The IPL came to an end around twenty minutes ago, and to be honest, the playoffs were one of the dullest playoffs of any season ever. Even if Mumbai fixed the final last year and won it just by a run, it was more interesting than these four games. We didn’t even have a single banter moment in any of the matches, meaning the final IPL review for 2018 will be as dull as the playoffs ;((. Here we go then…
The Hyderabad team was rechristened as Sunrisers Afghanistan after Afghan player Rashid Khan gave us the best all-round performance in the IPL, ever. In the second qualifier, Kolkata played against Hyderabad to see who goes to the final. The latter were going through a Kings XI Punjab phase after they had lost four on the trot. The Knight Riders were better in terms of form, but it didn’t matter in the end.
Hyderabad batted first and were heading towards a lowly total somewhere in the 140s if it wasn’t for Rashid Khan doing a mad one. Khan came on at six down and smashed 34 runs in just 10 balls, with four sixes and two fours. His stellar knock meant that SRH got 174 runs on the board, and were still in the game. Wriddhiman Saha and Shikhar Dhawan were their usual mediocre selves and played out mediocre innings in the thirties to give their team a decent start.
The KKR started off well as Sunil Narine struck 26 off 13 in one of his typical heave-and-hope innings while Chris Lynn almost got a half-century. The middle-order collapsed though, and Rashid Khan was everywhere. He took the wickets of Lynn, Uthappa and Russell while bowling, took the catches off Mavi and Gill to dismiss them and even run out Nitish Rana. Rashid was involved in six of the nine total Kolkata wickets.
Despite the alright start, Kolkata lost by fourteen runs and the Telangana government started talking about potentially renaming Hyderabad after Rashid and changing the team name to Rashid CC. This also meant that the Sunrisers would take on Chennai in the finals.
It probably is just me being sad that my team got knocked out, but I didn’t really feel the excitement of this IPL final. Maybe the overall results of the playoffs decreased the excitement as well but I don’t really know why the game just didn’t appeal to me. Right enough of my useless chatter, let’s get on to the GRAND FINAL 2018!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chennai took the ball first and put Hyderabad into bat. Shreevats Goswami was run out for 5 but Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson steadied the ship with scores in the 20s and 40s respectively. After Williamson’s unfortunate stumping, the Hyderabad middle-order stood up and actually played well for the first time in about two years. Bangladeshi drama queen Shakib Al Hasan (genuinely don’t know why he played so much for Hyderabad, he isn’t that good) made 23 runs whereas Yusuf Pathan (still around) played his token good innings of the year and scored a solid 45 off 25. All this got Hyderabad to 178 and got them set up for a final winning innings.
The Super Kings started off in a VERY test-match styled fashion. Shane Watson was 0 off 10 at a point and Faf du Plessis was dismissed early. Unfortunately, after that, things didn’t really go Hyderabad’s way.
Somebody told Watson that the game only lasted twenty overs and he snapped out of his test-phase and smashed 117 runs alone. Considering that he was on zero after ten balls, Watson hit those runs in just 47 balls which is quite impressive. Suresh Raina was on the other end and played a ghost-ish knock but somehow still got 30-odd runs. Watson’s century was enough to get CSK over the line with nine balls to spare and to make them the IPL Champions for the third time.
Think there are like 8-9 awards given at the end of every season, and most of them are irrelevant. Let’s get on to the ones that are relevant and see who won what.
Emerging Player: Delhi Daredevils star Rishabh Pant got the award for the emerging player. Deservedly so in my opinion, as the boy was the second highest run-getter with 684 runs in total.
Fair Play Award: Mumbai Indians win the fair play award, nothing more ironic than that. Presume they won it for not fixing a game this season.
Catch of the Season: New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult wins the catch of the season, think AB de Villiers’ one was better but oh well I’ll take it.
Big Hitter Award: Sunil Narine wins this one, world-class season for him. He was at the top of the overall run scoring list at a point.
Purple Cap (Most Wickets): Andrew Tye wins the Purple Cap for picking up 24 wickets. Keep in mind Punjab didn’t even reach the playoffs. This is also the first time two clothing items have won awards in the IPL after Rishabh Pant’s prizes.
Orange Cap: Kane Williamson wins the award for the most runs, fair play to him. 735 runs this season, third highest tally for any batsman ever after Kohli 2016 and Warner 2016.
MVP: Sunil Narine wins the Most Valuable Player award and speaks a few sentences. Genuinely the first time I’ve heard him speak. Never speaks, has no emotions on his face yet is the best player of the season, I suspect alien involvement. This is also Narine’s second MVP award by the way.
THAT brings us to the end of this season’s final IPL review. Even though we began quite late, it’s been a good journey. You’ll still see me making rundown jokes about cricketers though, but only once a week. For now, I’m off to Google+ after I got suspended from Twitter.