Week 1 of the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League has produced some sensational knocks with the bat. Here’s a look at the best of them!
Dwayne Bravo’s heroics
IPL 2018 kicked off in emphatic fashion with Chennai Super Kings making a victorious return by overcoming Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. A one-legged Kedar Jadhav smashed a six and four off consecutive deliveries to seal the win for CSK, but it was Dwayne Bravo who set the win up beautifully with an extraordinary display of boundary hitting. He smashed 20 runs in the 18th and the 19th over of the innings before falling on the final ball of the penultimate over. His 68 stunning Mumbai and announced CSK’s return in glorious fashion.
Jason Roy makes a statement
Last week, it was Dwayne Bravo; this week, it was Jason Roy.
Mumbai Indians were on the receiving end of a hammering by the England opener in their second game at Wankhede. He enjoyed the bounce of the Mumbai wicket and smashed the bowlers to all part of the ground (and outside it). His unbeaten 91, which included six boundaries and six sixes, anchored the Delhi Daredevils innings and despite the hiccup in the final over, he managed to take his side over the line on the final delivery.
Andre Russell takes on CSK
Andre Russell’s knock was probably the best knock of the week, but Sam Billings’ performance to seal CSK’s home win grabbed the headlines. The big Windies all-rounder was coming back from a suspension and had suffered a hamstring injury coming into the tournament. However, against CSK, he showed no signs of rust as scored 88 from 36 balls, with one four and an incredible 11 sixes! Unlike previous instances, Russell took calculated risks and fronted the KKR innings, taking them from 89/5 to 202/6 in 20 overs.
Sam Billings drives CSK home
It was Billings’ biggest contribution in an IPL game, and thankfully for Chennai Super Kings, it came in a crunch situation. Andre Russell’s innings had put a massive score ahead of CSK in their first home game after returning to the IPL. With MS Dhoni struggling to score at the other end, the England international took it upon himself to take on the bowlers. He managed to keep the required run-rate in check in the middle overs, building on the start provided by Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu at the top. When he was finally dismissed in the 19th over, Billings had scored 56 off just 23 balls with two fours and five sixes, putting CSK only 19 runs away from the target.
KL Rahul’s Mohali blitz
Once Kings XI Punjab signed up KL Rahul in the auction, he was likely to get an opportunity at the top of the order – where he has produced his best output for the national side and RCB. In his first game for KXIP, the 25-yer-old smashed the fastest half-century in IPL history, bringing up the mark in just 14 balls. His 16-ball 51 gave the Mohali franchise a flying start to the 167 run-chase, which they completed with ease in the end.