Enthralling IPL 2019

Young Bites. Dated: 5/15/2019 7:28:11 AM

The 12th IPL season ended on the note its thrills and controversies had promised. An enthralling Indian Premier League season produced a gripping last-ball finish in Hyderabad, with Mumbai Indians securing an unprecedented fourth crown. Sunday’s tense, seesawing final ended in heartbreak for Chennai Super Kings and ecstasy for Rohit Sharma’s side. This was a clash between the League’s two most successful teams, and there was little to separate them in the end. All four of Mumbai’s titles have arrived in the last seven seasons, and key to that continued success has been the retention of a strong core of players. Lasith Malinga remains a force to reckon with even at 35, as he proved with his nerveless final over. Jasprit Bumrah, who finished with 19 wickets and an incredible economy rate of 6.63 for the season, is the finest death-overs bowler in the world today. Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard again made a difference with their lower-order striking. Among Mumbai’s newer faces, the leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who had played only three IPL matches ahead of this season, performed a vital role. CSK should derive encouragement from the manner in which it fought for the trophy, with an ageing squad that clearly had a number of gaps. The batting was a concern throughout, and if not for the efforts of bowlers Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir, and Ravindra Jadeja, and the astute leadership of M.S. Dhoni, the team may not even have qualified for the playoffs. The IPL’s 12th edition had its share of thrills and controversies. A spirited, young Delhi Capitals side entertained, as did Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell with his ferocious hitting. There were two hat-tricks and six centuries. Australia’s David Warner, who with Steve Smith was returning to high-profile cricket since the ban for ball-tampering, was in devastating form, topping the charts with 692 runs. Tahir’s 26 wickets, the most for a spinner in one season, made him the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. R. Ashwin’s act of ‘mankading’ Jos Buttler sparked some unnecessary moralising while there were a number of contentious umpiring calls; even the normally composed Dhoni stormed on to the field to protest one decision. It was feared that with the World Cup around the corner, the IPL would be a watered-down affair. English and Australian stars did fly home early to join their national teams, but love for the IPL remained undiminished in India. The country’s focus will now shift to the World Cup, with Dhoni, Rohit, Bumrah, Jadeja and Pandya having just a few weeks to recover from the IPL exertions. With England, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies having begun their preparations already, India will hope its players can quickly switch to the one-day mode.

 

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