This Weekend saw the first set of doubleheaders in IPL 2020. It was filled with top performances making it tough to pick out the top performers. Doubleheaders hold a lot more significance in places like Dubai. With the scorching and dry heat, playing day games becomes a tough ask and has taken its toll on several players like David Warner, who looked a little tired in the day game against Mumbai.
While there have been some high scoring games this Weekend, many seasoned players have also come back into form. We will now be looking at some of the top performers of the weekend.
Mahipal Lomror’s 47(39)
The first match of the Weekend started with an impressive bowling performance from the Royal Challengers Bangalore. They reduced the Royals to 3-33 and then 4-70. Mahipal Lomror, playing his first game of IPL 2020, was the one who helped the Royals rebuild. He first had a partnership with Uthappa and the Parag, playing a steady knock. His knock allowed the Royals to set up a launch in the death, allowing them to get a respectable 154.
Devdutt Padikkal’s 63(45)
One of the young stars of the season, Devdutt Padikkal, continued his run of form through the Weekend. Chasing 154, Royal Challengers lost Aaron Finch early. The out-of-form Virat Kohli joined him. Despite the situation, Devdatt Padikkal did well to ease his captain’s pressure with counterattacking innings. Batting with Kohli, he had to run more than he usually would and was spent after his third half-century in four games.
Virat Kohli 72(53)
Virat Kohli had come into the second Weekend of the IPL with scores of 14, one, and three. He looked completely out of touch in the previous game and walked into bat against the Royals in a scenario he relishes. A run-chase in the heat, hit by the loss of an opener. He took his time to get going. Once set, Virat Kohli took apart the Royals bowling attack, slowly taking his side closer to the target. His 72 was crucial as it had seemed him get back to form.
Shreyas Iyer 88(38)
With its small boundaries, Sharjah has become a six-hitting venue this season. Coming into the match, people would have expected another six-hitting battle between two sides that boasted powerful middle orders.
While many would have expected the likes of Pant or Stoinis to make the most impact in Sharjah, it was the touch-player Shreyas Iyer, who was the star.
A classical batsman, Shreyas Iyer, came in at three and exploded immediately. He hit seven sixes in his 88 surprised many with his explosive knock. His 88 allowed the Capitals to get to 228, which was just enough as the Knight Riders fought back well to get to 210.
Anrich Nortje 3/33
While we spoke about Sharjah being a hunting ground for the batsman, it is a ground that can be a nightmare for the bowlers. With small boundaries, preventing runs is difficult, as the margin of error for bowlers is minimum.
Anrich Nortje did a great job to pick up 3/33, while also picking up the wicket of Eoin Morgan, who was looking to bring the Knight Riders back into the game. His performance was impressive as he picked up wickets while restricting the batsmen with his tight bowling.
Eoin Morgan’s 45 off 18
World Cup-winning skipper, Eoin Morgan, has been a silent performer for the Knight Riders, providing middle-order firepower with his teammates Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russel out of form.
He walked into bat with his side needing 93 from seven overs against a formidable Capitals bowling attack. With Russel’s dismissal earlier in the innings, not many would have expected the Knight Riders to get close to the target.
Morgan pulled out impressive innings, making 45, with five sixes. He kept the game alive and in the balance until he was dismissed, with 28 needed off nine deliveries.
Rashid Khan’s 1/22
Playing against the Mumbai Indians, in Sharjah, Rashid Khan did something that seems unthinkable considering the way things have gone in Sharjah.
He conceded only 22 runs in his four overs, going at less than six an over. Along with his economical bowling, Rashid Khan dismissed Quinton de Kock, who was going well at 67. His spell helped build pressure in the middle overs, which was crucial in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Despite his efforts, Mumbai managed to get to 208, which proved sufficient in the end.
Watson and Faf’s partnership
CSK went into their match against the Kings XI Punjab with a lot of questions. They were last in the table and had a struggling opening pair. In particular, Watson was unable to provide CSK good starts, which was beginning to concern CSK.
Chasing 179, Watson and Faf were quick to solve some of CSK’s problems. They got CSK off to a beautiful start, with Watson playing his trademark shots, and Faf finding the boundary with ease. They went on to use the beginning and steadily went after the target. They finished with a partnership of 181, completing an easy ten-wicket win for the Chennai Super Kings.