We are into the final week in the preliminary stage of the IPL, and after 72 matches we finally have four teams that will progress to the playoffs and try to win the ultimate prize, the IPL trophy. The week consisted of high tension matches with 5 teams fighting it out for the last two playoff spots. The four teams who qualified are Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. The week was also a very controversial one for the league with quite a few unfortunate events taking place and grabbing the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Despite the entire off field drama, there were some brilliant moments on the field last week. Here’s a look at some of the noteworthy moments both on and off the field from last week.
Spot-fixing ghost returns to cricket
The ghost of spot-fixing returned to cricket yet again after an expose by India TV caught a couple of Indian players in the IPL bargaining to spot-fix and other corrupt practices. The IPL committee took immediate steps by suspending the five players and ordering an investigation into the matter. The credibility of the league has come under question as the ghost returns yet again to haunt cricket.
Chris Gayle and his sixes
Chris Gayle has been the batsman to watch out for this season with over 700 runs next to his name. He has hit over 50 sixes during the time and in the match against Delhi Daredevils, he proved yet again just why he is so dangerous as he smashed 13 huge sixes on his way to an undefeated 128 of just 62 deliveries.
SRK banned from the Wankhede Stadium
Shah Rukh Khan, co-owner of the KKR team was banned from the Wankhede Stadium for 5 years by the Mumbai Cricket Association after he got into a scuffle with the MCA officials during the KKR versus MI match. The incident caused further embarrassment to the IPL, and turned into a political mudslinging fest with politicians taking sides and voicing their dissent and approval at the MCA’s verdict.
Super Sunil Narine
If there was a bowler who has taken the IPL by storm, then it has to be the West Indian spinner, Sunil Narine. The KKR spinner yet again proved his mantle as he destroyed a Mumbai Indians outfit in their own ground ending up with figures 4 for 15. In his spell he managed to castle legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar turning the match on its head.
Lady Luck and Dhoni
CSK having lost their last match needed three teams, namely – Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore to lose for them to proceed to the playoffs and as luck would have it all three teams managed to mess up, granting Chennai an entry into the playoffs. Lady luck must surely be with Dhoni!
With just four more matches to go till we find out who the champion of this edition of the IPL will be, things are sure to heat up and get better from now on. With so much hanging on every match, the teams would be keen to give it their all and the next week is one hell of a week to look forward to.