Top Five Game-Changing gigs of IPL 2021 – Kieron Pollard’s 34-ball 87, Jadeja’s all-round brilliance
Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is all set to resume when its second leg commences on September 19, 2021 after being shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the second wave of COVID-19 in India earlier this year.
The fans have been eagerly waiting for the IPL 2021 to resume and see their favourite players from around the world in action in one of the most competitive leagues around the world.
As we prepare for the much awaited second leg of the IPL 2021, here is a lookback at some of the most exhilarating performances from the first half of the tournament which saw some nail biting matches, some thrilling finishes and some exceptional individual performances which has always been the hallmark of one of the best T20 leagues around the world.
While we saw veterans like Kieron Pollard and Ravindra Jadeja giving the fans some high voltage fireworks with the bat, Harshal Patel and Harpreet Brar’s bowling performances left everyone in awe.
Trinidadian Hercules and MI top bet Kieron Pollard’s blizzard (34-ball 87*) blew CSK away
The stage was set for Kieron Pollard in one of the most outstanding performances in this edition of the IPL with Mumbai Indians (MI) struggling at 81/3 in 9.4 overs against the mighty Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium in New Delhi.
But the elusive 14th win against MI evaded CSK as Kieron Pollard had a very special knock in store. He played a blinder under pressure and helped MI cross the line scoring an unbeaten 87 runs off 34 balls for the defending champions while chasing a mammoth target of 219 runs in 20 overs.
Before this match, the Trinidadian was not in such good form for Mumbai Indians as he had scored only 81 runs in his first six matches with a highest score of 35* against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) but he turned around the game like only he could in the El Classico of IPL. The destructive quotient of his knock was manifested in a haul of 8 sixes and 6 fours (a total of 72 runs in boundaries out of his eventual score of 87).
MI would count heavily on the big Trinidadian to take them through to the playoffs in this edition.
Read More: Pollard's 34-ball 87 Ends Chennai Super Kings' Five-Match Winning Streak
CSK all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s 62*(28) destroys RCB
Ravindra Jadeja or Sir Jadeja, as the fans lovingly call him, has impressed his fans with some amazing all-round performances with the bat and ball for CSK in the last few years.
One of his daredevil performances with the willow in hand came in the 19th match of the 14th edition of the IPL against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Wankhede Stadium in India’s western metropolis, Mumbai. Jadeja showed his batting prowess and showed why he is always an asset to any team he is part of.
He scored an unbeaten 62 runs from 28 deliveries which included 4 fours and 5 sixes. Out of 62 runs that he scored, 37 runs came in the last over against the current purple cap holder Harshal Patel.
The CSK openers Faf Du Plesis and Ruturaj Gaikwad had provided a strong start to their side. RCB managed to make a brilliant comeback towards the back end of the first innings before Jadeja smashed Patel out of the park with 37 runs in the last over which included 4 consecutive sixes following them with another maximum and a four to end the 7-ball over.
Three-time champions CSK went on to score a mammoth 191/4 in 20 overs, comfortably winning the match in the end by 69 runs with Ravindra Jadeja churning out a great performance with his left-arm orthodox bowling picking 3/13 in his 4 overs. He took the all-important wicket of Abraham Benjamin de Villiers by outfoxing him with a length ball that pitched on leg and clipped out the top of middle stump cleaning the mighty South African and RCB up with that one stroke of brilliance.
Sir Jadeja is sure to raise the temperatures in the UAE with his out of the box performances in the second leg as well for CSK.
Read More: Jadeja’s All-Round Brilliance Ends RCB’s Unbeaten Streak
Most heart-warming hundred in a losing cause – RR skipper Sanju Samson’s 119 off 63 almost completes RR’s heist against PBKS
Followers of the game witnessed a very very special innings played by the newly-appointed Rajasthan Royals (RR) captain Sanju Samson against Punjab Kings at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in what was only the fourth match of this year’s IPL.
Batting first, KL Rahul stood out for Punjab Kings as he scored a quickfire 91 off 50 deliveries to help his side post a huge total of 221/6. In response, Sanju Samson took the responsibility as captain and played a very mature and attacking brand of cricket after Royals lost Ben Stokes in the first over itself.
Samson scored 119 off 63 balls and brought RR to shooting distance of a probable win when 5 runs were needed off the last ball of the match. Unfortunately, Samson could not take his side over the line but this innings will be remembered for a long time to come.
The magnanimity of Sanju Samson’s innings could be deciphered in the fact that the next best score for the Royals was 25 scored by both Jos Buttler and Riyan Parag.
Read More: Punjab Kings overcome RR despite Sanju Samson’s stupendous hundred
RCB left-armer Harshal Patel takes 5/27 against MI at MA Chidambaram Stadium in tournament opener
The very first match this year between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) turned out to be one of the most memorable matches of this season so far.
It was an edge-of-the-seat contest that saw RCB win on the last ball of the match by two wickets. It was Harshal Patel’s day as he scored the winning runs but it was his bowling performance that stood out for the silicon valley team.
Harshal Patel took five wickets and conceded just 27 runs in his spell of four overs and became the first bowler in the history of the tournament to pick a five-wicket haul against the five-time champion Mumbai Indians.
He took the wickets of firebrand strikers of MI - Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Ishan Kishan.
Harshal Patel is the purple cap holder this season with 17 wickets in the seven matches he has played in IPL 2021 so far, matching his best-ever tally of 17 wickets in the 2015 edition. He took 15 matches to get to 17 wickets in 2015 as compared to 2021 when he has already got to that figure in less than half the matches.
Patel is a seasoned domestic performer and his performances will matter for RCB in the second leg if they are to go through to the playoffs.
Read More: Harshal Patel's fifer, AB de Villiers' heroics leave Mumbai with a lot to introspect
PBKS left-arm orthodox bowler Harpreet Brar knocks off RCB’s Kohli, Maxwell and ABD to hand his team a 34-run win
There are performances and then there are performances which make you sit up and take notice, particularly when it’s a young rookie who bamboozles or blasts out veterans who are masters of their game.
Meerut-born left-arm orthodox bowler Harpreet Brar who plays for Punjab in the domestic circuit, pulled off a surprise package proving to be a threat for the Bangalore batters in the 26th match of the IPL 2021 at the newly inaugurated Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The uncapped Indian spinner scalped three big wickets of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell in a single spell off consecutive overs. He conceded just 19 runs in his allotted four overs with one maiden with a tally of three wickets in that game.
Batting first, Punjab Kings posted a competitive 179/5 in 20 overs in which skipper KL Rahul opened the batting with yet another half-century scoring an unbeaten 91 runs off 57 balls which included seven fours and five sixes. In response, RCB fell short by 34 runs to suffer their second defeat of the season. Thanks to the youngster Harpreet Brar’s outstanding spell, RCB were reduced to 69/4 from a comfortable 62/1 midway through their innings and could never make a comeback in the game.