There are two weeks left to play in the 2014 Indian Premier League group stage, and the race for the play-offs is still very much wide open as we enter the final straight.
Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings have really set themselves apart as the two teams to beat in this year's competition, while defending champions Mumbai Indians have started an incredible come-back on home soil following their abysmal run in the United Arab Emirates.
Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore have struggled mightily in recent weeks and look like safe bets to miss the play-offs at this stage of the competition, but things can change very quickly in T20 cricket. With that in mind, let's take a look at the updated league standings.
All statistics are courtesy of ESPN Cricinfo.com, unless stated otherwise.
It's no wonder the list of top run-scorers is dominated by players from Punjab and Chennai, with two pairings taking up the first four spots.
Glenn Maxwell has been dominant since day one of IPL7 and leads all batsmen with 460 runs, averaging well over a half-century. South Africa's David Miller 284 completes the top four, with two Super Knights sandwiched in between.
Dwayne Smith (396) and Brendon McCullum (327) are two of the sport's most consistent contributors, and batting early in Chennai's order, the two have often set the tone for dominant performances throughout.
Maxwell is the IPL's leader in strike rate since joining the competition in 2012, with his continued dominance in 2014, he looks likely to break the single-season record for runs (733), currently held by Chris Gayle (who did it in 15 matches) and Michael Hussey.
In order to break the record however, Maxwell will have to return to the pace he set at the start of the tournament, hitting multiple near-centuries to open his season.
Whether he breaks the record or not, his continued dominance as a batsman is simply incredible, a sentiment echoed by Harsha Bhogle
Of course, part of what makes Maxwell great is his dominance as both a batsman and a bowler, something which is very rare in 2014. Freddie Wilde would love to see that match-up:
Speaking of bowling, this year's top bowler has undoubtedly been Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The 25-year-old Sunriser leads the IPL in economy rate (5.49) and bowling average (11.53) and is tied for most wickets taken with Chennai's Mohit Sharma, at 15.
Those 15 wickets are less than half of Dwayne Bravo's record of 32, a record he set last year in 18 matches. The West Indies man suffered an injury earlier in the tournament and has been ruled out for the rest of the competition, per Cricket Australia:
It won't open the door for anyone to come in and steal his record, however. Kumar has been sensational in death-bowling this season and looks set to play an even bigger part in the future of the Men In Blue, but his four wickets against Delhi greatly padded his stats in that category.
Sharma meanwhile has been one of the absolute revelations of the tournament, and backed by a very explosive group of batsmen, the Chennai bowler can afford to take a few more chances as he goes looking for wickets.
At some point the experience will start to factor in however, and a target of 32 wickets seems too steep for either player to achieve.
One more record that could fall this year is that of hat-tricks, with Shane Watson joining Pravin Tambe as the second player to do it in IPL7, as shared by Royals:
Twice has the IPL seen three hat-tricks in a single season, being 2008 and 2009, and with several bowlers seemingly rounding into form at just the right time and two weeks of competition remaining, 2014 could be the year the magical record is finally broken.
Amit Mishra is the IPL's hat-trick king, having achieved the milestone a record three times, and while his main contribution to IPL7 has so far been this vine, as shared by Bleacher Report UK, you wouldn't bet against the man to be the one to score this year's third hat-trick.
Mishra has been overshadowed by his younger teammate Kumar so far, taking just six wickets and surrendering an uncharacteristic 237 runs, the worst mark on the Sunrisers team.
Indeed, Mishra's tournament has been nothing short of a disaster, as the veteran has contributed little on the other end as well, scoring four runs in two overs, including a duck.
But despite the veteran's lackluster showing so far in IPL7, he did become just the second bowler to take 100 wickets in IPL history on Saturday, catching Delhi's Kevin Pietersen to achieve the remarkable feat.
Mishra would add another one to bring his career mark to 101, trailing only Lasith Malinga and his 114 on the list of all-time wicket takers.
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