When saying the IPL 2014 has finally gotten into “full swing,” it’s something to take in both a metaphorical and quite literal sense.
Metaphorically, because all of the eight participating teams have played at least four games. After the early exchanges, where sides were adapting to new ideals and trying to find some fluency with unfamiliar players, the table is beginning to take shape as we approach the business end of the competition.
Literally? Well, because we’ve seen some big, full swings from batsmen, subsequently contributing to a host of enormous totals and crushing victories. The shorter format of the game is geared toward tense finishes and climactic drama, but every now and then, we all enjoy seeing a walloping, don’t we?
So following on from the the Chennai Super Kings’ five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, and sticking with that particular mindset, let’s take a look at what teams have been posting the biggest totals and putting in the most dominant performances in the tournament so far.
All statistics come courtesy of ESPNcricinfo.com
Here are the highest totals accumulated in the tournament at the time of writing:
|IPL 2014: Highest Team Total Standings|
|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|
|Kings XI Punjab||193/6||20.0||Sunrisers Hyderabad|
|Rajasthan Royals||191/3||20.0||Kings XI Punjab|
Leading the way are Kings XI Punjab, who notched 206-4 against the Chennai Super Kings back in their opening game of the tournament.
That clash was an absolute run-fest, with the Super Kings themselves posting a score of 205-4, including knocks of 66 and 67 from openers Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum, respectively. But Punjab came roaring back and accumulated their total of 206 with seven balls to spare.
The successful run chase was down, in no small part, to the exploits of Glenn Maxwell who scored 95 from just 43 deliveries. Maxwell has been scintillating in the tournament up to now, helping Kings XI Punjab score three of the top four highest totals in the tournament so far.
He took to Twitter to express his delight at how things have been going for him in the IPL:
The Aussie all-rounder has been hitting the opposition's bowlers to all parts in the 2014 IPL, and after his knock of 95 in the first game, he’s bagged further scores of 95 and 89 for his team.
Former Indian bowler Ajit Agarkar paid tribute to Maxwell during television commentary, per the Australian Telegraph:
Most batsmen in world cricket these days have six-hitting ability but this is something different — just phenomenal.
Nobody else needs to play for Punjab.
Naturally, with that kind of batting firepower, it’s Kings XI Punjab who currently top the IPL standings with four wins out of four.
Their bowling has left much to be desired at times, but when you have a batting line-up capable of posting close to 200 runs in 20 overs, it makes them a very, very difficult team to beat.
Not only do they have Maxwell, but players like Virender Sehwag, David Miller and skipper George Bailey are all capable of hitting the ball a very long way. They'll be looking to make it five in a row in their next match when taking on the Royal Challengers Bangalore:
If anyone is to better their top score of 206-4, then it looks likely to be themselves.
Biggest Winning Margins
Here are the biggest winning margins in the tournament at the time of writing:
|IPL 2014: Biggest Winning Margins|
|Bangalore Royal Challengers||8 wickets||146||Delhi Daredevils|
|Bangalore Royal Challengers||7 wickets||116||Mumbai Indians|
|Kings XI Punjab||7 wickets||192||Rajasthan Royals|
|Chennai Super Kings||7 wickets||142||Mumbai Indians|
|Chennai Super Kings||93 runs||178||Delhi Daredevils|
|Kings XI Punjab||72 runs||194||Sunrisers Hyderabad|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||41 runs||164||Mumbai Indians|
|Kings XI Punjab||23 runs||133||Kolkata Knight Riders|
Given their aforementioned bowling deficiencies, Kings XI Punjab aren’t quite as dominant in terms of the biggest winning margins, but they still feature prominently.
The greatest winning margin in the tournament to date in terms of runs came when Chennai triumphed over the Delhi Daredevils by 93 runs. The Super Kings posted a score of 177 when batting first, which looked an attainable total for the opposition. But Delhi were undone by an excellent bowling effort from the Super Kings.
They used six different bowlers in the innings, and they all took at least one wicket as the Daredevils found themselves all out for a measly 84 from 15.4 overs.
The Super Kings didn’t bowl with any real blistering pace or aggression, it was a clinic in how to frustrate the opposition, build pressure and force them into mistakes. The line and lengths were tight, and the Daredevils went after balls that were never there to be hit.
The biggest win in terms of wickets also came against the Daredevils, as the Royal Challengers Bangalore comfortably attained their total of 146 with eight wickets remaining.
Bangalore also have the joint-second biggest victory when batting second, as their bowlers restricted the Mumbai Indians to just 116 in their first innings before knocking off their target with seven wickets still intact. They'll be after another strong victory in their next clash, when they take on the flawless Kings XI Punjab team:
Kings XI Punjab also beat the Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets, chasing a considerably more difficult score of 192.
As the tournament advances, expect to see less and less of these big victories. Individuals and teams as a collective will be more conservative in the final knockings of the competition, meaning we could be in for some tighter clashes as the 2014 IPL wears on.
The competition also moves away from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and into India as we move toward the climax. So expect the spinners to play a much more significant role in taking wickets and restricting scoring on the turning Indian wickets. This in turn, should give way to some closer games in the latter stages of the group and eventually the knockout format.