Another action-packed week unfolded in the ongoing Indian Premier League season, and the fans were treated to some intense, nail-biting contests that went right down to the wire. Some of them were high-scoring ones, whereas others were low-scoring contests. But none of those was one-sided contests, and that made these matches worth drooling over and over again. Here, we shall look at how the matches on April 18, 19, and 20 went and will also try to predict the outcomes for the games on April 21 and 22.
Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Mumbai Indians achieved a hat-trick of victories, winning 14 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad in Match 25 of TATA IPL 2023. MI achieved a competitive total of 192/5, with Cameron Green leading the way with a maiden IPL fifty of 64 off 40, while Ishan Kishan and Tilak Varma scored 38 off 31 and 37 off 17, respectively. Jason Behrendorff started the bowling strong with two wickets, which set up the match for the rest of the team, who collectively bowled SRH out for 178.
SRH started poorly, chasing 193 runs, with Harry Brook falling for nine off seven in the second over. Behrendorff continued to apply pressure by removing Rahul Tripathi in the next over, reducing SRH to 25/2. MI restricted SRH to 42/2 in the Powerplay, conceding just four fours and a six. Mayank Agarwal and Aiden Markram pushed to score, hitting fours and a six, but Green took a significant wicket, catching Markram at deep mid-wicket. Piyush Chawla had Abhishek Sharma caught at long off, leaving SRH at 76/4 after ten overs.
Despite Klassen’s efforts to hit fours, Chawla caught him at long on for 36(16), leaving 66 needed off 36 for SRH. Meredith took out Agarwal for 48 off 41, conceding six runs in his over, while Green conceded four in his over with just 24 needed off 12. Tendulkar bowled the last over, conceded just five runs, and took his maiden IPL wicket, Bhuvneshwar, while SRH were bowled out for 178.
Earlier, SRH won the toss and elected to bowl. They made one change to the starting XI as Washington Sundar replaced Umran Malik. MI made two changes, with Rohit Sharma and Behrendorff replacing Duan Jansen and Riley Meredith. Rohit and Kishan started strong, but Rohit fell after scoring 28 off 18 balls. Green and Kishan increased the run rate, with MI reaching 80/1 at the halfway mark. The spinners slowed the run rate, with MI going without a boundary for 18 balls before Green scored a six. MI achieved a total of 192/5, leading to their victory.
Lucknow Super Giants vs Rajasthan Royals
In the 26th match of the TATA IPL 2023, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) bounced back from their previous defeat against Punjab Kings to beat the in-form Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur by ten runs.
LSG posted a total of 154/7 on the back of Kyle Mayers’ composed knock of 51(42) with crucial late bursts from Marcus Stoinis (21 off 16) and Nicholas Pooran (29 off 20). The bowlers, led by Avesh Khan (3/28), delivered a disciplined performance, choking the RR batters and restricting them to 144/6.
Chasing 155, RR’s openers Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal provided a steady start with a partnership of 47 runs before LSG’s Amit Mishra, who was introduced as their Impact Player in the 9th over, removed Jaiswal for 20(15). Buttler and Jaiswal took a patient approach, hitting an odd four in an over as RR moved around seven-and-a-half an over. LSG then clawed their way back into the match with three quick wickets.
RR lost their captain Sanju Samson as he was run out following a bit of confusion with Buttler while trying to go for a quick single. The in-form Shimron Hetmyer (2 off 5) then got out as he holed out to long-on off Avesh Khan in the 16th over. With 42 needed off 18, Impact Player Devdutt Padikkal hit three fours in an over off Stoinis to bring the equation down to 29 needed off 12.
Naveen-ul-Haq started the penultimate over well, giving away just three singles off three balls, but Riyan Parag swung the next one over deep mid-wicket for a six. The Afghanistan pacer finished well, giving just one off the last two balls.
With 19 needed off six, Riyan Parag cracked the first ball of the final over from Avesh Khan over backward point for a four. Parag went for a heavy next ball but missed and ran through for a leg bye. Avesh then provided a crucial moment as he had Padikkal (26 off 21) caught behind off the next ball as the equation came down to 14 off 3. Deepak Hooda then pulled off a brilliant catch under the pressure of Dhruv Jurel at the long on the fence as Avesh Khan scalped two wickets in two balls. The last two balls brought just three runs as LSG won the match by ten runs.
Earlier, RR won the toss and elected to bowl first. They made a change to the starting XI as Jason Holder replaced Adam Zampa, while LSG made one change to the starting eleven as Naveen-ul-Haq replaced Mark Wood. Trent Boult bowled an impressive first over, conceding a maiden. Mayers and Rahul looked to break free, with Mayers cracking a six over extra cover off Boult. Rahul got two reprieves as Yashasvi Jaiswal dropped him on six, and Jason Holder dropped a tough catch running back at mid-off.
LSG named Jaydev Unadkat, K Gowtham, Daniel Sams, Prerak Mankad, and Amit Mishra as their substitutes, while RR named Devdutt Padikkal, Murugan Ashwin, Joe Root, Donovan Ferreira, and Navdeep Saini as their Impact Players.
Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
In a thrilling encounter, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat the Punjab Kings by 24 runs in match 27 of TATA IPL 2023 at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Composed half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis powered RCB to a competitive score of 174/4. Mohammad Siraj then produced his career-best IPL figures (4/24) and pulled off a brilliant run-out to bowl Punjab Kings out for 150 and secure the win for his team.
Chasing 175, Punjab Kings got off to a stuttering start. They lost opener Atharva Taide off the second ball of the innings. Matthew Short showed early signs of aggression but was dismissed by Wanindu Hasaranga. Kohli then brought back Siraj, who trapped Liam Livingstone LBW and produced a brilliant direct hit from mid-off to run out Harpreet Singh.
Jitesh Sharma led a late fight for Punjab Kings, hitting a six off Hasaranga and then a four and six off Vyshak to bring the equation down to 37 off 24. However, Siraj knocked down Harpreet Brar and Nathan Ellis’s stumps to finish his best figures in IPL – 4-0-21-4. With 26 needed off 12, Harshal Patel brought Jitesh Sharma’s fighting innings of 41(27) to an end as he had him caught at backward point off a slower one as RCB won the match by 24 runs.
Punjab Kings captain Sam Curran won the toss and elected to bowl earlier. They made two changes to their starting XI: Liam Livingstone and Nathan Ellis replaced Sikandar Raza and Kagiso Rabada. Virat Kohli was leading RCB, given that Faf du Plessis potentially couldn’t field because of his rib injury.
Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders
After five consecutive losses, Delhi Capitals finally won their first game of the season against Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 28 of TATA IPL 2023. DC’s bowlers managed to bowl KKR out for 127, with four bowlers picking up two wickets each. David Warner played an exceptional innings of 57 off 41 balls and led from the front with the bat, while Axar Patel’s unbeaten 19 off 22 balls helped DC to cross the finish line.
Chasing 128, Warner and Prithvi Shaw set the tone for the chase, hitting six fours in the first three overs. Warner was the aggressor in chief with five fours. KKR introduced spin early, and the move worked as Varun Chakravarthy picked up the first wicket. DC reached 61/1 at the end of the Powerplay, but KKR fought back and picked up two quick wickets to peg DC back.
Warner and Pandey then released the pressure, hitting a couple of fours, as Warner brought up his fifty off 33 balls. With 35 needed off 42 balls, Chakravarthy trapped Warner LBW as he missed his reverse sweep. DC lost two wickets in one over, with Manish Pandey and Aman Khan departing.
KKR missed a massive opportunity as Liton Das missed the stumping of Lalit Yadav off Chakravarthy’s bowling. Axar Patel played a crucial knock of 19* off 22 balls to ensure Delhi got their first win of the season.
Delhi Capitals captain David Warner won the toss and elected to bowl earlier. They made three changes to the starting eleven: Phil Salt, Mukesh Kumar, and Ishant Sharma replaced Mustafizur Rahman, Yash Dhull and Abishek Porel. Kolkata Knight Riders made four changes to their starting eleven: Jason Roy, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh and Kulwant Khejroliya replaced Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Lockie Ferguson, N Jagadeesan and Shardul Thakur.
Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Chennai Super Kings, sitting in third place in the IPL 2023 table right now, with three wins from five games, will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad, placed ninth in the table, at home on April 21. CSK are coming into this match on the back of a commanding win against RCB away from home, and they will be eager to carry that momentum forward.
SRH, on the other hand, suffered a defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians in the previous game and will be looking to bounce back. They have a pretty good team on paper but have yet to manage the desired results on the field. This match will make things more challenging for them, as CSK are a force to reckon with in Chepauk. The CSK batting unit has been in sublime form, and the bowling lineup, considered their weak link ahead of the season, has also stepped up well. That makes Dhoni and his men the favourites to win this contest.
Lucknow Super Giants vs Gujarat Titans
Lucknow Super Giants, sitting in second place in the IPL table right now with four wins in six games, will lock horns with defending champions Gujarat Titans at home on Saturday (April 22).
LSG registered a morale-boosting win over an in-form Rajasthan Royals in the last game, and they will be eager to build on to that momentum. LSG has some issues in their top order, but their middle-order and bowling efforts have helped them navigate challenging situations. However, things will be difficult against Gujarat Titans, as they look like a well-oiled machine in all departments.
Even though this is an away game for the Titans, and they are also coming into this game on the back of a loss, they will still start as the favourites to win this contest owing to the balance they have in their team and the superior quality of players.
Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings
After starting the season with consecutive defeats, the five-time champions have turned things around. Mumbai Indians have won three games on the trot now, and they will aim for their fourth straight win in this game. On the other hand, Punjab Kings are dealing with balance issues in their playing XI, as there has been some regular chopping and changing. They started the season with consecutive wins but have lost three of their last four matches.
Rohit Sharma and his men struggled with the bowling in the first couple of games, but they have found the right combination. The batting has been as good as ever, and they will be looking to carry that momentum and streak forward. Playing another game at home and considering their form, Mumbai are the clear favourites to win this match again.