Royal Challengers Bangalore succumbed to their sixth straight loss in the season as Delhi Capitals upset them in their backyard by four wickets. RCB struggled with the bat and ambled along to a below par total of 149 which Delhi, despite the customary huffing and puffing towards the end, overcame with more than an over to spare.
On a slow deck in Jaipur, Kolkata Knight Riders used their spinners well against the Rajasthan batsmen and later bulldozed the chase with Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine blasting away in the Powerplay overs.
Take a look at some of the key moments from both the matches:
When the three way South African battle tilted Kagiso Rabada’s way
Dismissing AB de Villiers would have been of paramount importance for Delhi Capitals on Sunday. Last season, in the two matches against Delhi, de Villiers had scored two half-centuries. This time around, they did have two South Africans in Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris to tame him.
Morris had bowled 32 balls at de Villiers in T20s before Sunday but had leaked 70 runs off them without ever taking his wicket. Rabada, on the other hand, had dismissed him once in the three balls he had bowled at de Villiers while conceding two sixes off the other.
On Sunday, Iyer tried using Morris and then Rabada against de Villiers. Morris was hit for seven in five balls including a six. Rabada looked to deceive de Villiers with the slower ball and although he sent a wide down the leg-side, persisted with the same pace and length while altering his line for the next delivery. With the ball in his arc, de Villiers went for a loft down the ground but misread the pace and gifted a catch to mid-on fielder. Rabada went on to dismiss Virat Kohli and two others to finish with career best figures of 4/21.
Tim Southee's misery continues
Southee's first game of the season unravelled quickly the other night when Andre Russell went on the rampage with a 29-run over. Apparently, the Kiwi seamer still hadn't recovered from the shock. On Sunday, he was at the receiving end of another onslaught, this time by Prithvi Shaw.
In the third over of the Delhi innings, Southee kept erring in line and length and Shaw took full advantage with four successive boundaries followed by a leg-bye for a fifth four in the over. The first ball was flicked through mid-wicket and the second one pulled through square leg. With width on offer off the next two balls, Shaw slammed Southee for two more fours through the off-side before a leg-side delivery went off for four leg-byes. After a good first over, Southee leaked 20 in the over much to RCB's dismay.
Parthiv Patel gives Shreyas Iyer two lives
Tim Southee's 20-run over was preceded by a good over – the first of the innings – where he removed Shikhar Dhawan for a golden duck and nearly dismissed the Delhi skipper, Shreyas Iyer. Off the final ball of the over, Southee eked out an outside edge from Iyer but despite making a desperate dive, Parthiv Patel dropped the catch.
Iyer made RCB pay with a terrific half-century but not before Parthiv himself gave the batsman a second life in the 11th over. Pawan Negi was getting turn off the surface and the ball was holding up a touch. So, when Iyer went for a sweep off Negi, he top-edged the shot due to lack of timing. The ball went up in the air in the direction of square leg. Parthiv called for the catch and rushed to take it but it was always closer to square leg than the keeper and eventually he couldn't reach the ball despite a full-stretch dive.
Prasidh Krishna lack of control
Prasidh Krishna has been mighty impressive with his pace this season and has bowled three deliveries in excess of 150 kmph and a further six balls above 148 kmph. What he does lack is control and this was on display on Sunday when he sent down a beamer at Rajasthan all-rounder, Ben Stokes.
In the fourth ball of the penultimate over, Prasidh steamed in and hurled a head high beamer at Stokes. The batsman managed to fend the ball off awkwardly but it was a dangerous beamer given the pace at which Prasidh has been bowling. He had earlier overstepped once in the over and also bowled two other full tosses.
Incidentally, Prasidh had also delivered a beamer to welcome Johnny Bairstow to IPL in the first match Kolkata played this season.
Dhawal Kulkarni's unlucky day
There are bad days, terrible days and then days like the one Dhawal Kulkarni had on Sunday at Jaipur. The Rajasthan Royals seamer watched helplessly as his teammate, Rahul Tripathi, fluffed a regulation chance offered by Sunil Narine after Kulkarni had deceived the Kolkata opener with a slower ball. On 23 off seven at the time, Narine added 24 more to dent Rajasthan's hopes.
Undeterred by his efforts going to waste, Kulkarni pushed a good length ball at Chris Lynn next delivery and promptly earned an inside edge that hit the stumps. But unfortunately for Kulkarni, the lights flared up but not the bails, and to make it worse, the ball raced away for a boundary. A similar incident had occurred at Chennai the other day when Dhoni's flick at the stumps hit the target but did not dislodge the bail, saving KL Rahul from a run-out.
Are the zing bails a few grams heavier this year?
When Lynnsanity hit TATA Harrier
Lynn appeared to be in the mood on Sunday as he connected his big hits and raced to 43 in 29 balls. With Narine and Lynn going berserk, Kolkata were making a mockery of Rajasthan's target. Even when Narine was dismissed, Lynn was intent on utilising the hard and newer ball further and took on Shreyas Gopal's leg-spin.
In the 11th over, Lynn went for a slog sweep against the leg-spinner and nailed the shot remarkably well. It went flat over the ropes and crashed into the showpiece car, a TATA Harrier. The car withstood the blow and Lynn brought up his half-century a ball later but fell in the same over to Gopal. Off the fifth ball in the over, Lynn went for another almighty sweep but top-edged it to the deep square leg fielder.