What would the IPL be without more controversy and drama?
CSK captain MS Dhoni was fined 50% of his match fee for breaching the IPL code of conduct, when he made his way onto the field to argue with the umpires after a no-ball call had been reversed in the final over of their match against Rajasthan Royals.
Ben Stokes, defending 18 runs in the final over, conceded 21 runs as Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner smashed him all around the park. CSK won by 4 wickets off the final ball of the match.
Jadeja had earlier in the game become the first left-arm spinner to reach 100 IPL wickets, when he took the wicket of RR’s Steven Smith.
Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis finally got a game in this year’s IPL, when CSK played him against Kings XI Punjab. Opening with Shane Watson, Faf scored an impressive 54 off 38 balls against KXIP and followed that up with an unbeaten 43 in CSK’s win over KKR a few days later.
Kings XI Punjab’s KL Rahul was in fine form this week, scoring 55 against CSK, an unbeaten 71 against Sunrisers, and then his maiden IPL century against Mumbai Indians, which was also the fourth IPL century this season.
The flamboyant opening partnership for Sunrises between David Warner and Jonny Bairstow did not live into the 3rd week of the tournament, as Mumbai India’s Alzarri Joseph entered his first game in the IPL and struck with his 1st ball in IPL cricket, dismissing the dangerous David Warner for 15.
Joseph took sensational figures of 6-12, giving him the best bowling figures on debut in IPL history. He is a brilliant young cricketer, who has shown tremendous character and strength in his short career. Definitely one for the future.
RCB hosted Delhi in an attempt to finally get their first win of the tournament. However, they were outfoxed by Proteas pace ace, Kagiso Rabada, who showed his skill and class by removing both AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, effectively ripping the heart out of the RCB batting. Rabada won the Man of the Match award with figures of 4-21, as Delhi handed RCB their sixth straight loss of the tournament.
An unbeaten half-century from former Australian captain Steven Smith for Rajasthan Royals was not enough to stop Kolkata from winning their encounter by 8 wickets, this time not requiring the efforts of their hero Andre Russell.
This has been a good week for Windies players in the IPL, as Kieron Pollard smashed a 31 ball 83, with 10 maximums that single-handedly won the match for Mumbai against KXIP. This bodes well for the Windies in the upcoming World Cup next month if all these players are in the tournament.
The big news that came out at the end of week 3 is that the great Proteas fast bowler, Dale Steyn is set to return to the IPL, as he will be replacing the injured Nathan Coulter-Nile at RCB, who will be hoping that the return of the great man will change their luck.
Steyn will make his first appearance for RCB from April 16th.