Kolkata: It was indeed a “Good Friday” for IPL lovers because cricket was at it’s absolute best as it was the first time in 10 years that two hat-tricks were recorded on the same day in two different games.
The first match was between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. RCB’s regular skipper and star batsman Virat Kohli returned to the playing eleven after recovering from a shoulder injury he had suffered last month and he did not disappoint at all.
After Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and put Bangalore into bat, Kohli seemed to carry on from where he left last season as he powered his way to a fluent 62 of 47 deliveries. He along with Chris Gayle stitched a 63 run opening stand before the latter was dismissed. And after Kohli’s dismissal in the 16th over, wickets kept tumbling as the RCB could only end up with 142 runs in the board.
However they didn’t give up easily as Samuel Badree, playing for the first time in this tournament, wreaked havoc after he got a hat-trick, dismissing Parthiv Patel, Rohit Sharma and Mitchell McClenaghan, leaving the Mumbai Indians reeling at 33-5 at one stage. But Kieron Pollard along with Krunal Pandya steadied the ship and took Mumbai home safely with four wickets to spare.
But that wasn’t it. Another game, which was held between the Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant held at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot was another spectacle to watch.
Suresh Raina, the Gujarat skipper won the toss and put Pune to bat. And Steve Smith’s men didn’t get the best of starts as opener Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed in first over itself. A steady partnership between Rahul Tripathi and Smith brought them back into the game for some time before a brilliant hattrick by IPL debutant Andrew Tye stole the show as Pune ended up with a total of 171 runs.
In reply, Gujarat Lions dominated right from the beginning as Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum took the Pune bowling to the cleaners. Pune’s efforts of making a comeback was again dented by good batting efforts from skipper Raina and Aaron Finch. Gujarat, courtesy this win, won their first game of this year’s IPL.
With the victory, Mumbai Indians jump to the top spot in the league table with 6 points while Royal Challengers Bangalore are on the sixth position, having lost two games consecutively.
Gujarat Lions with their first win are on the seventh position while Pune are staring down at the barrel, sitting at the bottom of the IPL points table.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 142/5 (Virat Kohli 62, Chris Gayle 22; Mitchell McClenaghan 2/20) lost to Mumbai Indians 145/6 in 18.5 overs (Kieron Pollard 70; Krunal Pandya 37 ; Samuel Badree 4/9) by 4 wickets.
Rising Pune Supergiant 171/8 (Steve Smith 43, Manoj Tiwary 31 ; Andrew Tye 5/17) lost to Gujarat Lions 172/ 3 in 18 overs (Brendon McCullum 49, Dwayne Smith 47; Shardul Thakur 1/14) by 7 wickets.