An excellent spell of bowling from Sandeep Lamichhane and Amit Mishra sent Mumbai Indians spiralling out of the tournament as Delhi Daredevils ended their season on a high. Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar had taken Delhi to a decent total which seemed easily chaseable when Evin Lewis was on fire. But Mishra and Lamichhane choked the run flow and picked wickets to seal Mumbai's fate.
At Pune, Kings XI Punjab crashed out of the tournament after a loss to Chennai Super Kings. A flop show from two of their batting mainstays, KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, meant that Kings XI had to bank on their unstable middle order. Karun Nair's half-century wasn't enough to stop Chennai from chasing down a par total. Here are the best moments from Sunday's double header.
Karun Nair - triple centurion to 360°
Known for his triple hundred against England in a Test match, Nair’s USP in this format of the game is his uncluttered stroke play and elegance. While even the best of batsmen rely on shots behind the wicket in T20s, Karun Nair has gone the Virat Kohli-way and uses conventional cricketing shots to fetch his runs.
However, on Sunday, there was an exception as he improvised at the last moment to reverse swat or reverse ramp (call it what you may) Dwyane Bravo over point for four. Clearly not a regular at playing the shot, Nair nearly got into a tangle switching stance but managed to get underneath the low full toss from Dwyane Bravo to send it just over the point fielder and into the ropes.
Gayle goes the Gilchrist way
A must-win game for Kings XI Punjab meant they needed their big names at the top of the order — Rahul and Gayle — to go all guns blazing. Gayle isn't the best of performers in crunch games but he grabbed headlines when he decided to walk off after nicking behind off Lungi Ngidi.
The South African seamer had found a way of generating disconcerting bounce from a length on the Pune wicket and sent one into the ribs of Gayle. The batsman struggled to get bat on ball but in an attempt to do so, the ball brushed his gloves and went through his leg-side to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.
While the umpire was quick to turn Chennai's appeal down, Gayle decided that with Dhoni's sharp observation and the sheer amount of technology these days, he was never going to survive and took the long walk back reminiscing everyone of a certain Adam Gilchrist's 'walk’ in the 2003 World Cup semi-final.
The double tag team effort
Tag team efforts at boundary ropes are so common these days that they do not even make it to the list of some of the best moments in a game. But on Sunday, Glenn Maxwell and Trent Boult stole the limelight when they combined to dismiss two batsmen — Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma — from the very same position in the field!
Pollard took on Lamichhane straight down the ground but a straight-ish long-on fielder (Maxwell) ran to intervene the ball's trajectory and grabbed it, but with the momentum taking him over the ropes, Maxwell lobbed the ball to Trent Boult running in from long-off. The Kiwi completed the catch as Mumbai lost a crucial wicket.
Less than five overs later, the partnership yet again stunned viewers and Mumbai Indians’ hapless skipper, Rohit. The batsman misread Harshal Patel’s slower, ball but with the short boundaries he would have easily cleared the ropes had it not been for Maxwell's perfect jump and lob to Trent Boult yet again.
Rishabh Pant thrives on one-handed sixes
After mesmerising viewers with his severe onslaught on one of India’s best death bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, in the clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Pant was back to his destructive best against Mumbai at home on Sunday. While the carnage unleashed on the Hyderabad seamer was filled with his reverse scoops, there was a one-handed six down the ground which grabbed eyeballs.
Against Mumbai, Pant improvised on the one-handed swat, this time effortlessly middling a Mustafizur Rahman back of a length delivery over deep mid-wicket with a nonchalant, easy-as-you-like-it shot. The bottom hand dropped as Pant looked to swat but he still generated enough power to give the ball some miles.
Prithvi Shaw does a ramp walk
At this level of cricket, players are expected to execute the basics of the game pretty well and this includes the often forgotten ‘sliding your bat in’ move. Shaw, fresh out of his batting grad school, showed exactly what not to do while running between the wickets as his laziness in grounding the bat in accounted for his wicket.
Shaw nudged the ball to the off-side fielder and took off for a single. Certain that he would make it after covering the bulk of the distance easily, Shaw, possibly unaware of Hardik Pandya's attempt to run him out, simply strolled into the crease but the direct hit had taken out his stumps by then. Replays revealed that Shaw could easily have gotten in had he showcased some kind of intention to get into the crease.