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IPL 2021: One-sided affairs

Last updated on 13 May 2021 | 07:30 AM
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IPL 2021: One-sided affairs

Here are five matches from the season that failed to live up to the hype

Indian Premier League 2021 didn't go as planned as COVID-19 managed to breach the bio-bubble of four franchises and the tournament had to be suspended indefinitely. The lucrative T20 league has a history of producing breathtaking encounters but there are also games that turn out to be one-sided affairs.

So, here are the five most "boring" games of the season (thus far), not necessarily in that order.

Chennai v Delhi, Match 2

The Rishabh Pant-led side started their IPL 2021 campaign in style as they outclassed Chennai by seven wickets at the Wankhede Stadium. Chasing 189, Prithvi Shaw (38-ball 72) and Shikhar Dhawan (54-ball 85) put on an opening stand of 138 in 13.3 overs and helped Delhi chase down a competitive total with utmost ease. DC were 65 for no loss in the Powerplay and the spinners were employed soon but on an unresponsive track, CSK appeared clueless to make inroads.

While DC took a full toll of the field restrictions, CSK were pushed back in their turn with the bat. The Men in Yellow lost their openers with just seven runs on the board but that's when Moeen Ali (24-ball 36) and Suresh Raina (36-ball 54) joined hands and added 53 runs for the third wicket. The likes of Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja also chipped in the middle-order but it was Sam Curran's fiery 15-ball 34* that helped Chennai slam 33 in the last two overs, which made no difference in the end as Delhi chased the total down in just 18.4 overs.

Punjab v Chennai, Match 8

Deepak Chahar found movement with the new ball and Chennai resorted to their proven method using his quota in one go. In the field, Ravindra Jadeja’s presence was like having 12 guys for the job. His swift pickup, rocket throws and immaculate judgment lifted Chennai in the first few overs itself. At the end of the seventh over, Punjab were 26/5 and the game only headed in one direction from then on. The surface in Mumbai offered some movement and Chahar made the most of it.

The right-arm seamer dismissed Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda and Nicholas Pooran inside seven overs, while KL Rahul was run out by Jadeja. Shahrukh Khan (36-ball 47) did manage to make some impression and that was the only good thing to come out for Punjab. In reply, Faf du Plessis (33-ball 36) and Moeen (31-ball 46) put on 66 runs for the second wicket and Chennai got home with more than four overs to spare.

Delhi v Punjab, Match 11

Shikhar Dhawan put up a batting masterclass and helped Delhi defeat Punjab by six wickets in a high-scoring encounter at the Wankhede Stadium. The flamboyant left-hander crafted 92 off 49 deliveries and played a key role in helping Delhi chase down a target of 196 with utmost ease. Asked to bat, Rahul (51-ball 61) and Agarwal (36-ball 69) put on 122 runs for the first wicket - the highest by an opening pair against Delhi. The latter was phenomenal but Rahul wasted way too many deliveries and it was largely because of him that Punjab fell at least 20-25 runs short.

There was a lot of dew in the second innings and the conditions were extremely difficult for the bowlers. The run-chase from Delhi was almost perfect. Prithvi Shaw (17-ball 32) got them off to a flying start, while Marcus Stoinis (13-ball 27*) and Lalit Yadav (6-ball 12*) finished the job with 10 deliveries to spare. The night, however, belonged to Dhawan. The opener missed out on his third IPL century by just eight runs but was completely authoritative with his approach. Dhawan slammed 13 fours and two maximums during his stay in the middle.

Bangalore v Rajasthan, Match 16

The batting maestro was at the crease for almost 90 minutes but it was a 20-year-old who put up a batting masterclass right in front of his eyes to propel Bangalore to their fourth consecutive win. Rajasthan put up a decent fight in the first innings but Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal schooled them completely in the second essay. The two made a mockery of the 178-run target on a solid surface and got the job done without losing a wicket. Kohli (47-ball 72*) rediscovered his form in some style but Match 16 belonged to Padikkal who smashed his maiden IPL ton. The stylish left-hander whacked 11 fours and six maximums in his 52-ball 101* and put on an opening partnership of 181 with Kohli - the highest for Bangalore in the history of IPL.

In the process, Kohli also became the first batsman to score 6000 runs in this league. Meanwhile, Padikkal not just became the third youngest to smash an IPL ton but also became the third uncapped Indian batsman to achieve this milestone. "Dev's innings was a great one but I'd also like to credit the bowlers for setting it up." Kohli rightly acknowledged his bowlers at the post-match presentation ceremony, as it was them who restricted Rajasthan to a below-par total of 177 on a surface that was perfect for batting.

Chennai v Bangalore, Match 19

In what was one of the most complete T20 performances of all-time, Jadeja, donning the canary yellow, dazzled at the Wankhede arena. He did not just stun Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore single-handedly, but also landed an important reminder of his unmatched quality as an all-format performer in all the disciplines. It all started with a flat six over cow corner on the first delivery of the 20th over. Little did anyone know that the same Jadeja, who had difficulties in tackling Mohammed Siraj in the previous over, would launch a scathing assault on the Purple Cap holder - Harshal Patel. A no-ball included, the over yielded CSK 37 runs - the joint highest in an over in the IPL.

Ruturaj Gaikwad (25-ball 35) and du Plessis (41-ball 50) got Chennai off to a solid start but the Men in Yellow lost the advantage in the middle overs. That's when Jadeja whacked 62* off 28 balls and led CSK to 191/4. He was not done yet! The left-arm spinner then dismissed Washington Sundar, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers and finished with figures of 3/13, as Bangalore could only manage 122/9. Oh, he also complimented that with a direct throw to dismiss Dan Christian.

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