peddlermedia.in looks at the performances that made headlines in the first week of the cash-rich T20 tournament.
A collage of pictures of IPL. All Pictures Credit: BCCI; IPL
The Indian Premier League 2021 got underway amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai and Chennai on April 9. Six teams, barring Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings, have played two matches each.
mid-day.com looks at the performances that made headlines in the first week of the cash-rich T20 tournament.
RCB take the top spot
The ongoing edition promises to have a tough fight for the playoffs spot. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who are eagerly awaiting their maiden IPL title, had a dream start to the season by winning both their opening games to stay on top in Week 1. RCB began their campaign with a bang by beating defending champions Mumbai Indians by two wickets off the last ball in the opening encounter at Chennai. Later, Virat Kohli’s men snatched a thrilling six-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad for its second win in a row. RCB fans will hope the team continues its good form to end the title drought this year.
It’s not over till it’s over
The last three encounters saw a never-give-up attitude from Mumbai Indians (MI), RCB and Rajasthan Royals (RR) as they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Sunrisers (SRH) and Delhi Capitals (DC) respectively. KKR, SRH and DC dominated almost 15 overs in the second innings, but the last five overs didn’t go their way. With 31 required off the last 30 balls and six wickets in hand, it looked like a comfortable victory for KKR. But MI bowlers conceded just 20 runs off the next five overs to hand the five-time champions a 10-run victory. Similarly, SRH threw the game away after being in a dominating position (needing 35 off 24 balls with four wickets in hand) at the end of the 16th over. Chasing 148, RR looked in dire straits at 42-5. They were further reduced to 104-7, but IPL’s big buy (Rs 16.25 crore) Chris Morris (36 off 18 balls) took his team home with two balls to spare.
Samson’s ton in vain
RR skipper Sanju Samson celebrates his 100 v Punjab. PIC/BCCI; IPL
Sanju Samson became the first player to smash a century on captaincy debut in IPL. In the process, he also went on to become the first Rajasthan Royals skipper to score a ton. However, his efforts went in vain as RR fell short of the target by just four runs. Samson deserved full credit for his superb innings after his side conceded 221 runs against Punjab. Chasing 222, RR were reduced to 25-2 and were expecting a big loss. But the wicketkeeper-batsman had other plans in mind. He stood firm to single-handedly dominate the innings. With five required off two balls, Samson refused a single to Morris off which brought the equation to five off the last delivery. The skipper tried hard to hit the ball out of the park but was caught on the boundary by Deepak Hooda.
Fifers against Mumbai Indians