New teams Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants continue to impress with Gujarat enjoying their place at the top of the points table with five wins from six games. Cricket analyst Rahul Patil analyses all the action from Week 4.

Game 23
Punjab Kings 198 for 5 (Dhawan 70, Mayank 52, Bumrah 1/28) beat Mumbai Indians 186 for 9 (Brewis 49, Suryakumar Yadav 43, Odean 4/30, Rabada 2/29)

No matter what they do five-time champions Mumbai just cannot win a game this year. Chasing 199 for a win Mumbai suffered their fifth defeat of the season. South African teenage sensation Dewald Brewis nicknamed “Baby AB” because of his batting style resembling the legendary AB De Villiers once again impressed. For Punjab captain Mayank Agrawal finally found form and the reliable Shikhar Dhawan top scored with a sublime 70.

Game 24
Gujarat Titans 192/4 (Hardik Pandya 87*, Manohar 43, Chahal 1/32) beat Rajasthan Royals 155 for 9 (Buttler 54, Hetmyer 29, Ferguson 3/23)

Hardik Pandya did it all in this game. Scored an aggressive 87 with the bat, ran out the opposition captain Sanju Samson with a direct hit and bowled fast and accurately and picked up a wicket as well. If he remains fit and is able to bowl Hardik walks into any Indian side in any format. Apart from Jos Buttler at the top of the order all the other Royals had an off day. Lockie Ferguson once gain bowled fast and economically picking up 3 wickets for only 23 of his 4 overs.

Game 25
Sunrisers Hyderabad 176 for 3 (Rahul Tripathi 71, Markram 68*, Narine 0/23) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 175 for 8 (Rana 54, Russell 49*, Umran Malik 2/27, Jansen 1/26)

Every individual in the Sunrisers team seems to know their role and they are very methodical in their planning and execution. For KKR Nitish Rana finally found some form and some power hitting by Andre Russell in the end saw them post a competitive 175. At 39 for 2, the run chase was in a spot of bother but the ever-reliable Rahul Tripathi and Markram added 94 for the third wicket in only 54 balls after which the Sunrisers cruised to the target. Season after season Rahul Tripathi keeps performing and winning games for whichever franchise he plays for. A quick word on the young speedster Umran Malik who seems to be finding direction to go along with his express pace.

Game 26
Lucknow Super Giants 199 for 4 (KL Rahul 103*, Manish Pandey 38, Bumrah 0/24) beat Mumbai Indians 181 for 9 (Suryakumar Yadav 37, Brewis 31, Avesh Khan 3/30)

Another Mumbai game, another great spell by Bumrah, another contribution by Sky and Brewis but yet another loss for Mumbai. Man of the match KL Rahul decided to make a statement in the tournament by scoring a magnificent 103 not out of 60 balls studded with 9 boundaries and 5 sixes. Rahul has been an extremely consistent IPL run machine for the last few years. With six losses and no wins Mumbai’s tournament is practically over. With their debutants performing well and Jofra Archer expected to play for them next year they do have something to look forward to.

Game 27
Royal Challengers Bangalore 189 for 5 (Karthik 66, Maxwell 55, Thakur 1/27) beat Delhi Capitals 173 for 7 (Warner 66, Pant 34, Hazlewood 3/28)

The Legend of Dinesh Karthik continues to grow after RCB’s win against Delhi. Batting first RCB were in trouble at 92 for 5 in the 12th over when Glenn Maxwell fell after an aggressive 55. But cometh the hour cometh the man. Enter Dinesh Karthik who along with the impressive Shahbaz Ahmed put together an unbeaten partnership of 97 in just 52 balls to take their side to a commanding total of 189. DK has a dream and it looks like all Indian cricket fans are dreaming with him together. He is doing everything he can to cement his place for the t20 world cup team. The rest is up to the selectors. For Delhi David Warner top scored with a typical swashbuckling 66 but it came in a losing cause.

Game 28
Sunrisers Hyderabad 152 for 3 (Markram 41*, Pooran 35*, Chahar 2/28) beat Punjab Kings 151 all out (Livingstone 60, Umran Malik 4/28, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/22)

The Sunrisers juggernaut continued with their fourth win back-to-back and they have their bowlers to thank for this one. Experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar and young gun Umran Malik bowled with accuracy and speed to restrict Punjab to a below par 151. Again, Liam Livingstone scored a delightful 60 of 33 balls but didn’t get support from the other batters. The low total meant that the Sunrisers batters never had to take any risk and comfortably chased down the required runs. For a second match in a row Umran Malik bowled with pace and accuracy. Long may it continue.

Game 29
Gujarat Titans 170 for 7 (David Miller 91*, Rashid Khan 40, Bravo 3/23, Theekshana 2/24) beat Chennai Super Kings 169 for 5 (Ruturaj Gaikwad 73, Rayudu 46, Shami 1/20
)

After their first win of this year’s tournament last week, Chennai looked set for back-to-back victories when they had Gujarat 87 for 5 chasing a total of 170 for a win. David Miller who plays the role of a finisher fantastically for the South African national team but has never really flourished in the IPL as yet showed his class with a power packed 91 not out. He was ably supported by his captain on the night Rashid Khan who scored an entertaining 40. Is there anything on a cricket field that Rashid cannot do? Earlier in the day Ruturaj Gaikwad scored an attractive 73 for CSK. Some things in life are priceless. Watching Ruturaj score runs is definitely one of them.

Game 30
Rajasthan Royals 217 for 5 (Buttler 103, Samson 38, Narine 2/21) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 210 all out (Shreyas Iyer 85, Finch 58, Chahal 5/40)

This game had everything. Another century for Buttler (his second of this year’s tournament and third in the IPL overall) and a hat-trick and a five-wicket haul for Chahal (which is as rare as hen’s teeth in t20 cricket) too. Yet Rajasthan only just managed to win this one by an absolute whisker. The reason being Aaron Finch and Shreyas Iyer showed such tremendous form with the bat that at one point KKR required 40 to win of four overs with 6 wickets in hand. But then Chahal picked up four wickets in an over including a hat-trick which turned the tide in favor of the Royals which meant that after a good start to the tournament KKR suffered their third consecutive loss in the tournament.

Game 31
Royal Challengers Bangalore 181 for 6 (Du Plessis 96, Shahbaz 26, Holder 2/25) beat Lucknow Super Giants 163 for 8 (Krunal Pandya 42, KL Rahul 30, Hazlewood 4/25)

The secret to RCB’s success this year is that all their individual players have at some point of the tournament put up their hand, taken responsibility and taken their side to victory. This time it was captain Du Plessis with a flawless 96. Any chances of LSG chasing down the target were nipped in the bud by Josh Hazlewood who bowled test match lengths and picked up 4 wickets for a paltry 25 runs. The win took RCB to the top of the table equaling 10 points with Gujarat Titans who still have a game in hand.

Game 32

Delhi Capitals 119 for 1 (Warner 60, Shaw 41, Chahar 1/21) beat Punjab Kings 115 all out (Jitesh 32, Axar 2/11, Kuldeep 2/24)

The most one-sided game of the tournament saw Delhi beat Punjab with 57 deliveries to spare. Delhi openers Warner and Shaw made a mockery of the modest target by smashing 81 in the power play; a record for any team from Delhi in the IPL. With a number of their players and support staff being diagnosed with Covid-19 the Delhi team showed tremendous focus and resilience in restricting Punjab with accurate bowling and sharp fielding.