Thursday saw yet another defeat for Delhi Daredevils as Rajasthan Royals made short work of them in Ahmedabad. After the Royals racked up a giant 201-6, Delhi had no answers and were restricted to just 139/9 from their 20 overs.
This result has no effect on the standings, with Rajasthan staying in third place and Delhi still rooted to the bottom of the table. However, it does keep the Royals in touch with Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings who are leading the way.
Meanwhile, things look pretty desperate for Kevin Pietersen and his Delhi side. The defeat on Thursday was their sixth in a row and their ninth in 11 games. They can no longer reach the semi-finals, but just getting off the bottom of the table is probably their aim now.
|15 May||41||Rajasthan Royals bt. Delhi Daredevils by 62 runs|
|14 May||40||Kolkata Knight Riders bt. Mumbai Indians by 6 wickets|
|14 May||39||Kings XI Punjab bt. Sunrisers Hyderabad by 6 wickets|
|13 May||38||Royal Challengers Bangalore bt. Delhi Daredevils by 16 runs|
|13 May||37||Chennai Super Kings bt. Rajasthan Royals by 5 wickets|
Key Stats and Top Performers
The stat that matters most is the points total written beside each team in the standings. The number 16 next to Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings, after just 10 matches, is a thoroughly impressive return.
Whilst Chennai always perform well, the Kings XI have been more of a surprise package. Both are now all but guaranteed a place in the semi-finals thanks to their tremendous form.
It is no surprise that the top two teams in the IPL boast the two men with the most runs to their name, both of whom have enjoyed excellent league campaigns so far.
The star of this year’s IPL—at least with the bat—remains Glenn Maxwell, and he looks unlikely to be stripped of that accolade any time soon. The Australian has scored the most runs (517), hit the most sixes (34), as well as the top three individual scores and the highest strike rate (198.08).
His barbaric performances with bat in hand have taken Kings XI Punjab to the top of the table, and you would not bet against them staying there if he keeps this form up.
His nearest competitor with the bat is Dwayne Smith of Chennai Super Kings who has hit 440 runs and walloped 29 sixes. This leaves him in second place behind Maxwell in both those stakes.
Also impressing with the bat is Sunrisers Hyderabad wicket keeper, Naman Ohja. He comes in down the innings, but is a very useful man to have around at the death as he has been scoring at a strike rate of 185.52. His 79 not out the Kings XI is a major reason why he is averaging over 70 for the tournament.
The best bowler in the tournament thus far is much less cut and dried, but Bhuvneshwar Khumar holds the coveted Purple Cap heading into Match 42. The 24-year-old is developing into a death-bowling specialist and has removed 18 batsmen so far this tournament.
His recent improvement is down to numerous factors, but a key reason is his partnership with South African paceman, Dale Steyn, at Sunrisers Hyderabad. Kumar told IANS, h/t IBNlive.in:
It has been a great experience. I'm really learning a lot from him [Steyn]. Bowling with him has been a pleasure. He shares his knowledge and experience of playing international cricket so successfully and his advice has helped me enormously.
Level with Kumar on 18 wickets is Mohit Sharma, who has continued his fine form with the ball from last season with Chennai Super Kings. The medium-pacer took 20 wickets last year and is well on course to surpass that total.
CSK are almost guaranteed to reach the final four, and few would expect them not to reach the final itself. Given his strike rate, Mohit could well be in line to claim the Purple Cap by the end of the tournament.
Always impressive with the ball in the IPL is Lasith Malinga. He is the all-time leading wicket-taker in this competition, and he is unsurprisingly up there with the best once again.
The Sri Lankan has taken 16 wickets in 10 games, however. His tournament looks set to be cut short, unless Mumbai Indians can make a spectacular recovery to make the semi-finals.