IPL was heating up this week as teams make a push to the play-offs.
Chris Morris has been an exceptional addition to Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have looked a completely different team since his arrival. He not only is bowling well, and taking wickets, but has an extraordinary economy rate of only 5.
Considering when Morris bowls, at the beginning of the innings in the Powerplay, and at the death, when teams are looking to go big, that is simply remarkable.
As a result of a number of factors, including Morris, RCB have been having one of their best seasons yet, and by the end of week 5, they sit at 3rd place.
Chennai Super Kings, conversely are having their worst season, having lost 8 of their 11 games. An injured Bravo, and pitches becoming slower and more spin friendly, meant CSK were finally left with no choice but to play Imran Tahir. But it was too little, too late.
Shikhar Dhawan made history this week as he became the first player in IPL history to hit back-to-back centuries, first against CSK and then KXIP. In the process, he became the fifth player to 5000 IPL runs, after Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and David Warner.
KG Rabada continued to shine this week, as he became the fastest to 50 IPL wickets, beating the second best, Sunil Narine by 5 matches. He has now taken at least one wicket in 24 consecutive IPL games.
KXIP seem to have turned a corner this week. After finally wining only their second game of the tournament in week 4, against RCB, they pulled off a remarkable victory in one of the most insane cricket games ever.
As if one super over isn’t nerve-wracking enough already, MI and KXIP put us through two super overs in one game. It was the first time ever in IPL history that two super overs had to decide the match. For KXIP, a team that just a week before had forgotten how to win games, they certainly seem to have remembered that now.
They have now beaten the top 3 teams in a row, which included a comfortable win against Delhi Capitals.
KL Rahul has been spectacularly consistent, scoring his 3rd consecutive half-century of the tournament, and fifth overall. Sitting with 540 runs, the orange cap is firmly his.
For all the firepower Rajasthan Royals have in their team, with Buttler, Stokes, Steve Smith, Samson and Rahul Tewatia, they have struggled a great deal in this edition, winning only 4 of their 11 games. They had a mixed bag this week, losing to both RCB and Sunrisers Hyderabad but beating CSK.
Ben Stokes’ lack of form is a cause of concern for Steve Smith. He has the lowest strike rate of all batsmen who have faced 100+ balls this season, 106.79. A player of Stokes’ ability is never easy to leave out, but you can’t play him based on reputation. If he isn’t delivering, he has to go.
Mumbai Indians have been one of the standout teams in IPL 2020, and have consistently performed throughout the tournament. One of their best performances came late in the week against CSK, with a truly all-round game, with both bat and ball.
Trent Boult achieved his best IPL bowling performance with 4-18, and CSK suffered their first 10-wicket loss in IPL history. As a result, CSK are all but eliminated.
Who will make the play-offs? Will this year finally be RCB’s?
It’s all very exciting as we wind down IPL 2020.