I feel like I’m repeating myself at this stage of the Indian Premier League schedule every season, but once again Mumbai Indians have risen from the ashes and look favorites to clinch that all-important fourth spot for the playoffs. R. Ashwin’s Kings XI Punjab, helmed by a furious Preity Zinta, seems to have pulled off the biggest choke in IPL history after winning 5 out of their first 7 games. At one point, they looked to be the team that might seal its playoff spot before others. But they have lost 5 of their next 6 games, and now find themselves at the mercy of other results even if they win their final game against CSK on Sunday.
Things look like they will go down to the wire between three teams – MI has to win their final game to qualify, and if they do, KKR must defeat SRH in their final game to qualify on points alone, while RCB must win their last two games and hope for either KKR or MI to lose their last game.
But for now, let’s leave all the complications to the warring teams. This season’s IPL, along with the conventional statistics like ‘most runs’ and ‘best average’, has some strange numbers.
Let’s take a closer look at some of them:
8 – the number of ducks scored between Mumbai’s top three batsmen in 13 games. Skipper Rohit has scored 3, Ishan Kishan 3 and opener Ewan Lewis 2. Suryakumar Yadav has been their only consistent batsman.
2 – the number of teams in which the three best batsmen have a strike rate of 150+ this season. CSK has Ambati Rayadu, Shane Watson and MS Dhoni scoring at a high rate, while KKR has Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik, and Andre Russell doing so. But CSK has been the most consistent because all three of their batsmen have more than 400 runs to their name, while a rejuvenated Dhoni, in fact, averages more than 100.
4 – the number of batsmen who have scored at least 30 percent of their total teams runs so far. KL Rahul (33), Rishabh Pant (30), Kane Williamson (31) and Jos Buttler (30) are the teams’ individual batting stars. KL Rahul and Jos Buttler have 4 nineties between them.
2 – the number of batsmen who have hit 1 four and 11 sixes in an innings this season. Both are West Indians. Chris Gayle’s 104 against SRH and Andre Russell’s 88 against CSK were the six-laden assaults.
459 – the match aggregate of the Kings XI v/s KKR game at Indore. It is the second highest match aggregate in the history of IPL cricket after the CSK v/s RR match at Chennai in 2010. Its run-rate of 11.47 is the second highest run-rate of any IPL match ever, too, after the CSK game (11.72).
102 – the number of runs in four and sixes alone scored by Rishabh Pant in his 128 against SRH. Despite his century in boundaries alone, DD lost the match by a stunning 9 wickets.
2 – the number of bowlers with an economy rate of under 6 an over. Sandeep Sharma (SRH) has conceded only 181 runs in his 31 overs for 8 wickets, while Kiwi spinner Ish Sodhi (RR) has conceded 89 runs in 15 overs for 4 wickets.
39 – the number of outfield catches taken by the top 5 Mumbai Indians fielders so far. Rohit, Suryakumar, the Pandya brothers have taken 8 each, while Cutting has taken 7. No five fielders from any other team have taken as many catches between them.
1 – Punjab is the only team with a five-wicket haul (Ankit Rajpoot) and three four-wicket hauls (Andrew Tye). They have the Orange cap holder (KL Rahul) and Purple Cap holder (Tye), and yet they are on the verge of crashing out of IPL 11.
3 – the SRH pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson have three of the five biggest partnerships in this season’s IPL: 176, 123 and 121. No other pair has three-century partnerships this year.