WEEK 10: The end is in sight

cricket17 May 2024 19:31| © MWP
By:Neil Manthorp

In the alternative world of ‘mathematical possibilities’ only the Kolkata Knight Riders have officially qualified for the IPL Playoff matches after 10 gruelling weeks of competition – although the Rajasthan Royals will have to lose their final two matches heavily and see a host of other results work against them in order not to finish in the top four.

Sunrisers Hyderabad continued to extend the boundaries (not literally) of what was previously thought possibly by chasing down a target of 166 in just 9.4 overs without losing a wicket.

Travis Head (89* off 30 balls) and Abhishek Sharma (75* off 28) at a run rate of over 17 – the highest for a target in excess of 150 in T20 history.

Elsewhere there was a crucial win for the stuttering Chennai Super Kings which moved them into third place with one game remaining in which victory will be sufficient for place in the first Eliminator match.

Royal Challengers Bengaluru probably won’t make the Playoffs even if they win their final match having an inferior net run-rate than all of the teams above them but they have certainly restored pride with five consecutive victories which has moved them from the bottom of the table and into a share of fifth.

KKR continued their winning form with an 18-run victory against Mumbai Indians for whom embattled former captain, Rohit Sharma, crawled to 19 off 24 balls.

But that wasn’t even the worst batting display of the week.

Before Head and Abhishek’s explosion Lucknow Super Giants captain, KL Rahul, limped to 29 off 33 on a pitch he believed to be ‘slow.’

IPL teams have a tendency to kick hardest when they are about to be eliminated and so it was with the Gujarat Titans posting 231-3 against CSK who could manage only 196-8 in reply.

Titans openers Sai Sudharsan (103) and Shubman Gill (104) added 210 for the first wicket.


Delhi Capitals posted 221-8 against the Royals (201-8) with Aussie tyro Jake Fraser-McGurk whacking 50 off 20 balls and Tristan Stubbs a more elegant 41 off 20.

SA PLAYER OF THE WEEK: His team might not make it to the playoffs but Tristan Stubbs has looked more and more comfortable and has delivered more often than not in the closing overs for the Delhi Capitals.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Sunrisers Hyderabad. Possibly the first team in IPL history which can be described as unbeatable when everything clicks. Fortunately for everyone else, it doesn’t always ‘click’.

BEST BATSMAN: Travis Head. Again.

BEST BOWLER: Not many to chose from. Again. 26-year-old seamer Simarjeet Singh, in just his eighth IPL match, grabbed 3-26 to help CSK restrict the high-flying Royals to a meek 141-5 and keep the men-in-yellow very much in play-off contention.

TOP TALKING POINT: Ravindra Jadeja being given out ‘obstructing the field’ in CSK’s victory over the Royals. It was irrefutably the correct decision but that didn’t, and won’t stop people from talking about it.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “It's a terrible rule. You're negating the allrounder, and I don't think that's good for cricket. Especially for India, who are trying to grow their allrounders. As an allrounder, I don't want to see that. You want them to play a major role.

“Also, there's a very small chance of being bowled out because you're basically playing with eight batters. That makes a big difference, and that's why the scores have gone crazy. Yes, the batters have taken the game to the next level, but I definitely don't agree that there should be an impact player.” – Jacques Kallis doesn’t hold back with his views on the ‘impact player’.

KEEP AN EYE ON: The simmering tension at the Mumbai Indians. For neutral observers the subplots are fascinating but for those invested in the five-time champion franchise, finishing last is unacceptable and heads are certain to roll.