Delhi Capitals (DC) ensured their berth in the playoffs after a 16-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday. Opting to bat, half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer took them to a competitive 187 which was too much for RCB in the end.
At Eden Gardens, Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya went on a six-hitting barrage in a high-scoring game. Russell smashed 80 in 40 balls as Kolkata Knight Riders made 232 batting first. Pandya then put on a show with a 34-ball 91 studded with nine sixes but Kolkata romped home comfortably in the end.
Here are the best moments from Sunday's matches.
Kohli's tryst with toss and RCB's Delhi record broken
Virat Kohli lost his ninth toss in 12 matches this season on Sunday at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The Royal Challengers Bangalore were distraught to see that his call had gone wrong at the toss yet another time. Kohli was quick to make a gesture towards the dressing room indicating by a show of fingers that this was the ninth time this season that the toss had gone against him.
RCB had won all of their last six matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla, a record that stretched back to 2011. Virat Kohli had made half-centuries in all but one of those six matches and had a superb record at the ground. Yet, after the toss failed him on a slow wicket, RCB found themselves struggling in the run-chase after Kohli and de Villiers departed in quick succession. They eventually lost by 16 runs to concede their first loss to Delhi at Feroz Shah Kotla in eight years.
Saini forgets to pitch the ball
Navdeep Saini had done a fine job until the final over of the innings, giving away 28 runs in his first three overs. With Delhi Capitals looking for a final flourish after an ordinary effort until the 19th over, Saini jogged in and bowled four full tosses in the last over of the innings, leaking 20 runs in the process.
The pacy RCB seamer sent down a wide full toss outside off-stump first up. Parthiv Patel could not stop the ball from racing away for four byes after Sherfane Rutherford missed his wild swing. Next ball, a yorker was edged through the slip region for another boundary. More full tosses came in the over as Rutherford and Axar Patel cut loose. Three fours and a six came from Saini's 20-run over as Delhi raced to a competitive 187. The costly final over affected RCB later in the game as they fell short by 16 runs.
Rahul Chahar's unorthodox run-up and desolate day
Rahul Chahar has been brilliant for Mumbai Indians this season. Only 20 of the 70 wickets Mumbai have taken this season have gone to spinners and 10 of those has come from the 19-year old leg-spinner. He upstaged Mayank Markande and Jayant Yadav in the starting XI with his economical spells and wicket-taking abilities and has been a regular in the side in the last few matches. In five out of nine matches this year, the youngster has gone under seven runs an over.
Yet, Eden Gardens did not treat him well with Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill and Andre Russell taking him on. The leg-spinner conceded six sixes in his four-over spell and leaked 54 runs off it as the Kolkata batsmen went on a rampage. He did manage to buy the wicket of Chris Lynn courtesy a queer change in his bowling run-up.
Chahar took position on the right side of the umpire akin to what right-arm bowlers do when going around the stumps. He had the non-striker at the umpire's right-hand side too and ran in from the position to bowl from over the wicket. The unorthodox run up caught Lynn off guard and he hoicked the leg-break to the fielder at long-on. The wicket gave Mumbai their first breakthrough in the match.
Rohit Sharma's act of dissent
This IPL season has been fraught with umpiring errors but Eden Gardens witnessed a disturbing act from Mumbai Indians skipper, Rohit Sharma, for a right call from the umpire.
Harry Gurney went around the wicket in the fourth over of the innings and angled one into Rohit Sharma's pads. The Mumbai skipper went for an ugly swipe across the line but missed the ball entirely. It rapped his pads and the on-field umpire upheld Kolkata's appeals for an LBW.
Rohit challenged the decision by calling for DRS but replays revealed that the ball would have just about clipped the stumps, meaning the umpire's call stood. The visiting skipper seemed quite unhappy with the decision, though it was unclear why exactly, and he was seen having a word with the umpire while knocking down the bails at the non-striker's end with his bats in a show of dissent.
The might of the big hitters - Andre Russell vs Hardik Pandya
Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya seem to be on a one-on-one battle for the most ferocious striker of the season. The Kolkata batsman has struck at a rate of 207.69 this year while Pandya is close on his heels with a strike rate of 198.32.
On Sunday, the big West Indian took Kolkata Knight Riders to 232 batting first, while making 80 in 40 balls with eight sixes and six fours. Russell was on 6 off 12 balls at one point and finished by scoring 50 off his last 17 balls.
On the other hand, Hardik Pandya got off to a stunning start in the run-chase by smoking six sixes off his first 13 deliveries. Mumbai Indians' usage of him at No 6 in a run-chase like this belies logic but Pandya wasted no time in doing his bit to get his side closer once he was in.
He smacked the fastest half-century this season (off 17 balls) and the joint fastest ever for Mumbai Indians. Pandya was eventually dismissed for a brilliant knock of 91 in 34 balls but it wasn't ultimately enough to win Mumbai the game. The question of what would have happened had Mumbai used him the way Kolkata used Russell on Sunday - at No 3 in the batting line-up - is a point for discussion.
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