Five best overseas players in IPL 2017

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Ben Stokes, Hashim Amla, and Rashid Khan had superb seasons [Sportzpics]

Although there are only four spots for them in a playing XI, the overseas players’ contributions play a huge role in defining the success of a team in the Indian Premier League.

Here, we look at the five overseas players who performed the best in IPL 2017.

DAVID WARNER 

It has been another fabulous IPL season for David Warner as he managed to score 641 runs from 14 matches at an average of 58.27.

Such numbers are all set to ensure the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain wins the Orange Cap for the second time in three seasons.

Warner’s best performance came in Sunrisers’ home fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders where he scored 126 from just 59 deliveries, which was his first century since joining the franchise in 2014.

David Warner graph

HASHIM AMLA

Over the years, there have been some questions raised about Amla’s ability in T20 cricket despite having a very good record in the format at the international level.

In this year’s IPL, Amla further proved his credentials in the shortest form of the game as he notched up two centuries.

Before leaving the tournament for national duties, the Kings XI Punjab opening batsman scored 420 runs at an average of 60.00 and a strike-rate of 145.83. And in the process, he proved that batsmen with proper techniques can prosper in the tournament.

Hashim Amla graph

STEVE SMITH

Steve Smith came into the tournament in superb form and he has been in good touch with the bat, as well as with his captaincy, in the ongoing season.

In 14 matches, the Australian batsman has managed 421 runs which makes him the second highest run-scorer among overseas players this season. It is also his best runs tally in a single season in the IPL.

Smith has consistently got off to starts this season but will be a little disappointed that he has only two half-centuries to show for it.

Steve Smith graph

BEN STOKES

Although Ben Stokes is reputed as one of the finest cricketers on the planet today, there were some doubts if he would be worth the $2.16 million that Rising Pune Supergiant acquired him for at the IPL auction.

Stokes proved all the doubters wrong with some splendid performances with both bat and ball that were pivotal in Pune reaching the playoffs.

The England all-rounder amassed 316 runs and picked up 12 wickets in what was an outstanding season for him, which included three Man-of-the-Match efforts.

Ben Stokes graph

RASHID KHAN

Khan’s splendid performances for Afghanistan saw him acquired by Sunrisers for $620k at the IPL auction earlier this year.

Despite being just 18 and playing in the IPL for the first time, Rashid was able to trouble some of the top batsmen in the world, with a lot of them finding it hard to pick his googly.

Having taken 17 wickets from 14 matches this season, Rashid was definitely one of the stars of the tournament.

What was most impressive about the Afghanistan leg-spinner was that he conceded just 6.62 runs per over which was among the best in the league.

Rashid Khan graph

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LIVE IPL Final: Rising Pune Supergiant vs Mumbai Indians

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Scroll down for the scorecard [Sportzpics]

Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to bat first against Rising Pune Supergiant in the Indian Premier League [IPL] final.

Both teams have made no changes to their playing XIs from their respective previous matches.

You can follow every ball of the action with our in-play scorecard, commentary, and stats below.

We want to hear from you too, so share your thoughts with us by commenting at the bottom of the page or via Twitter and Facebook as the game progresses.

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Dhoni and Smith lauded for IPL showings

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Main men: Smith and Dhoni.

Rising Pune Supergiant coach Stephen Fleming has sought to dispel rumours of a rift between stalwarts Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Steve Smith as they chase their maiden Indian Premier League title in Sunday’s final against the Mumbai Indians.

Fleming said the duo’s “outstanding” relationship was key to the Supergiant’s success this season, despite persistent grumblings of disunity between the pair.

“Between the two of them it has been outstanding,” Fleming told reporters on Saturday in Hyderabad, where the final will be battled out.

“Much (has been) made of the relationship. Certainly sitting with them, it has been influential for the youngsters, beneficial for the senior players, and it has been helpful for me.

“So it has been (a) great dynamic to be part of.”

Dhoni, an Indian batting legend and the IPL’s most successful ever captain, led Pune in their debut season last year but was replaced this edition by Australian captain Smith.

Rumoured difficulties between the pair were blamed for the Supergiant’s hot and cold form early in the season, but the chatter petered out as the side came into their own later on.

Fleming, a former New Zealand captain, also defended Dhoni this season, despite his renowned finishing power appeared subdued.

“Dhoni is one of the most successful players in the last decade to have played. Another opportunity to win the final for him,” Fleming said of Dhoni, with whom he has closely worked since the IPL’s inception in 2008.

“He is up for it, very motivated. It has been good this year, he has played some cameo roles. “He has been criticised for not doing as much, but what you have to appreciate is how good he was when he was doing it time and time again.”

Dhoni played some crucial knocks for the Supergiant, including his 26-ball unbeaten 40 against Mumbai in the first qualifier of the playoffs.

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