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Update IPL 2021 - News updates/Points Table

Sanju Samson becomes first player to score a century on captaincy debut in IPL history

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Sanju Samson scripted an elusive feat on his captaincy debut as he smashed a sensational century against Punjab Kings on Monday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

With his 54-ball century, Samson became the first player in the history of the Indian Premier League to score a hundred on captaincy debut. Overall, this was his third century in IPL history with only Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli standing ahead of him among Indians with his tally of five centuries. Samson's knock also became the highest individual score by a captain in an IPL innings, surpassing Shreyas Iyer's unbeaten 93 for Delhi Daredevils against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018.

He eventually finished with 119 runs, falling in the last ball of the innings, and failing to take his side over the line.

"I don't have words to tell, very close game, came close but unfortunately.. I don't think I could have done anything more, timed it well, but unfortunately couldn't clear the man in the deep. It's all part of the game (when asked about the bowlers going for plenty from both sides), we thought the wicket was getting better and we could chase the target down. Despite the loss, I think the team played really well," he said at the end of the game.


Broken finger rules Ben Stokes out of IPL 2021

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Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of IPL 2021 after picking up a finger injury in the team's tournament opener against Punjab Kings on April 12. Stokes is understood to have broken his index finger on the left hand while taking a tumbling catch to dismiss Chris Gayle off the bowling of Riyan Parag.

The development is a significant setback for the Royals, who are hoping to improve on an eighth place finish last season. They're already missing the services of Jofra Archer to a hand injury and even though the fast bowler has resumed light training, it is uncertain when he'll be cleared to resume playing and can join the team bubble in India.

Stokes, who also missed out six games of last season's league phase after he'd travelled to New Zealand to be with his ailing father, will stay with the group in India "to provide his valued support and inputs off the field."

David Miller and Liam Livingstone are the backup overseas batsmen in the Royals squad. The franchise confirmed that they were reviewing potential candidates to replace the England star.

The Royals, who lost their opening encounter to the Punjab Kings, take on the Delhi Capitals on Thursday (April 15) in their next encounter.


Points Table:

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Virat Kohli reprimanded for code of conduct breach

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Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli was reprimanded by Match Referee Vengalil Narayan Kutty following a breach of the IPL's Code of Conduct during the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday (April 14).

Kohli was charged with a Level 1 breach of clause 2.2 which relates to "Abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during a Match".

Television cameras picked up Kohli kicking an advertising cushion as well as a chair placed by the dugout following his dismissal for 33 by Jason Holder. Incidentally, a similar transgression by Gautam Gambhir in an IPL game against RCB in 2016 had seen him get docked 15% of his match fee.

As such, with Level 1 breaches the referee's decision remains binding.


A mistake on our behalf - Ponting on not bowling out Ashwin

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In the absence of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje for their tournament opener, Chris Woakes was spectacular in the powerplay in what was his first IPL season since 2018. Having cumulatively played just 20 games in his entire IPL career, he showed in his first game why he's rated so highly in England. In his first spell in the powerplay, he finished with 1-8 before returning in the final over to pick up another but not finishing his quota of overs conceding just 18 runs in his three overs on the night.

R Ashwin was in a similar position against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday (April 15). He had an off night against CSK, but was his wily best against RR being brought on right after the powerplay. In his three-over spell, he gave away just 14 runs without a wicket, not even having conceded a boundary. With two left-handers in the middle, Ashwin should've been DC's go-to bowler to try and nip the game in the bud. Yet, Rishabh Pant went to Marcus Stoinis - an over, in hindsight, that turned the game around, swinging momentum in RR's favour. Stoinis conceded 15 runs that over with a well-set David Miller hitting him for three consecutive fours.

Ashwin didn't get another over thereafter and RR eventually chased down the target with two balls to spare. "That's certainly something that we will talk about when I get a chance to sit down with the team," Ricky Ponting, DC's head coach, said after the game. "He had bowled beautifully. Three overs, none for 14. Hadn't even conceded a boundary. He had a disappointing game in game one, but he has worked really hard in the last few days to make sure he adjusted and got things right in this game. I thought he bowled beautifully tonight. Probably a mistake on our behalf, and something we will be talking about later on."

DC were on top for the most part of their bowling innings, chipping in with timely wickets and not letting RR's batters get ahead in the game. They even had played an extra bowler, leaving out Shimron Hetmyer to bring in Kagiso Rabada, which perhaps left them with a below-par score.

"We are trying to pick teams based on what the conditions are every game," said Ponting. "We made the two changes from game one to game two obviously with Rabada being available for selection. He had to come straight back into the side and we're looking to try and get the right balance. At the moment with Axar Patel not available for selection, our balance is out a little bit, so we tried to sort of mix and match things a little bit today. We also wanted to give Lalit Yadav an opportunity and show us what he's capable of in the middle.

