Sunrisers Hyderabad returned to the top, while KL Rahul and Mujeeb Ur Rahman made the difference for Kings XI Punjab again.
At the end of the fourth week of the Indian Premier League 2018, Sunrisers Hyderabad again found themselves at the top, courtesy a Rashid Khan special and a late Yusuf Pathan blitz.
Here’s a look at the talking points from the last seven days.
Ngidi's IPL debut
He warmed the bench at the start of the tournament. Then, he travelled back home to South Africa following his father's demise. He returned to India and rejoined the Chennai Super Kings' squad. He might have been back on the bench, but an injury to Deepak Chahar paved the way for Lungi Ngidi’s introduction and he made his presence felt straightaway against Delhi Daredevils.
His figures of 4-0-26-1 were especially brilliant as the debutant bowled two overs in the Powerplay and the remaining two at the death.
Hyderabad return to the top
Having played only one match this week — nine overall — there was always a chance that Kane Williamson’s Hyderabad would be off the top, but they were back there after a seven-wicket win over Delhi.
The match was hanging in a balance for a while. Prithvi Shaw (65) and Shreyas Iyer (44) gave Delhi the early impetus, but Khan (2/23) and Siddarth Kaul (1/37) helped keep the damage to 163/5. Alex Hales (45) and Shikhar Dhawan (33) provided Hyderabad a decent start, and Williamson (32*) and Manish Pandey (21) kept the good work going before it came down to Pathan’s muscular 12-ball 27*.
Centurion Rashid Khan
He isn’t 20 yet, and he has already made 100 Twenty20 appearances for 147 wickets. The Afghanistan leg-spinner celebrated his special century with a Player of the Match performance in that game against Delhi. His figures of 4-0-23-2 included the two crucial wickets of Shaw and Rishabh Pant.
Taking wickets, bowling an economical spell — 5.75 — and breaking Delhi's momentum, Khan made his milestone appearance a memorable one indeed.
Kohli’s problems mount
The star-studded Bangalore batting line-up comprising Virat Kohli, the captain, Brendon McCullum and AB de Villiers was exposed again when they faced Chennai.
After replacing Quinton de Kock with Parthiv Patel at the top, Bangalore would have hoped for a change of luck. The replacement did work for Bangalore, as Patel scored a 41-ball 53. But apart from him, only Tim Southee, the No.8, scored in double digits. Bangalore could only manage 127/9, which Chennai chased down without any difficulty.
Although Bangalore are still in line to make it to the playoffs, it’s getting tough at No.6 with three wins from nine games.
The tussle for the top spot in the points table isn’t only about Chennai and Hyderabad. Kings XI Punjab have been just off the top and looking good too. Their story has been about Chris Gayle and KL Rahul at the top, and Rahul against played the innings of the week, 84* off just 54 balls with seven fours and three sixes, as Punjab beat Rajasthan Royals by six wickets.
Another Afghan spinner who has made a big impact is Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and he had another good week.
The youngster has been bamboozling opposition batsmen with his turn and variations. In Punjab's match against Rajasthan, he accounted for the crucial wickets of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, and slowed down the run flow significantly. He finished with match-turning 3/27 — the best returns this week.
“Feels great to perform well and play 100 games at such a young age. I want to be fit and play 100 more games.” — Rashid Khan after winning the Player of the Match trophy in his 100th T20 game.
Personalise your homepage with an ICC account
News, fixtures and updates tailored to your favourite team. Never miss a moment!