian Express
Ever heard of Match Superstitions? Well, Mumbai Indians fans can always relate to them given their record of losing the first match of the last many seasons of IPL even in which they were crowned Champions. Wankhede was all set for a high voltage match as Yuvraj Singh’s much-anticipated entry in the MI jersey was on the cards. Shreyas Iyer, as Captain was put into bat by Rohit Sharma who won the toss.
Credits: Circle of Cricket
The innings began with a few hiccups after Prithvi Shaw and Captain Iyer were dismissed quite cheaply. Colin Ingram came in and played a few great shots to steady the innings alongside Dhawan who, was not in the best of touches. After Ingram got dismissed it was solely and solely the Rishabh Pant show who was on an absolute blitzkrieg hitting 7 sixes and 7 fours scoring 78 not out from just 27 deliveries putting the first 200+ score for a team in IPL 2019. Delhi finished with 213-6.
Credits: The Indian Express
In reply, Mumbai’s top order struggled with Rohit Sharma getting out cheaply and de Cock after playing a few good shots succumbed to a catch at the 3rd man position down the throat of Trent Boult. Pollard 21(13) & Krunal Pandya 32(15) showed a couple of promising starts but failed to accompany Yuvraj Singh for a long time who looked in his vintage touch. Yuvi scored a handsome half century 53(35) hitting some of his trademark shots to the left-arm spinner and intelligent cuts on the off side before he too, perished on an ambitious shot to the deep mid wicket fielder. In the end, Mumbai could only manage 176 on the board giving Delhi a win by 37 runs.
Thus far, keeping the CSK v RCB match aside, the competition has been quite a neck to neck one and we’ve had some superlative batting performances from the likes of Rishabh Pant, Nitish Rana, Yuvraj Singh, Colin Ingram & Andre Russel. With a lot still left in IPL, let’s see who has the last laugh!
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