Our Thoughts on Week 3 of IPL

The Chennai Super Kings had a productive time to move their record for the season to W5 L2. A three-match winning streak by the Super Kings saw Ravindra Jadeja’s Chennai sprint to the summit of the IPL.

Kicking off that run was an eight-run success over Royal Challengers Bangalore, before easing to victories over Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Kolkata Knight Riders. Ajinkya Rahane, with an unbeaten 71, was the player of the match against KKR at the weekend.

However, the overall picture of the IPL is wide open, with five teams sitting on four wins each, right behind CSK. The ones feeling the pressure the most though are the Rajasthan Royals, who have slumped to back-to-back defeats.

The Royals looked to be heading toward big things when they beat Chennai and Gujarat earlier this month. However, they have suffered defeats in the last week against the Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

At the other end of the standings, there was finally some cheer for the Delhi Capitals as they recorded their first win of the season. Helped along with a 2/9 return from player of the match Ishant Sharma, Delhi carded a four-wicket victory.

Kohli Goes for a Golden Duck

One of the star performers with the new ball in this season’s IPL has been the Rajasthan Royals’ Trent Boult. The pace bowler launched a tremendous inswinger in his side’s match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. With the first ball of the innings, Boult had opener Virat Kohli beaten all ends up on his pads as he tried to flick the ball away, falling for a golden duck.

Arjun Tendulkar’s Expensive Over

Arjun Tendulkar, who made his debut in the IPL this season for the Mumbai Indians, was in the headlines for the wrong reason against the Punjab Kings after conceding 31 runs in an over. With the Kings at 118/4, Tendulkar’s expensive 16th over saw the Punjab Kings power ahead to a huge 215 total, changing the entire momentum of the match as the Indians slipped to a defeat.

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s Unfortunate Run-Out

There was an unfortunate moment for the Chennai Super Kings opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad in their recent match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Gaikwad’s batting partner Devon Conway launched a good straight drive as the partnership opened well in the chase of a low total of 135. From Conway’s drive, bowler Umran Malik attempted to stop the ball and deflected it toward the stumps at the non-striker’s end where it dislodged the bails with Gaikwad out of his crease.

Looking Ahead to Week 4 of the IPL

Week 4 of the IPL kicks off with a clash between the bottom two of the IPL, Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Delhi Kings. Will the recent breakthrough for Delhi in getting off the mark with their first win give them the confidence to go on and topple Hyderabad?

Another of the season’s strugglers, the Kolkata Knight Riders, have slumped to a four-match losing streak. They have a big week coming up with matches to come against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat, neither of which look easy for Nitish Rana’s side.

Royal Challengers Bangalore managed to get up a little head of steam last week with back-to-back wins over the Punjab Kings and the Rajasthan Royals. RCB batsman Faf du Plessis is the top scorer in the league, becoming the first player to crack 400 runs. Bangalore will look to him to help push their form forward against Kolkata and Lucknow.

The big match to come over the next week on April 27 is the Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings. This looks like being an evenly-matched contest between two of the strong candidates for the season.

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