Four IPL matches were played over the last 3 days in 3 different venues at UAE. In the first two matches at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday April 19, Mumbai Indians pathetic batting display allowed Royal Challengers to record their second straight win and in the next match on the same venue, Delhi Daredevils batted creditably in a chase to beat Kolkata Knight Riders. On Sunday, the scene shifted to Sharjah, where Kings XI Punjab mounted another incredible chase to outplay Rajasthan Royals in securing their second successive win. On Monday night at Abu Dhabi, Chennai Super Kings humiliated DD by a 93-run defeat. The brief of these matches follows.
MI V/s RCB: Something is wrong about Mumbai Indians’ batting this season. They have the players but the combination is not working. Against RCB, Mike Hussey and Aditya Tare began well and even after the two openers departed, there were 52 runs on board in the 7th over. But the following batsmen could not consolidate. Rohit Sharma has lost his edge recently and with the captaincy burden on his shoulders, he looks wayward. He faced 5 balls for 2 runs and fell to a lazy flier, which landed in de Villiers’ safe hands. Coming next, Kieron Pollard made just 3 off 7 balls before perishing to a needless heave. Corey Anderson joined Rayudu and the two took the score to 101 in the 16.3 overs. But the rate of scoring was too low to pose any problems to RCB. Rayudu’s 37 off 35 balls and Anderson’s 18 off 19 made the going slow for MI. In the last 4 overs MI could only collect runs at around 4 per over and finished with 115/9 in 20. RCB lost Maddinson early and Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh were worth 2 “ducks” but Parthiv Patel batted with authority and in the company of AB de Villiers, overhauled MI score in 18th over. It is really an introspection time for MI, before it becomes too late.
DD V/s KKR: Gautam Gambhir chose to bat after winning the toss but KKR lost Kallis immediately. In the second over from Nathan Coulter-Nile, a Gambhir flick on the leg side went flying to where Duminy was stationed. After 1.4 overs, KKR’s score read 11/2, of which 8 runs were extras. Gambhir collected his second duck of the tournament. Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa batted sensibly to add 64 runs for the third wicket, before Pandey got out in the 11th over for 48 off 42 balls. Uthappa and Shakib Al Hasan scored briskly and took the score to 132. Uthappa made 55 off 41 balls and departed in the 17th over. Hasan, Yusuf Pathan and Yadav made small but useful contributions to take the final KKR score to 166/5. When DD began, Murali Vijay was run out in the first over but Mayank Agarwal, Dinesh Karthik and JP Duminy produced useful scores at a brisk rate to surpass KKR in 19.3 overs to record their first victory this season.
KXIP V/s RR: For the second time in three days, KXIP showed their prowess as successful chasers with Glenn Maxwell firing yet again. Earlier, however, RR had scored freely against a rather weak bowling attack from KXIP and mounted 191/5, from contribution by every top order RR batsmen. Abhisek Nayar made 23 off 20, Rahane 13 off 8, Samson 52 off 34, Watson 50 off 29, Binny 12 off 8 and Steven Smith 25 off 15. Despite the challenging total, KXIP’s didn’t overly worry. They have a new ammunition, called Glenn Maxwell, for whom no score is too big. Even in losing Virender Sehwag and Wriddhiman Saha early, KXIP were unruffled. With the explosive Maxwell at one end, Pujara had to only watch his partner and be content in supporting him. Maxwell began from where he left in the last match. Only this time he was more belligerent as he blasted 6 sixes in his innings of 89 off 45 balls. David Miller came at the fall of Maxwell’s wicket and continued in the same vein. He didn’t score a single boundary in his 19-ball unbeaten 51, of which 36 came from 6 huge sixes. Pujara remained unbeaten for a patient 38-ball 40 and KXIV finished their demolition act with 8 balls remaining.
CSK V/s DD: After losing to KXIP despite scoring 205/4 in their first match, CSK were determined for a better performance in their second match against DD on Monday night. Dhoni, usually lucky with the toss, chose to bat again. CSK has the most impressive and dependable batting line-up and every batsman except Berndon McCullum, played his part. Beginning with Dwyane Smith’s 29 off 28 balls, Raina added 56 off 41, du Plessis 24 off 17, Dhoni 32 off 15 and Manhas remained unbeated on 13 off 5. The CSK’s 177/7 was quite challenging to which DD had no answer as all their batsmen fell cheaply. Except Karthik, Duminy and Neesham, who made 21, 15 and 22 respectively, none of the other DD batsmen could last long. The DD innings crumbled at 84 all out in the 16th over and gifted a 93-run victory to CSK.