Bottlejobs, run-fests, sluggish tracks, snoozefests, brilliant individual performances, breaking of the streak, new streaks, low-scoring nerve-janglers, high-scoring humdingers, the second week of IPL 2021 had enough drama to whet the appetite of cricket fans.
On that note, the Bharat Army a look at some of the top IPL Moments from the 2nd week of IPL 2021-
#6 SunRisers Hyderabad bottle another chase
SunRisers Hyderabad had bottled a winning position in their previous fixture against the Royal Challengers Bangalore leading into their third match of the season against Mumbai Indians, and guess what, they did an encore of it to make it two in a row.
Needing 138 to win, the 'Orange Army' was going great guns when Jonny Bairstow (43 off 22 balls) was smashing it to all corners during the 67-run opening stand.
But a freakish dismissal of Bairstow (hit-wicket) and a needless run-out of David Warner (36 off 34 balls) laid the cornerstone of yet another middle-order choke as they eventually ended up 13 runs short of the target.
David Warner was left searching for words in the post-match presentation to describe his team's performance, and the same was the case with thousands of 'Orange Army' fans.
#5 The Glenn Maxwell- AB de Villiers show in Chepauk
The track in Chennai has been slow, sluggish, so much so that it has proceeded to knock the stuffing out of a majority of the batsmen.
Not, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers though. The duo proceeded to showcase a masterclass in how to bat in Chennai as they pulverized the KKR bowling attack to the hilt.
Coming in at 2/9, it was Glenn Maxwell, who laid the platform for an eventual masterclass by AB de Villers. Maxwell was at his imperious best as he cut, pulled, slog-swept, scooped, reverse-swept with absolute disdain during his 49-ball 78.
And, if that wasn't enough, AB de Genius (Villiers) then proceeded to take center stage in what was an assault for the ages, especially against Andre Russell. He dabbed, he lofted, he pulled, and as he admitted in the post-match interview that he surprised even himself with the kind of strokes he played during his 34-ball 76*.
#4 Delhi Capitals finally break their losing streak against Mumbai Indians
The Capitals were the runners-up in IPL 2020 but during the course of the tournament, they were consistently trumped by Mumbai Indians.
The Rohit Sharma-led MI rolled them over twice in the group stage before dismantling them in the Qualifier and the finals.
But, the Delhi Capitals, this past week, finally managed to get one over their bogey team in Chennai.
The win was set up by a brilliant spell from veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who came back brilliantly after being hit for a couple of boundaries in his first over, to knock over the cream of MI's batting unit.
Mishra's 4/24 helped DC restrict MI to 9/137, which they chased down thanks to a mature 42-ball 45 by Shikhar Dhawan and unbeaten knocks from Lalit Yadav (22* off 25) and Shimron Hetmyer, who scored a 9-ball 14*.
#3 Russell and Pat Cummins blitz in vain as CSK pull off their third consecutive win
Imagine you are chasing 221 to win and you are reduced to 5/31 in the powerplay. How would you approach the situation?
Will you go with a defeatist mindset or will you take the game by the scruff off its neck and assert your authority? Not sure about you guys but Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and Pat Cummins certainly belong to the latter category.
And, they showed that to the hilt against CSK. Down and out at 5/31, Dre Russ launched a stunning counterattack on CSK as he smashed a breathtaking 22-ball 54 with the help of three fours and six monstrous sixes.
Russell was finally dismissal by Sam Curran, who bowled the West Indies round his legs. But the game wasn't done yet. Dinesh Karthik and Pat Cummins kept KKR in the game with some imperious ball-striking and even when DK was dismissed by Lungi Ngidi, Cummins held the fort.
The Australian pacer, who had earlier been taken for more than 50 in his four overs, laid into Sam Curran, smashing him for 30 runs in one over.
Cummins smoked a whirlwind 34-ball 66 but he eventually ran out of partners as CSK survived the scare to romp home by 18 runs.