"Even around the-13 over mark of bowling innings in the second innings, everything was going according to plan, so we just made a few errors coming in into the last four-five overs of the game and when you're a little bit off against any team in the IPL, if you just bowl a couple of bad balls and overs here and there is quite often the difference in the outcome and we didn't get things right in the back-end tonight."

And they hadn't, given the number of "slot-balls" they bowled to Chris Morris in the end, who remained unbeaten on an 18-ball 36 to take his side home. No sixes were hit in the entire game until the 15th over, but after that, RR hit seven of them to take the game.

"We probably gave him (Morris) a few too many easy balls, a few too many slot balls if you like," Ponting said. "The length wasn't quite where it needed to be. If you look at the replay of the game, if you bowled a reasonable yorker, he didn't score off them. If it was back of a length, sort of, above stump high, he didn't get hold of them either, especially with pace on the ball. We talked about how to bowl to him, but the execution probably wasn't there.

"The other thing you have got to factor in is just how wet and how dewy the ball was in the second innings of the game. It wasn't easy for the bowlers to grip. You could see it at the end there. There were a few full tosses that fast bowlers bowled with the ball slipping out of their hand a little bit. That's part and parcel of IPL cricket. We knew coming here that there will be a little bit of dew in the second half of the game. And we didn't adapt, and we didn't execute as well as we could have tonight."


Unadkat and Miller cash in on the sparks of fortuity

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He had a grin on his face like a Cheshire Cat. It was one of those days where he did little wrong; three wickets in the powerplay and a crucial six in the end. It's highly likely Jaydev Unadkat couldn't wipe that smile off all night after Rajasthan Royals pipped the mighty Delhi Capitals by three wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday (April 16).

RR had a long on in place for Prithvi Shaw in the second over, who had belted Chennai Super Kings' bowlers in their last game all over the park. Having watched the game closely where Shaw hit down the ground quite a bit, and also bearing in mind Shaw's propensity to fall to left-handers, RR took a cue. With three left-arm pacers as in their XI, it was Unadkat who foxed Shaw with his trademark cutter.

Unadkat was mixing it up and another slower ball in his next over had Shikhar Dhawan. Sanju Samson persisted with Unadkat for another over in the powerplay given his run and was rewarded with the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane. The experienced batsman was deceived by another slow ball, as slow as 109 kmph, as Unadkat ended his first spell on 3-12, putting RR on top in the contest.

"A homecoming", is how Unadkat described his day. It was a long time coming even, who has had his fair share of struggles in the Indian Premier League. After an impressive 2017, he was bogged down by the sheer weight of expectations that accompanied a heavy price tag leading to disappointing deliverance. He failed to nail a permanent spot in the Royals' XI despite being their most experienced Indian bowler. So much so, in the tournament opener against Punjab Kings too, he wasn't even part of their plans as Chetan Sakariya was preferred as the first-choice pacer making the XI instead. But once the opportunity came knocking, he bowled with the "kind of freedom" he wanted to with the new ball - something that he couldn't do last season, where he played just seven games, picked four wickets and worse, conceded 9.91 runs an over.

It was a different wicket that RR played on today than the one they had played their season opener. It was a fresh wicket that had a little more moisture at the start which the RR pacers made the most of hitting hard lengths and mixing up with the variations.

"It was just about four or five slow balls that I bowled in the powerplay," said Unadkat after the game. "It seemed more because I got wickets on those balls. More than that, I think it was seaming a little I can say that because there was a little moisture in the wicket to start with. That's why the good length deliveries were flying all over the pitch and were hard to hit early on."

DC played an extra bowler on the evening slotting in Kagiso Rabada for Shimron Hetmyer. And in what is otherwise an explosive line-up, not one six was hit in the entire innings as they tottered to 147. If they had to take a cue from RR's bowlers and resort to the slower balls, they weren't stopping as they had in the first innings with dew coming into the picture in the second. They stuck to their strengths, however, and reduced RR to 42 for 5 with their star batsmen back in the shed within four overs.

It was the perfect opportunity for David Miller, who spent the most time on the bench last season, to step up. He got just one game in 2020 where he was run out without even facing a ball. Miller had a good season with Punjab in 2019 before he was released and bought by RR in 2020. However, it's likely he wouldn't have gotten a game again this season had it not been for Ben Stokes being ruled out of the season with a broken finger.

Finding himself in the middle earlier than he would've expected in the fourth over, he took his time to settle in. He rotated the strike initially and stitched partnerships with the middle order to keep RR in the game. Anything short, he pounced on and dispatched to the boundary, holding his end quite adeptly, to take the game deep. It wasn't until the 13th over when Marcus Stoinis was introduced that Miller let loose. He smacked him for a hat-trick of fours to reduce the deficit. The first six of the match came only in the 16th over of the innings when he dispatched Avesh Khan behind square. The next ball was over square leg for successive sixes after 35 overs without a single one. Miller then miscued one to fall after reaching his 10th IPL fifty.

