The IPL 2014 is beginning to take shape in earnest after the competing teams start to play out their second games of the competition.
Over this shorter format, matches can become extremely tight, making for some very tense finishes. But often, if a batsman gets on a roll, the game can be over very quickly. Everyone loves a close finale, but a player whacking it to all parts can be just as spectacular to watch.
Despite it being relatively early days in the competition, we’ve already been witness to some brutal shotmaking and dominant batting form a host of sides and individual players.
So after Kings XI Punjab enjoyed a seven-wicket over the Rajasthan Royals, lets run the rule over highest team totals so far, the top match aggregates and the biggest victories in this year’s tournament.
Highest Team Totals
Here’s a rundown of the highest team totals that have been notched so far:
|Kings XI Punjab||206/4||18.5||Chennai Super Kings|
|Chennai Super Kings||205/4||20.0||Kings XI Punjab|
|Kings XI Punjab||193/3||18.4||Rajasthan Royals|
|Rajasthan Royals||191/3||20.0||Kings XI Punjab|
|Delhi Daredevils||167/6||19.3||Kolkata Knight Riders|
Leading the way so far with a whopping total of 206/4 is Kings XI Punjab. An even more impressive feat when you consider they still had seven balls remaining in the innings!
The Mohali team accumulated their total in their opening game against the Chennai Super Kings. A significant chunk came courtesy of Glenn Maxwell’s bat, as he struck 95 from just 43 to help chase down the Super Kings’ score of 205/4.
The performances of Maxwell have impressed many, including Australian fast bowler Trent Copeland:
Maxwell was at it again in Kings XI Punjab’s second game, as the Aussie helped his team to a score of 193/3, chasing down the Rajasthan Royals’ total of 191/5.
This time Maxwell struck 89 from 45 balls, a knock that included eight fours and six sixes. He was assisted by South African David Miller, who hit six sixes in his knock of 51 from a meagre 19 deliveries.
At this early stage, it’s clear that Kings XI Punjab have some of the most explosive batting talent in the competition. If they can sharpen up with the ball and in the field, giving the batting line-up considerably easier totals to chase down, we could be looking at this year’s potential champions.
Top Match Aggregates
Here are your top match aggregates from the tournament so far:
|Team 1||Team 2||Runs||Wkts||Overs|
|Chennai Super Kings||Kings XI Punjab||411||8||38.5|
|Rajasthan Royals||Kings XI Punjab||384||8||38.4|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||Delhi Daredevils||333||11||39.3|
|Delhi Daredevils||Royal Challengers Bangalore||291||6||36.4|
|Mumbai Indians||Kolkata Knight Riders||285||12||40.0|
Kings XI Punjab feature heavily again after their enormous run chases against the Super Kings and the Royals. The two games involving the Mohali team have served up a huge 795 runs in total, and with the likes of Maxwell and Miller firing, they are looking increasingly like the most exciting team in the competition.
A team struggling for runs are the Mumbai Indians. They’ve accumulated totals of 122 and 115 in their two batting innings’ so far, meaning they’re overall tournament run rate is less than a run per ball.
In the Twenty20 format, that is criminally slow going. Going forward, they need to play with greater aggression at the start of their innings. In Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga they have two top-class bowling options, but that counts for nothing unless the batsmen get their act together.
Here are the most dominant performances we’ve seen in the IPL 2014 so far:
|Kolkata Knight Riders||41 runs||N/A||164||Mumbai Indians|
|Bangalore||8 wickets||20||146||Delhi Daredevils|
|Bangalore||7 wickets||15||116||Mumbai Indians|
|Mohali T20||7 wickets||8||192||Rajasthan Royals|
|Mohali T20||6 wickets||7||206||Chennai Super Kings|
As we’ve already touched upon, the Mumbai Indians have struggled with the bat, and that allowed the Kolkata Knight Riders to coast to a comfortable 41-run victory in the tournament opener.
Elsewhere, it’s the teams that have been batting second that have been coming out on top in this tournament, with the winners of six of the seven matches to date having been teams chasing down a total.
We’ve already mentioned the Kings XI Punjab team’s ability to chase down a big total, but the Royal Challengers Bangalore have been just as clinical in their run chases so far. They won their first game by eight wickets with 20 balls remaining and their second by seven wickets with 15 balls remaining, showing wonderful poise under pressure in both.
All statistics courtesy of ESPNcricinfo.com.