Our Thoughts on Week 4 of IPL

Reigning IPL champions the Gujarat Titans moved back to the top of the current standings thanks to a three-match winning streak in the space of eight days.

Hardik Pandya’s side saw off the challenges of the Lucknow Super Giants, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders to surge back to the summit. At the weekend, a near-faultless performance by Gujarat saw them comfortably beat KKR by seven wickets.

No team was able to match the form of Gujarat in Week 4. Lucknow did achieve a massive win, scoring the second-highest IPL total of 257-5 in a victory over the Punjab Kings, which left them in second place, having alternated between a win and a loss in their last five.

After a sparkling run of three match wins on the bounce, the Chennai Super Kings hit a bump in the road, losing back-to-back matches. Chennai went down in a tame loss against the Rajasthan Royals before losing by four wickets against the Punjab Kings at the weekend.

At the bottom of the table, the Delhi Capitals did manage back-to-back wins, but a loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the weekend left them bottom. This was a big duel at the foot of the table, with both teams sitting on just four points for the season before Sunrisers pulled ahead with victory.

Lucknow Pile On the Runs

In rediscovering their winning touch, the Lucknow Super Giants piled up a massive tally of 257 runs in their innings against the Punjab Kings. Their batters were right on the money from the outset, despite captain KL Rahul being caught for 12 at the top of the order, with big inputs coming from Kyle Mayers and Marcus Stoinis, who both made half-centuries. In defense of their total, LSG skittled the Punjab Kings out for 201.

Shaik Rasheed’s Catch

As a substitute fielder for the Chennai Super Kings, Shaik Rasheed pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Punjab Kings batsman Jitesh Sharma. Off the bowling of Tushar Deshpande in the 19th over, Sharma was trying to hit the young pace bowler and lofted one high to the boundary. Rasheed took the catch at long-on, but momentum took him toward the boundary rope as he slipped. The TV umpire was called into action because of how close Rasheed was to the rope, but dramatically the brilliant catch stood.

What’s Going On With Patel?

Axar Patel’s position in the Delhi Capitals batting lineup was questioned recently. He was only sent into bat in a nine-run defeat in their basement battle against Sunrisers Hyderabad when the game was getting away from the Capitals. Set a 198-run target, Patel, who is in form and enjoys playing at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, was surprisingly slotted in down the order, instead of coming in early to take the game to the visitors.

Looking Ahead to Week 5 of the IPL

Undoubtedly, one of the most exciting clashes coming up in Week 5 is the Gujarat Titans vs Lucknow Super Giants fixture on May 7. This should be a heavy-hitting, nail-biting classic between two of the stronger teams in the running at the top of the table.

It’s a busy week for Gujarat, who also face the Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals, the latter likely to be another big test for the Titans. Rajasthan’s Yashasvi Jaiswal has been in superb form with the bat.

The batting power of Lucknow, including Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad, will be on display in further upcoming matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings.

Some good midweek action to look out for is the match between the struggling Sunrisers and Kolkata Knight Riders, while the Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians meet for a mid-table clash. 

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