Delhi Capitals’ Rishabh Pant and Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell turned up with a superlative performance to steer their side off to a positive start in the tournament.
The very first Super Sunday of the tournament did not disappoint and was a stark contrast in comparison to the season opener which ended up as a low scoring anti-climatic game.
Match 2: KKR vs SRH; Eden Gardens
The very first game of the day kicked off at the Eden Gardens where the hosts won the toss and sent the Sunrisers Hyderabad to bat first. The returning David Warner scored his record 37th IPL fifty after missing out the last season. Despite the explosive start by the Aussie and the debutant Jonny Bairstow, the orange army lost their way through the middle.
In-form Vijay Shankar played a handy cameo to take the side to 181-3 at the end of the 20 overs. The famed Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling line-up lived up to expectation as they controlled the powerplay with the wicket of Chris Lynn. Despite the early wicket, surprise opener Nitish Rana toiled his way to score 68 off 47.
With 53 required off the last 3 overs, the game seemed all but over for the hosts, but Andre Russell treated Eden Gardens with a stunning knock that will stay etched forever. The Caribbean scored an unbeaten 49 off 19 comprising of 4 monstrous sixes and 4 fours.
Shubhman Gill sealed the deal with twin sixes in the final over to Shakib Al Hasan to steal the game from the jaws of defeat.
SRH 181-3 (20 overs) (D.Warner 85; A.Russell 2-32)
KKR 183-4 (19.4 overs) (N.Rana 68, A.Russell 49*; R.Khan 1-26)
Match 3: MI vs DD; Wankhede Stadium
The three-time IPL Champions’ trend of losing the first match of the campaign continued with a hefty defeat to the rejuvenated Delhi Capitals.
Electing to bowl first after winning the toss, Rohit Sharma played his trump card early on the innings, the 17-year-old pacer Rasikh Salam. However, it was Mitchell McClenaghan who turned up with early strikes of the local duo Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer.
Debutants Colin Ingram and Shikhar Dhawan stitched a crucial partnership in the middle overs before Rishabh Pant took charge. The 2018 IPL’s emerging player took the MI bowlers to the cleaners including the No.1 ranked bowler Jasprit Bumrah en route an unbeaten knock of 78 off 27 deliveries.
The 214 run target proved too steep for the hosts with no notable contributions from the top order. Yuvraj Singh made a memorable debut for his new franchise with a fifty, but it was not enough to get MI over the ropes as they fell to a 37 run loss to the Delhi Capitals.
DC 213-6 (20 overs) (R.Pant 78*; M.McClenaghan 3-40)
MI 176 all out (19.2 overs) (Y.Singh 53, K.Rabada 2-23)