No fun watching one-sided matches in IPL over the weekend
For fans of Rajasthan Royals, this was a great evening but they will get bored of seeing one-sided matches in the IPL.
SRH vs RR
It may be too early to pick a trend into the third day of the latest edition of the Indian Premier League. The weekend bonanza has always been a high point of the IPL, since its inception in 2008. This time, in 2023, the IPL is in full flow. Unlike the last few years which were wrecked by the Covid 19 pandemic, this season is all about playing on a home-and-away basis.
When Chennai Super Kings ran Gujarat Titan close in Ahmedabad on Friday night, it made for a great start. After all, the first-day first show is usually throbbing. Yet, a few results over the last two days — Saturday and Sunday — have been indeed disappointing, be it in Mohali, Lucknow, or Hyderabad.
First things first, at the start of the IPL, all teams cannot hit top gear right away. Yet, to see Kolkata Knight Riders flounder against the Punjab side on Saturday evening in Mohali was sad. The eventual result was decided by the Duckworth-Lewis Method, due to unseasonal rain in North India. Even if there had been no rain, KKR looked woefully out of form and would have lost.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and free-flowing skipper Shikhar Dhawan, still not really old, showed how it is to bat with tempo. Bhanuka was in top gear, though Shikhar was subdued by his own standards. Maybe, with the responsibility of captaincy, his strike rate was comparatively less. Yet, he did score 40 runs. When Punjab Kings bowled, Arshdeep Singh showed the heart of a Sardar. He was efficient and penetrative in his three-wicket haul.
In reply, KKR looked so jointed. With regular skipper Shreyas Iyer in rehab for his troublesome back, Nitish Rana had a hard outing as skipper for KKR in the first match. To have allowed the Punjab side to score 192 was a big deal. KKR have a lot of issues to sort out, both in batting and bowling.
Likewise, Delhi Capitals also came a cropper against Lucknow Super Giants. To lose by 50 runs was massive, which breaks the hearts of Delhi fans. Last week, the women’s team flopped in the WPL (Women’s Premier League) final against Mumbai Indians. Delhi Capitals knew they were going to have issues to deal with after David Warner was given the task of leadership quite late. It was nice to see all the chatter over how injured Rishabh Pant would be the 13th man and so on.
Yet, for Delhi Capitals to get hammered by Lucknow in an away match made for painful viewing. Warner looked out of control as captain, though he did hit a half-ton. The way Kyle Mayers got into the run-riot act for Lucknow was throbbing. It was heavy artillery watching the IPL debutant score 73. Sadly, once Delhi came to bat, they failed.
A lot has been said about how Prithvi Shaw has made amends. He needed to use the IPL platform to showcase his talent. He has done well in first-class cricket in the 2022 season ender but to be taken note of, the IPL is important. A word about Lucknow captain KL Rahul. His runs have dried up, but for him to get a massive win will be an ego boost to his leadership.
On Sunday, what Lucknow did to Delhi, Rajasthan Royals did to Sunrisers Hyderabad. To have three guys at the top hammering half-centuries was rocking. Jos Buttler was all fire, Yashasvi Jaiswal relished this platform again and Sanju Samson showed he loves the IPL stage. To have put on 203 was massive, with the Hyderabad bowlers looking clueless.
What happened in the next few overs was crazy. Like a bolt from the blue, Trent Boult showed his skills, grabbing two early wickets. Then came Yuzi, oozing confidence. He has that kind of look, “come on, take me on.” Yuzvendra Chahal was simply on a roll, grabbing four wickets for 17 runs. It went to show how this guy has plenty of pluck. For fans of Rajasthan Royals, this was a great evening but they will get bored of seeing one-sided matches in the IPL.
After KKR and Delhi struggled, Sunrisers Hyderabad also made a hash of their opener. Throughout their eventual score of 131, chasing 204, Hyderabad failed to find one batter who could get going. Hopefully, this trend will change. Watching one-sided matches is no fun over the weekend!
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