Fatherly advice, Caribbean generosity, a debut at 41 and more in Cricketnext\'s review of the fifth week of the IPL\'s sixth season.
Fatherly advice, Caribbean generosity, a debut at 41 and more in Cricketnext's review of the fifth week of the IPL's sixth season.
Innings of the week
David Miller's bombastic, scarcely believable 101 not out off 38 balls - the third-quickest IPL century - to take Kings XI Punjab to a successful chase of 191 against Royal Challengers Bangalore tops the list hands down. Punjab were 51 for 3 when the South African entered, and when he was done, the opposition were left stunned. Miller hit seven sixes and eight fours in his gob-smacking innings, finishing the match and getting to three figures with a six off Chris Gayle - the last ball of the 18th over. Punjab had won with 12 deliveries remaining. Miller helped Punjab steal 99 runs off the last five overs of the chase.
Assault of the week
We have a tie, between two South Africans. On Monday night in Mohali, Miller tore into RP Singh who was stuck for 26 runs in the 15th over. Having just been dropped, Milller swung 6, 6, 4, 4 and 4 off RP to move to 67 in 28 balls. On May 2, AB de Villiers had smashed a rollicking 23-ball 50 not out with six fours and two sixes to help RCB beat Pune Warriors India. De Villiers' assault on Ashok Dinda in the last over was stunning as he hit 6, 4, 6, 4, 4 and scampering the two needed to give him fifty. Shuffling around his crease, de Villiers swept over square leg, went over Dinda's head and long-off and then reverse-swept and paddled sublime boundaries. That blitz also helped RCB break their away jinx.
Drop of the week
Miller was on 41 when he miscued a skier, which Virat Kohli put down with palms facing upwards, even getting hit on the mouth by the ball. What a drop it proved to be! Miller proceeded to hit 60 runs off his next 16 balls faced. That catch cost RCB the match.
Quote of the week
This one's all the way from Durban. "If it's in the V, it's in the tree and if it's in the arc, it's out of the park," Miller senior had told his son in his formative years. Papa knows best.
Hat-trick of the week
A hat-trick of drops from a fielder as reliable as Kieron Pollard was not what anyone in their wildest dreams would have envisioned, especially with Mumbai Indians defending a low total of 139. But that's what happened at point off Mitchell Johnson in the first over of CSK's chase at the Wankhede Stadium. The first time Michael Hussey cut, Pollard tipped the ball over his head, the second ball he spilled a simple chance into his midriff and the third was even straighter but Pollard cupped it in front of his face and let it out. Following that third spill, Pollard had to leave the field with a bleeding nose.
Over of the week
Fortunately for Mumbai and Pollard, Johnson hit back with a rip-roaring second over that saw three wickets fall down. Off the full first ball, Murali Vijay inside-edged a loose drive onto his stumps; next, after briefly leaving the field to attend to a bleeding nose as a result of the fumbled third drop, Pollard plucked a stunner to get Suresh Raina first ball after the batsman got a leading edge in front of point; and on the fifth, a straighter one had S Badrinath lbw for 0. Johnson could scarcely believe he had figures of 3 for 6 after seeing a hat-trick of catches go down earlier. In essence, Johnson could have taken five wickets in five balls if not for Pollard's fielding mishaps.
Catch of the week
KKR's Eoin Morgan produced some nifty work on the midwicket boundary when Rohit Sharma pull a short ball out to the deep. Morgan ran across and caught the ball, but then lost balance. Alert, he released the ball just as he stumbled over the boundary and then hopped back in to complete the catch.
Tragedy team of the week
No surprises here - it's Pune again. Defeat to Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Sunday was Pune's seventh in a row. With four matches to go, Pune have only (wounded) pride to play for.
Entry of the week
Little-known Queensland allrounder Michael Neser had a rude welcome to the IPL when, on debut, he conceded 62 in four overs to end one short of the record for the most expensive figures in the tournament. His first over cost 18 with Gayle hitting consecutive sixes; the second produced 11 with Gayle top-edging four; in the third Neser was struck for six and four by de Villiers; then in the last over of the RCB innings, he conceded 21 with de Villiers and Moises Henriques tucking into his variations in length.
Elder statesman of the week
Rajasthan are easily the team with the oldest players. Rahul Dravid is 40, Brad Hogg 42, Brad Hodge 38 and their latest debutant was another 40-pluser. At 41 years and 212 days, legspinner Pravin Tambe became the oldest debutant in IPL history as he moved past team-mate Hogg (41 years 65 days). Tambe, from Maharashtra and never having played official first-class, List A or T20 cricket, was picked to play against Delhi Daredevils and bowled his four overs for 30. Asked the unavoidable question by Harsha Bhogle during the mid-innings break, Tambe replied matter-of-factly that his age was never discussed when Rajasthan picked him. Score one for the logic that you're only as old as you feel.