The first week of IPL 2019 has been completed and what a drama filled week it was.
If you speak to anyone that’s watched the IPL this past week, the one thing you are sure to hear about is the “Ashwin Mankad” incident.
Ravi Ashwin, Mankaded England’s Jos Buttler in one of the most highly controversial moments in the IPL. Previously in the over, Buttler was shown to be outside of his crease as Ashwin bowled, the issue comes when, on the ball he ran him out, Buttler’s foot wasn’t actually outside of the crease and therefore was deemed by many to be a wrong decision, and outside of the spirit of the game.
The MCC had a say on the matter, and after initially saying what Ashwin did was not against the spirit of the game, backtracked a few days later, and said that they don’t think it was within the spirit of the game.
Aside from that, there have been a total of 8 IPL games played thus far, each team has played twice, and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have lost both their opening games, is that really a surprise?
Their batting was poor in the first game, with both AB and Kohli failing, but they came together in the second game, with some blistering hits, both bringing up their 4000th and 5000th IPL run in the innings.
Some controversy marred the end of a good game against Mumbai Indians, when RCB, needed 7 to win off the last ball, and Lasith Malinga bowled a no-ball, a big one too, which was not called and MI won by 6 runs.
It is about time that the TV umpires start taking over the job of calling out no-balls, because far too often, we have seen the on-field umpires missing them. This cannot happen in a World Cup game. This has to be changed.
RCB should have won that game, but until they learn that your team cannot simply rely on just AB and Kohli, they will continue to lose.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) continue to shine. Boasting a team with the likes of Dhoni, Bravo, Watson & our very own Captain Faftasic, Immy Tahir and Lungi Ngidi, they certainly have some incredible talent in their team.
Delhi Capitals, previously known as Delhi Daredevils, but who changed their name in December 2018, have young Rishabh Pant, who obliterated the MI bowling as he scored 78 not out, off only 27 balls, making him the player with the joint 3rd fastest IPL half-century.
Andre Russell of the West Indies has provided great excitement and fireworks for Kolkata Knight Riders in their opening two games.
First, against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), scoring a scintillating 49 off 19 as KKR scored 53 off the final 3 overs, giving them the record of the highest score ever chased successfully in the final 3 overs of an IPL match.
Russell then followed that up in their 2nd game against KXIP, where a costly error from captain Ravi Ashwin, saw Russell given a reprieve when on 3 off 5 balls, when too few fielders were inside the ring, resulting in a no ball. Russell went on to score 48 off 17.
As a result, KKR are top of the tables after week 1.
Aussie due David Warner and Steve Smith made their returns to the IPL this week, with Warner looking in good touch in his 85 off 53 and then 69 off 37 in SRH’s first two games. Steve Smith, playing for Rajasthan Royals did not have quite the same comeback, scoring only 20 in his return game.
RR’s Sanju Samson scored the first century in IPL 2019 in their game against SRH, in the final game of week 1.
As a Protea supporter, it is encouraging for me to see the Proteas in the tournament and one shining light has been Kagiso Rabada, who has been hurtling down 150kph bouncers and yorkers to the receiving batsmen.
Is KG now working at 100%? Has the change of scenery helped to reinvigorate him? Whatever it is, I am hopeful this continues well into the UK’s summer months, where on more helpful wickets for fast bowling than he’s finding in the IPL, he will be a real threat.
The IPL is a long 7-week tournament, with many players that will be participating in the Cricket World Cup, likely to leave early to join their teams in preparation for the World Cup.
With 6 weeks still to go, how much more excitement and drama can there be?