NEW DELHI: There have been numerous instances when fans got to see nail-biting finishes in the Indian Premier League matches as the games went down to the wire. But there are occasions when teams come out all guns blazing and put up an all-round effort with both bat and ball to turn matches into lop-sided affairs.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at some of the most clinical performances by a team in IPL 2020 so far:
October 24 – Kolkata Knight Riders (194/6) beat Delhi Capitals (135/9) by 59 runs
Having been reduced to 84/8 and then suffering an 8-wicket crushing defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous game, Kolkata Knight Riders were again in a spot of bother at 42 for 3 after 7.2 overs against Delhi Capitals. But Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine launched a scathing counterattack to lead KKR’s recovery. The duo put on a 115 run stand in 56 balls. The Knight Riders posted 194 for 6. The bowlers also complimented their batsmen’s efforts, with Pat Cummins finding form after going wicketless in six of his previous seven games. He trapped Ajinkya Rahane in front for a first-ball duck and then dismissed the in-form Shikhar Dhawan to leave Delhi tottering in a big chase. And then it was all mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. The architect turned cricketer ripped through the DC middle order and became the first bowler to take a five-for in this IPL season. He had incredible figures of 5 for 20 from his four overs and helped Knight Riders register a comfortable 59-run win.
October 23 – Mumbai Indians (116/0) beat Chennai Super Kings (114/9) by 10 wickets
Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah justified their stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard’s decision to bowl first as they dismantled the Chennai Super Kings with high-quality, accurate seam bowling. The Super Kings were in tatters at 3 for 4 in the third over, the second-lowest score at four wickets down in IPL history. Boult struck in his first two overs, Bumrah struck off successive deliveries in his first over. Boult would go on to take one more powerplay wicket, and ended the Super Kings innings by registering career-best figures of 4 for 18 in the IPL. Sam Curran waged a long battle for the Super Kings with a well-compiled 52 and took his team to 114/9. The bowlers’ brilliant show was followed up by a dominant batting display by Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock. In the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, Kishan was sent in to partner de Kock at the top and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. He blasted his way to an unbeaten 68 off 37, while de Kock played second fiddle with a 37-ball 46, as Mumbai wrapped up a commanding 10 wicket win.
October 21 – Royal Challengers Bangalore (85/2) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (84/8) by 8 wickets
October 12 – Royal Challengers Bangalore (194/2) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (112/9) by 82 runs
Royal Challengers Bangalore stamped their authority on both the occasions they faced Kolkata Knight Riders in this season. In the return leg, Mohammed Siraj rattled the KKR top order with mind boggling figures of 4-2-3-8. Siraj became the first bowler to bowl two maidens in IPL history. He got the outside edge off Rahul Tripathi’s bat and then castled Nitish Rana off the very next ball in the second over, bowling a double-wicket maiden. He then dismissed Tom Banton to leave KKR tottering at 4/14 in 3.3 overs. The Knight Riders could not recover from the early hiccups and could muster only 84/8. RCB completed the paltry chase with eight wickets and 39 balls to spare.
Riding on AB de Villiers’ 73 not out off 33 balls, Royal Challengers posted 194/2 in their first outing against KKR this season. De Villiers put on a 100-run unbeaten stand with skipper Virat Kohli. Openers Aaron Finch (47) and Devdutt Padikkal (32) also chipped in with useful contributions. The RCB bowlers also exhibited a disciplined effort to restrict KKR to 112/9 and hand their team a 82-run victory.
October 8 – Sunrisers Hyderabad (201/6) beat Kings XI Punjab (132) by 69 runs
Jonny Bairstow and captain David Warner (52) took the Kings XI Punjab bowlers to the cleaners with a 160-run opening wicket stand, as Sunrisers Hyderabad scored an imposing 201 for six after opting to bat first, even though KXIP made a brilliant comeback by taking six wickets in the final five overs. Chasing a stiff target of 202, KXIP were all out for 132 in 16.5 overs. Rashid Khan was the most impressive SRH bowler as he returned figures of 3/12 from his four overs. Only Nicholas Pooran (77 off 37 balls; 5 fours and 7 sixes) put up a fight for KXIP with his maiden half-century and the season’s fastest fifty — off just 17 balls. He hit six fours — three of them on the trot — to take 28 runs off a hapless Abdul Samad. But that wasn’t enough to stop Hyderabad from registering a commanding 69 run win.
September 24 – Kings XI Punjab (206/3) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (109) by 97 runs
Punjab skipper KL Rahul’s sublime hundred was the big highlight of an all-round performance by Kings XI Punjab on this occasion. Rahul pummeled the RCB bowlers into submission to help KXIP post a daunting 206 for three. He scored an unbeaten 132 off 69 balls that was laced with 14 boundaries and seven sixes. With his spectacular knock, Rahul surpassed Rishabh Pant (128 in 2018) to post the highest individual score by an Indian in IPL history. The Punjab bowlers also put up a disciplined effort to bundle Virat Kohli’s side out for just 109 with three overs to spare. Murugan Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for KXIP, picking up three wickets and giving away just 21 runs. Ravi Bishnoi too claimed three wickets and was impressive once again. Sheldon Cottrell (2/17), Mohammed Shami (1/14) and Glenn Maxwell (1/10) bowled economical spells, as Punjab thrashed RCB by 97 runs to complete what was a very clinical win.