IPL 2023: Young blood like Sai Sudarshan and Sanju Samson shine as veterans create records 


Gujarat Titans's Shubman Gill and Sai Sudharsan during the match against Chennai Super Kings on Friday (ANI)

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Chennai/Ahmedabad

Sai Sudharsan, the young batter from Tamil Nadu, rose to the occasion as defending champions Gujarat Titans recorded their second straight win of the IPL 2023 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday night.

Chasing a tricky 163 for victory against Delhi Capitals, the Hardik Pandya-led side won the contest with six wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare, thanks largely to Sudharsan’s unbeaten 62 that came off 48 balls and included four boundaries and a couple of sixes. The 21-year-old put on 56 runs in the company of David Miller, who stayed unbeaten on a 16-ball 31. Earlier, spinner Rashid Khan was at his usual best for the Titans, taking 3/31 in 4 overs.

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami too accounted for three wickets but was pretty expensive, conceding 41 runs. Anil Kumble hailed Sudharsan’s knock on JioCinema, saying: “He looked like a very organized player. Good against fast bowling, good against swing. He came into the first game as an impact player and certainly created an impact, he played a cameo.”

“Today, it was 3-down and all the big stars gone. Shubman Gill was gone, Saha got out, and his captain Hardik Pandya got out. Both the Tamil Nadu guys (Vijay Shankar and Sudharsan) got together and put together a partnership. Gujarat has always created that aura about themselves ‘we’ll restrict you to 160 and get that’. With an impact player, it makes it even easier for them. Sai Sudharsan constructed the innings perfectly,” added Kumble.

Parthiv Patel was also extremely impressed with Sudharsan. “Sudarshan is 21 years old. He’s been playing First Class cricket for the last two years,” said Patel. “If you watch him bat, you’ll think he is a very technically correct player. He doesn’t try to smack the ball. There are benefits to him having played last season as well and when you play for a winning team, it changes your mentality. You know that you have players that can create some room and manage a game, which gives you a little time. He showed great maturity with the way he was batting tonight, and this will benefit him in the future.”

meanwhile, pointed out some flaws in the way Delhi chose their bowling attack for the game. “I think the bowling selection was incorrect for this. They played with few pacers, Sarfaraz was their fourth pacer against a team that has a battery of pacers. At the start, I felt they should start with Nortje. There was a mistake in the captaincy, as Nortje proved his impact by taking wickets in his first over. That shows that you were thinking you have to extend the game when you should’ve stopped the game right there. The best bowler should get his duties at the right time. So, they made a mistake with the selection by taking too many pacers and then incorrectly rotating their best available pacers,” said Singh.

“Want to keep the intent, aggression going”: Shikhar Dhawan

After winning the consecutive 2nd match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, Punjab Kings (PBKS) skipper Shikhar Dhawan said that he wants to keep the intent and aggression going in the upcoming matches also.

With the help of Dhawan and opener Prabhsimran Singh’s half-centuries, Punjab Kings put up a challenging target of 197 which Rajasthan Royals (RR) failed to chase down and suffered a 5 runs defeat in the thrilling last over at Assam Cricket Association Stadium in Guwahati. Punjab skipper scored 86 off 56 balls. “We want to keep the momentum going as we got a good batting line-up. We respect the opponents’ bowlers but want to keep the intent and aggression going,” Dhawan said in a post-match presentation.

Despite RR impact player Dharuv Jurel’s unbeaten knock of 32 in just 15 balls, Rajasthan did not accomplish the score as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. However, the match went to the last over and it was a close win for Punjab.

“There were some nervous moments, I was trying to keep my calm and discussing plans with my bowlers. Was happy with the score we put up.” Shikhar added

In the bowling unit, pacer Nathan Elllis did the job for Punjab by taking four wickets and giving only 30 runs. Fast bowler Arshdeep Singh also took 2 early wickets of RR openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ravichandran Ashwin.

Talking about Punjab’s bowling performance, Shikhar added, “We scored 197 and my bowlers taking those early wickets and then Nathan came in and bowled supebly.”

