The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League season has gained force as we have witnessed some thrilling battles already. There have been some nail-biting contests that have gone right down to the wire, and here we shall take a look at how the matches on April 9, 10, and 11 went along with a bird’s eye view of what can be expected from the upcoming encounters on April 12 and 13.
Gujarat Titans vs Kolkata Knight Riders – April 9
This turned out to be one of the greatest encounters in the history of the IPL as KKR’s Rinku Singh did the unbelievable to power his team to victory. Needing 28 to win off the last five balls of the innings, Rinku smashed five consecutive sixes to take KKR home.
Although KKR were progressing well in their chase of 205 runs courtesy of Venkatesh Iyer’s 40-ball 83 and skipper Nitish Rana’s 29-ball 45, Rashid Khan’s hat-trick in the death overs had turned the tide completely in the Titans’ favour. But Rinku Singh swung the momentum in KKR’s favour again with his breathtaking knock. He remained unbeaten on 48 off just 21 deliveries as KKR secured two valuable points from the encounter.
Punjab Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – April 9
This was quite a one-side contest, with SRH emerging victorious by eight wickets, but this match produced one of the most remarkable innings in the history of the IPL. Punjab Kings skipper Shikhar Dhawan remained unbeaten on 99 off 66 deliveries to propel his team to a respectable total of 143/9. Dhawan kept the Punjab ship afloat as wickets kept tumbling at the other end, and that’s where the greatness of his knock lies.
Wrist-spinner Mayank Markande, who debuted for the Sunrisers, picked up four wickets. Punjab started well with the ball, reducing SRH to 45/2, but Rahul Tripathi and Aiden Markram completely changed the game’s complexion. Tripathi remained unbeaten on 74 off 48 deliveries, while Markram scored 37* off 21.
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Lucknow Super Giants – April 10
This was yet another high-scoring thriller that went right down to the wire. Batting first, RCB posted a massive total of 212/2, riding on half-centuries from Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, and Glenn Maxwell. Lucknow was under pressure while chasing, as a superb opening spell by Mohammed Siraj and Wayne Parnell had reduced the visitors to 23/3.
However, the Super Giants made a terrific comeback as Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran launched a massive counter-attack on the RCB bowlers. Stoinis made 65 from just 30 deliveries, while Pooran scored 62 from only 19 balls to get them close to the target. Youngster Ayush Badoni also played a useful hand of 30 down the order. Still, the finishing was done by the tail-enders Ravi Bishnoi and Avesh Khan, as they scampered for a single on the last delivery of the innings to take Lucknow home.
Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians – April 11
This was a game between two sides who still needed to register a win in the league. At the end of the game, it was the visiting Mumbai Indians side who walked home with two points on the back of a thoroughly professional performance. After winning the toss and opting to bowl, Mumbai bowled Delhi out for 172 runs. David Warner and Axar Patel starred in the innings, as both of them scored fifties. Axar was more effective as his knock of 54 came off just 25 deliveries.
Wrist-spinner Piyush Chawla was the pick of the Mumbai bowlers, registering figures of 3/22 in his four overs. Left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff also picked up three wickets, while Riley Meredith picked up two. On the batting front, MI skipper Rohit Sharma led the charge with a beautiful knock of 65 off 45 deliveries. Ishan Kishan also looked good during his knock of 31, but he was run out. Youngster Tilak Varma impressed once again with a crucial hand of 41 off 29 deliveries.
Mumbai needed five to win off the last over, and they had to scamper for every run as Anrich Nortje put on a death bowling masterclass. Tim David scored the remaining two runs off the last ball with a massive dive to take them home.
Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals – April 12
On paper, the Rajasthan Royals look more potent as they are balanced in all departments. But the conditions at Chepauk make Chennai a force to reckon with, and that was visible in their win the last time they played at home. The track at Chepauk looks much better for batting now than it used to be in previous years, but there will still be some help for the spinners.
MS Dhoni is a master at handling spinners and using them to win matches, and that’s why he is expected to lead CSK to a win in this contest. Although CSK does not match Rajasthan’s bowling strength, they do have a batting unit that is as good as the visitors.
Punjab Kings vs Gujarat Titans – April 13
Both teams are coming into this game after disappointing losses, but defending champions Gujarat Titans will start this match as the favourites. The Titans have a stronger bowling unit than the Kings and were quite unlucky to lose the last game.
On the other hand, Punjab have quite a well-settled batting unit, but they did falter in the last game. The bowling doesn’t inspire much confidence, either. Even though this is a home game for them, the Titans’ chances of winning are much more, looking at their form and team setup.