#2 Devdutt Padikkal announces his arrival in IPL 2021 with a blistering ton
Devdutt Padikkal had a breakout IPL 2020 in which he smashed more than 400 runs for RCB. But his strike rate of 121 and his inability to change gears after the powerplay left a lot to be desired.
Padikkal had an indifferent start to his IPL 2021 campaign. He missed the first game against MI due to Covid and then struggled on sluggish Chepauk tracks in his first two outings.
But, Padikkal showcased his skills to the hilt during his first stint on a placid Wankhede track against Rajasthan Royals as he became the third-youngest Indian uncapped players to smash an IPL ton.
It was an innings full of cricketing porn by the southpaw as he cut, pulled, drove, slog-swept with absolute disdain. So much so that even the legendary Virat Kohli was forced to play second fiddle.
Padikkal's unbeaten 52-ball 101 and Virat's 72* off 47 balls meant that RCB made a mockery of the target of 178 as they romped home by ten wickets to register their 4th win on the bounce.
#1 3D Jadeja overwhelms RCB with the Bat, the ball, and God mode fielding
The Rajput swordsman has a rate of 192.45, the 2nd best in IPL, an economy rate of 6.05 from 18 overs, the second-best for any bowler who has bowled more than eight overs this IPL season. And 7 catches, again, second on the list this IPL. Combine all those numbers and Jadeja will emerge not as the second-best but the best all-rounder around - at least in T20s, if not across formats. He was in full control of the show against RCB as he smashed Patel for a whooping 37-runs in the last over, picked up 3 wickets from 13 runs in his quota of 4 overs, and fielded like a God. Total domination!
Rising Star of the week- Devdutt Padikkal (RCB)
Glenn Maxwell, who has played a couple of brilliant knocks in IPL 2021 thus far, has described Devdutt Padikkal's unbeaten ton against Rajasthan Royals as the best innings of the season thus far.
Now, that is a pretty high praise from someone who has himself lit up this IPL with his amazing strokeplay. But, one can understand where Maxi is coming from.
The innings that Devdutt Padikkal played against the Royals might not be the most explosive hundred that you would ever see but it was certainly one of the most beautiful knocks you'd see in T20 cricket.
It was a display of pure cricketing shots from the young southpaw from Karnataka that would whet the appetite of any purist.
The way he rocked back on his backfoot and flayed those pull shots; the way he leaned into his drives; the way he thumped the ball on the rise without ever losing his shape; the manner in which he danced down the track and deposited the spinners in the stands; his backlift; it was close to Nirvana.
And, it was only fitting that he brought up his hundred with a blistering cover-drive to become the third-youngest uncapped Indian to smash an IPL hundred.
Bharat Army Player of the Week: Ravindra Jadeja
Match of the week:
CSK V KKR, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Result: CSK won by 18 runs
Easily the game of the week; one that had the nonchalance of Ruturaj Gaikwad, the artistry of Faf du Plessis, swing masterclass by Deepak Chahar, the brute force of Andre Russell; the temperament of Sam Curran and the skill and character of Pat Cummins.
This game had it all. It was a crazy run-fest on a road masquerading as Wankhede pitch as more than 400 runs were scored across 40 overs.
Chennai Super Kings, riding on the back of a brilliant 115-run-stand between Faf du Plessis (95* off 60) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (64 off 42 balls), racked up 3/220 in 20 overs and when Deepak Chahar's four-wicket-haul reduced Kolkata Knight Riders to 5/31 in the powerplay, it looked like the game was heading in one direction.
But the likes of Andre Russell (54 off 22), Dinesh Karthik (40 off 24), and Pat Cummins (66* off 34) had other ideas.
Russell and DK started the onslaught as they racked up 81 runs in just 6 overs. Russell was eventually dismissed by Sam Curran for an enthralling 22-ball 54, as was Dinesh Karthik thanks to a brilliant slower one by Lungi Ngidi.
But the carnage did not stop. Pat Cummins smashed CSK bowlers to all corners of the Wankhede stadium to keep his team in the hunt. The Australian smashed Sam Curran for 30 runs in one over but he eventually ran out of partners as CSK survived a huge scare to eventually close out the game.