The last week in IPL 2019 was action packed with close finishes, controversies and some great contest between bat and ball. The last week also saw CSK posting two last-over wins, while RCB managed to break their six-match losing run and post their maiden win in IPL 2019.
Cricwizz makes a Team of the Week of the top performers in the last week of IPL 2019 (from April 8 to April 14).
David Warner & Chris Gayle
David Warner looks like a man on a mission. He wants to make amends of all the time he spent on exile during his one-year ban for ball tampering.
He has been the best opener around in IPL 2019 and has consistently given starts to his team Sunrisers Hyderabad although his partner Jonny Bairstow may have dropped form after showing promise initially.
In the past week, Warner has scores of 70* against Kings XI Punjab and 51 against Delhi Capitals. But alas, both came in the losing causes. But Warner held one end up and anchored the innings both the times.
Gayle played three matches in the past week and had scores of 16 against SRH, 63 against Mumbai Indians, and 99* against RCB. He saw two of his big knocks in the past week go in vain as Punjab lost the matches.
Gayle was brutal in the clash against RCB as he looked determined to make his former team RCB pay for not retaining them.
Gayle was unlucky to miss out a ton against RCB as he was left stranded on 99*. But he entertained one and all with his power hitting during his knock of 99*. He repeatedly punched, pulled and drove RCB bowling attack for the big hits and made them run for cover.
Ambati Rayudu, Virat Kohli
RCB played only one match in the past week and ended up as winners to record their maiden win in the tournament after six losses. RCB skipper Virat Kohli was the architect of the win.
He opened the innings with Parthiv Patel and set the platform to chase down a stiff target of 174. He and Patel posted a quick stand of 43 in less than 4 overs. Kohli scored a master-class 53-ball 67 with 8 fours.
Although AB de Villiers did the finishing job, it was Kohli’s aggressive batting that set the tempo for the win.
Ambati Rayudu played three matches for CSK in the past week and had scores of 22, 57, 5. His 57 was vital to CSK chasing down 152 after being reduced to 24/4 in the powerplay.
He and skipper MS Dhoni revived the innings with some sensible batting display to take CSK across the finish line. For Rayudu’s match-winning knock of 47-ball 57 with 2 fours and 3 sixes, he gets into this Team of the Week.
Dhoni continues to be the most inspiring leader in the past week, leading his team to two wins. CSK are top of the table at the moment, with 7 wins out of 8 games and looks certain to book a place in playoffs.
A lot of credit goes to Dhoni for marshalling his ageing resources extremely well and motivating them to give nothing but their best. Their never-say-die attitude has come to help them out in every game so far. They posted two last-over wins in the past week, with the game against Rajasthan Royals being an absolute thriller.
Although Dhoni copped a bit of criticism for losing his cool in the last over of the match against Rajasthan after a no-ball was overruled, it cannot be denied the legend’s presence as captain has made all the difference to the team’s results.
Dhoni has also led from the front, setting up an example for his teammates.
In the game against Rajasthan Royals, Dhoni and Rayudu combined to post a match-winning stand of 95 runs in chase of 152 after being reduced to 24/4 in the powerplay. Dhoni scored a brilliant 43-ball 58 to set the platform for the win before Mitchell Santner cracked a last-ball six to take CSK across the finish line.
Dhoni is straight fourth-time skipper-keeper in Cricwizz’s Team of the Week.
Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell
It’s the West Indian star power when it comes to all-rounders in IPL 2019. In the past week, two West Indians in Kieron Pollard of MI and Andre Russell of KKR produced some breath-taking batting display.
Pollard was extremely special, single-handedly winning a match for Mumbai with his clean hitting. In the game against Kings XI Punjab, he slammed 31-ball 83 with 10 fours and 3 sixes to help MI chase down a target of 198.
He came to bat at No 4 when MI needed 142 runs in 12.2 overs. He led from the front and destroyed the Punjab bowling attack with his big hits.
Andre Russell was at his best again in the past week and posted his maiden fifty in the tournament after a few match-winning scores of 40s.
He had scores of 50* against CSK, 45 against DC, and 10 against CSK. It all came in losing causes, but if not for Russell’s knocks, KKR would have been beaten comprehensively in all the three games.
Russell was the glue with which KKR held their innings together. In the clash against KKR at Chennai, he scored 50* in a team’s score of 108/9. In the clash against DC, he scored 21-ball 45 with 3 fours and 4 sixes. KKR have been one-man show so far thanks to Andre Russell.
Imran Tahir and Krunal Pandya
Imran Tahir is proving age is just a number. He is the standout spinner in IPL 2019 and his energy-filled celebration post every dismissal is infectious. It evokes a lot of motivation in the CSK camp.
The team, almost regularly, is able to bail themselves out of crisis and win games.
And Tahir has a lot to contribute to CSK’s winning momentum. He played three matches for CSK in the past week and took 6 wickets. He had bowling figures of 2/21, 0/28, 4/27 in the three matches.
He was exceptional in the clash against KKR taking 4/27 and bagging prize wickets of Chris Lynn, Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa, and the dangerous Andre Russell.
Krunal is fast developing into a mature spinning-all-rounder. He played two matches for MI in the past week and made his bowling count. He took 0/17 against Kings XI Punjab and 3/34 against Rajasthan Royals.
His bowling was most effective in the clash against Royals as he took two quick wickets in the death overs to give Mumbai hope of an unlikely win. Pandya took prize wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi.
Deepak Chahar and K Rabada
It’s for nothing that K Rabada is rated as one of the best limited-overs bowlers in the world. He has been the reason for Delhi Capitals’ sudden rise from the dead.
In the two matches last week, he took 6 wickets and has bowling figures of 2/42 against KKR, and 4/22 against SRH. He was particularly lethal in the clash against SRH, dismissing the dangerous David Warner and Vijay Shankar before coming back to polish off the tail.
In the match against KKR, he dismissed Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik to stop Kolkata from piling up a match-winning total.
It’s rather strange how MS Dhoni continues to motivate his pace bowlers to deliver their best for CSK, while the same players struggle while playing for other teams or even in international cricket.
And the same goes for Deepak Chahar who under Dhoni has prospered in this IPL. Chahar played three matches for CSK in the past week, taking 5 wickets. He has had bowling figures of 3/20 against KKR at home, 2/33 against RR, and 0/36 against KKR away.
He was extremely unplayable against KKR in the home game, bowling 20 dot balls in his 4-over spell taking 3/20. He is easily the best Indian pace-bowler in IPL 2019.
Team of the Week: Chris Gayle, David Warner, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (captain/keeper), Imran Tahir, Krunal Pandya, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Deepak Chahar, K Rabada.