Winning the second match of the tournament, Punjab’s skipper said that the win was a team effort.

“It was a full team effort. These 2 games we got a great start, Prabh did really well and I tried my best to increase my strike rate.” Punjab skipper said

Sanju Samson becomes leading run-scorer for Rajasthan Royals

India batter and Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Sanju Samson became the highest run-scorer for his franchise in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.

He accomplished this landmark during his side’s match against Punjab Kings at Guwahati. In the match, during a run chase of 198 runs, Samson scored 42 off 25 balls. His knock consisted of five fours and a six. Runs flowed from his bat at a strike rate of 168.00. His innings was ended by pacer Nathan Ellis, who dismissed him after Matthew Short caught him.

In 118 matches for Rajasthan Royals, Samson has scored 3,138 runs at an average of 30.46. He has scored two centuries and 18 fifties for his side, with the best score of 119. His runs have come at a strike rate of 137.99.

He has overtaken Ajinkya Rahane, another India middle-order batter who has played for RR. In 106 matches for RR, he has scored 3,098 runs at an average of 35.60. He scored two centuries and 21 fifties for the side with the best score of 105*.

Other notable run-scorers for RR include Shane Watson (2,474 runs in 84 matches with two tons and 14 fifties), Jos Buttler (2,377 runs in 60 matches with five tons and 15 fifties) and Rahul Dravid (1,324 runs in 52 matches with seven fifties).

Samson in his entire IPL career, having represented Delhi Capitals besides RR, has scored 3,623 runs in 140 matches at an average of 29.45 with three tons and 18 fifties and the best score of 119. He is the 17th-highest run-scorer in IPL history.

Sunil Narine completes 150 matches in IPL

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and West Indies bowling all-rounder Sunil Narine completed 150 matches in his Indian Premier League (IPL) career on Thursday.

He accomplished this landmark during the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Narine has represented Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the entirety of his IPL career since his debut in the league back in 2012. He has been one of the marquee players for his side.

In 150 matches in IPL so far, he has taken 153 wickets at an economy rate of 6.65 and an average of 25.22. His best bowling figures in the tournament are 5/19. He is the eighth-highest wicket-taker in IPL history behind Bhuvneshwar Kumar (154), Piyush Chawla (157), Ravichandran Ashwin (159), Amit Mishra (166), Lasith Malinga (170), Yuzvendra Chahal (171) and Dwayne Bravo (183).

He has also found some success as a batter, often sent up the order to deliver some quick hits. In 149 matches, he has scored 1,032 runs at an average of 14.96 and four half-centuries. His best individual score is 75. His strike rate of 163.29 makes him a very useful hitter in the shorter format.

He has made the seventh-highest appearances for a single franchise in IPL history, behind, 225 by Virat Kohli (RCB), 206 by MS Dhoni (CSK), 189 by Kieron Pollard (MI), 183 by Rohit Sharma (MI), 176 by Suresh Raina (CSK) and 156 by AB de Villiers (RCB).

MI name Meredith as replacement for Richardson

Mumbai Indians (MI) announced on Thursday that Australia pacer Riley Meredith will replace compatriot Jhye Richardson, who has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 due to a hamstring injury.

“Mumbai Indians (MI) on Wednesday named Riley Meredith as a replacement for injured fast bowler Jhye Richardson. Richardson is suffering from a hamstring injury and is ruled out of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL),” said a statement from IPL. His replacement, Australian fast bowler, Riley Meredith has played 5 T20Is picking up 8 wickets that includes a three-wicket haul. He has represented the Punjab Kings & Mumbai Indians in the previous editions of the IPL.

He joins MI for Rs 1.5 Crore. In 13 IPL matches throughout his career from 2021 onwards, he has taken 12 wickets at an average of 33.75 and an economy rate of 9.00. His best bowling figures in the league are 2/24.

Mumbai Indians started their IPL campaign with an eight-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their opening match.

MI, the five-time champions will face four-time champions Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium on April 8.

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