Can you believe it’s already been eight days since the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League kick-started on 9 April? With Sanju Samson’s sweet-hitting, Andre Russell’s two-over fifer, and Deepak Chahar’s brilliant spell, the fever of IPL 2021 is already pretty high. Each of the eight franchises has played two games apiece, giving fans some mouth-watering cricket to witness. Matches like Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals, where we saw Chris Morris steal the game with a quickfire cameo, have only taken the excitement up.
With eight games done and dusted, the much-awaited action of IPL has corrupted the fans as they crave for more! And, as they say, the game has just begun. Let’s look back at what all transpired in the first eight games of IPL 2021.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians lost the Indian Premier League 2021 season opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Chasing a target of 160 runs, RCB won the match by eight wickets. The Rohit Sharma-led side scored 159/9 wickets in 20 overs as opener Chris Lynn smashed 49 runs off 35 balls. In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah and Macro Jansen took two wickets each.
Royal Challengers Bangalore successfully chased the target on the back of a good start by skipper Virat Kohli, who scored 33 runs off 29 balls. New recruit Glen Maxwell also delivered, slamming 39 runs off 28 balls. Also, South Africa legend Ab de Villiers made a match-winning contribution of 48 runs. The loss further extended Mumbai Indians’ streak of losing the first game of an IPL season. The franchise has now lost its first game in every season since 2013.
Delhi Capitals beat Chennai Super Kings in their opening fixture by seven wickets after Skipper Rishabh Pant won the toss and elected to field first. While Delhi Capitals pacers started well to dismiss the opposition’s openers cheaply, Chennai Super Kings wrapped up their innings at 188 runs as Suresh Raina Suresh announced his return with a half-century.
In the second innings, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw constructed a partnership of 138 runs, with Shaw smashing 72 runs off 38 balls, packed with nine fours and three sixes. Dhawan, on the other hand, hit a knock of 85 runs. The left-handed batsman smashed ten fours and two sixes during his innings. Thanks to the solid opening partnership, Delhi Capitals chased the target down in 18.4 overs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad crashed to a defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 3 of IPL 2021 as the David Warner-led side failed to chase the target of 188 runs. While Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow stabilised the chase for Sunrisers Hyderabad, smashing knocks of 61 runs and 55 runs, respectively, the franchise fell short of the target by ten runs at the end of the innings.
For Kolkata Knight Riders, Prasidh Krishna took two wickets, while Shakib Al Hassan, Pat Cummins, and Andre Russell dismissed one batsman each. Earlier, opener Nitish Rana gave KKR a strong start, hitting a knock of 80 runs that was studded with nine fours and four sixes. Rana also built a strong partnership with Rahul Tripathi, who smashed 53 runs from just 29 balls.
Punjab Kings clinched a thrilling last-ball victory against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Sanju Samson’s Rajasthan Royals came so close yet remained so far from the target of 222 runs. It was Punjab Kings’ young pacer Arshdeep Singh who kept his cool in the last over to seal the deal. Sanju Samson completed his third century in IPL but failed to hit the glory shot on the final ball of the match.
Earlier, KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda slammed fifties to take Punjab Kings to a mammoth total of 221 runs. Skipper KL missed out on a century as he was dismissed on 91 by debutant Chetan Sakariya. Deepak Hooda, on the other hand, smashed four boundaries and six maximums in his knock of 64 runs off just 28 balls.
In Match 5 of IPL 2021, Mumbai Indians came back from the jaws of defeat to register their first win of the tournament, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by 10 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. KKR, who were chasing a target of 153, were restricted to 142/7 at the end of 20 overs. Nitish Rana was the top scorer, scoring 57 runs off 47 balls.
Mumbai Indians spinner Rahul Chahar was the pick of bowlers with figures of 4/27 from 4 overs. Andre Russell registered his best bowling figures in IPL in the first innings, claiming 5 wickets for 15 runs from two overs. Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma, who scored 56 and 43 runs, were the anchors in the first innings to help Mumbai Indians post 152 on the board.
Royal Challengers Bangalore marked their second victory in IPL 2021 with a 6-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai. Glenn Maxwell’s first fifty since 2016 helped RCB post a fighting total of 149 after David Warner invited Kohli & Co. to bat first. Skipper Kohli was the second-highest scorer, scoring 33 runs off 29 deliveries, hitting four boundaries.
Sunrisers Hyderabad suffered a major batting collapse during the chase and finished at 143/9 at the end of 20 overs. At 77/1 after 10 overs, Warner’s men were sent on the backfoot by some tight bowling by Shahbaz Nadeem and Harshal Patel’s brilliance in the death overs. Captain David Warner ended up seeing his knock of 54 runs go in vain as the side suffered a 6-run loss.
Rajasthan Royals tasted their first win of the season with a three-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals in the last over of Match 7. Once struggling at 42/5, Sanju Samson’s side was rescued by David Miller’s 62 before Chris Morris slammed 36 off 18 deliveries to steal the game. The South African all-rounder justified his high price as he hit multiple sixes off Kagiso Rabada and Tom Curran’s bowling in the death overs.
Speaking of the first innings, Rishabh Pant top-scored and anchored the innings for Delhi Capitals after the side lost four of its batsmen for just 37 runs. The left-handed batsman struck 51 runs, his 13th IPL half-century. Jaydev Unadkat was adjudged the Man of the Match for his bowling figures of 3/15.
Fans on 16 April witnessed the lowest first-innings total of IPL 2021 so far. Having won the toss, Chennai Super Kings invited KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings to bat first at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. A scintillating bowling performance by pacer Deepak Chahar made sure half of the Punjab Kings’ batting lineup was back in the hut inside seven overs. While youngster Shahrukh Khan showed some resilience, Punjab Kings had lost just too many wickets to put a decent total on the board.
As everyone expected, Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali made light work of the meagre target of 107 runs. The duo was involved in a partnership of 66 runs, taking the side near the target well inside the allocated 20 overs. The chase suffered a blow when the MS Dhoni-led side lost three quick wickets. However, with less than ten runs needed, Faf du Plessis and Sam Curran took the franchise over the line in the 16th over itself, giving Chennai Super Kings their first points in IPL 2021.
Let’s have a quick look at the points table before we fasten our seatbelts for the next round of matches at IPL 2021. While Royal Challengers Bangalore have both their opening games to top the table, Sunrisers Hyderabad are at the bottom with two consecutive losses. All of the six other franchises are with a win and a loss apiece.
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