Although the job was not fully done, Chris Morris justified his steep price tag with a brilliant 18-ball 36 that sealed the game and gave RR their first points. Against a formidable team like DC, for RR to have pulled off a win will and to have done so from a tacky situation will do them a world of good. That, without their mainstay pacer in Jofra Archer.

Unadkat ended the night with 3-15 and Miller with a 62 off 43 balls. They didn't make the XI for the first game for different reasons, but when the chance came, they took them and came out with flying colours. Despite having huge boots to fill in the larger scheme of things for RR, these little sparks of fortuity will give them the confidence they need.

Maybe the time has come for them to fit into bigger shoes this time, and as better versions of themselves.


Points Table:

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Deepak Chahar rips through Punjab top-order as Chennai register first win of season

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Deepak Chahar's brilliant four-fer laid the foundation as Chennai Super Kings registered a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings at the Wankhede on Friday. Led by Chahar, Chennai's bowling unit restricted Punjab Kings to a below-par 106 for eight in Mumbai.

Chahar ran through PBKS' bowling unit in his very first over by castling Mayank Agarwal's off-stump. Skipper KL Rahul also walked back on 5 thanks to a brilliant throw by arguably the best fielder in world cricket, Ravindra Jadeja.

Batting with Chris Gayle, Rahul was run out by Jadeja while trying to rush for a single. Jadeja rose to the occasion again by grabbing a diving catch to dismiss Gayle for 10. Nicholas Pooran (0) and Deepak Hooda (10) also departed in quick succession, leaving the Punjab outfit reeling at 26/5 in the seventh over.

For Punjab, Tamil Nadu's power-hitter M Shahrukh Khan was the only one to stick in the middle. The new recruit impressed with a 36-ball 47 at a time when his side was tottering. His valiant knock came to an end in the final over bowled by Sam Curran.

Shahrukh stitched a 31-run stand with Jhye Richardson (15) to help Punjab reach a three-figure total. M Ashwin, in the end, added 30 runs with Shahrukh as the duo tried to heal Punjab's wounds.

Chasing a modest 106-run total, Chennai suffered an early blow in the form of Ruturaj Gaikwad, who departed after miscuing his shot off Arshdeep Singh's delivery. Moeen Ali and Faf du Plessis then stitched a 66-run stand for the second wicket and made things easier for the three-time IPL champions.

In the end, the Chennai outfit did suffer a scare as they lost Ali (46), Suresh Raina (8) and Ambati Rayudu (0) within 13 deliveries. Du Plessis, however, stayed unbeaten on 36 as Sam Curran hit the winning boundary in the 16th over, guiding CSK to their first win of the season.


'Biggest six of IPL 2021': Kieron Pollard smashes 105-meter maximum against Sunrisers Hyderabad: Watch

Kieron Pollard's 22-ball 35, laced with two sixes off the last two deliveries of the innings, helped Mumbai Indians reach 150/5 against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday. The West Indies dasher hit three maximums during his innings to become the third overseas player after Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers to hit 200 sixes in the IPL.

In the 17th over bowled by debutant Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Pollard hit the first six of his knock which landed on the roof of Chepauk. Showing his big-hitting prowess, Pollard smoked it over deep mid-wicket to hit the biggest six of the ongoing IPL edition. It was 105 meters long.

Pollard (105m), Glenn Maxwell (100m), Surya Kumar Yadav (99m), Manish Pandey (96m), Abdul Samad (93m).

Pollard was also helped in the middle by wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, who scored 40 off 39 balls before falling to Mujeeb. De Kock and Rohit Sharma (32) added a 55-run opening stand before Mumbai Indians were jolted by Vijay Shankar. The all-rounder picked wickets of Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav (10) to obstruct MI's run-flow.

In the end, it was Pollard's sheer power that helped MI post a competitive total on the board. He hit 17 off the last over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. For SRH, Shankar (2/19), Mujeeb (2/29) and Khaleel Ahmed (1/24) were successful bowlers.


Rohit Sharma breaks MS Dhoni's elusive IPL record, inches closer to AB de Villiers

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Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on Saturday achieved not one but two elusive feats during match 9 of the ongoing IPL 2021 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

With a six against Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the fourth over, Rohit surpassed Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni to become the Indian payer with the most sixes in the history of IPL. Rohit now has 217 sixes in IPL, one ahead of Dhoni. Overall, he stands third in the list after Chris Gayle of Punjab Kings (351) and AB de Villiers (237).

Rohit, en route to his 32 off 25, laced with two boundaries and two sixes, also reached the milestone of 4000 T20 runs as a captain.

Earlier in the evening, Mumbai Indians became the first team this season to opt to bat after winning the toss. They made only one change for the game - Adam Milne in place of Marco Jansen.

Mumbai made a promising start to the contest scoring 53 runs in the PowerPlay before Vijay Shankar removed both Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav in his ssuccessive overs.


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