We are in the final stretch of IPL 2019 and round eight of the fantasy league – run by official partners Dream 11 – is upon us.
Fantasy players will once again benefit from unlimited transfers as the tournament’s progress into the playoffs mean only four teams will be in action the penultimate round.
Here are our top tips to help you navigate this round of IPL fantasy.
TOP TIP FOR ROUND 8:
Only three batsman still in the competition are among the top 10 run-scorers this season. With the best hitters no longer active, it’s worth picking up two wicketkeepers instead with the likes of Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni and Quinton de Kock all among the runs this season while also capable of racking up points for dismissals. With few good all-rounders available as well, an extra bowler could prove crucial.
Shikhar Dhawan (10.5 credits)
The opener seemed destined for a spot on the ‘biggest flops’ list early on this season but began to click as the competition wore on, hitting three half-centuries on the bounce at one point. He’s disappointed in his last couple of outings but remains a prime option heading into the playoffs.
Rohit Sharma (10.5 cr)
The Mumbai Indians skipper has hardly scaled the heights of previous seasons, scoring only two half-centuries in the 2019 edition. However, scores of 67, 12, 24 and 55* in his last four innings, suggests he may be regaining some form at the right time. He’s a player for the big occasion and on his day, can single-handedly guide his side to victory.
Manish Pandey (9.5 cr)
If he doesn’t do it for Sunrisers Hyderabad, there’s little chance of anyone else coming good. Prior to his most recent knock, Manish Pandey had registered three fifties – including 71* and 83* – and a score of 36 in his preceding four innings. Hyderabad aren’t the team they were with David Warner and Jonny Bairstow gone but Pandey offers some hope.
Imran Tahir (7.5 cr)
At his price, this season’s second-highest wicket-taker is an absolute steal. With 21 wickets at an average of 16.52 and economy of 6.50 for Chennai Super Kings, Imran Tahir is a no-brainer. The South African spinner’s recent spell of 4-12 against Delhi Capitals was evidence of how good he can be in the shortest format.
Ishant Sharma (8 cr)
With this season’s best bowler Kagiso Rabada injured, Ishant Sharma enters the fold because of the value he offers. In the South African’s absence, he is the spearhead of Delhi’s pace attack, he’s Indian and will only cost you eight credits. His three wickets last time out against Rajasthan Royals were encouraging.
Jasprit Bumrah (9.5 cr)
Only sixth for wickets this season but with an economy of 6.78, India’s premier seamer remains among the most impressive bowlers in the IPL. His recent Super Over heroics also points to his temperament under pressure, a key attribute at this stage.
Hardik Pandya (10 cr)
Mumbai Indians have consistently turned to Hardik Pandya whether it’s with the bat or ball and the 25-year-old has come up trumps for them. His power-hitting down the order has been key while 14 wickets this season only makes him more appealing. Apart from the star all-rounder, only Andre Russell has scored over 300 runs and taken more than 10 wickets this season.
Ravindra Jadeja (8 cr)
Ravindra Jadeja has been remarkably consistent this season and is a steady source of fantasy points with 256 under his belt so far. A healthy average of 33.66 is impressive considering how low he bats while 13 wickets in the current campaign has proved more than useful along with a tidy economy of 6.44.
Krunal Pandya (9 cr)
Given the dearth of options available in this position, it may be worth doubling up with another Mumbai asset by bringing in another Pandya. Krunal hasn’t been as explosive as his brother but 10 wickets this season along with a few runs under his belt, he earns a mention. However, a second wicketkeeper or even a fourth bowler – Deepak Chahar has been consistent – instead of a third all-rounder may be the way to go.
MS Dhoni (9.5 cr)
Surely this is where Dhoni really comes into his element. With a staggering average of 122.66, the veteran skipper has already impressed this season, hitting three 50s so far. His 1.083 dismissals per innings this campaign is behind only Rishabh Pant.
Quinton de Kock (9.5 cr)
The South African narrowly edges out Pant here. The Indian is well ahead on dismissals (23 to 15) but Quinton de Kock’s form at the top of the order gives him the nod. He’s hit three 50s and two scores over 30 in his last eight matches.
Captain: Hardik Pandya
Vice-captain: Quinton de Kock
It was a straightforward equation for Kolkata Knight Riders – win against Mumbai Indians and make it to the IPL 2019 playoffs. But it was Mumbai who did all the running around as KKR were brushed aside by nine wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Kolkata failed to get out of second gear against a disciplined Mumbai attack as they could only muster 133-7 with veteran quick Lasith Malinga picking up 3-35 and Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah chipping in with two wickets apiece. The target didn’t bother Mumbai one bit as they coasted home with skupper Rohit Sharma scoring an unbeaten fifty.
With the win, Mumbai jumped to the top of the points table and will now play the first qualifier against Chennai Super Kings. Kolkata’s defeat meant Sunrisers Hyderabad became the first team in IPL history to make it to the playoffs with just 12 points due to a better net run rate following a three way tie with KKR and Kings XI Punjab.
Kolkata seemed to have the right intentions as Chris Lynn powered them at the start by hitting 41 off 29. But the rest of the top order had a harrowing time as Mumbai used cutters brilliantly to slow down the scoring rate.
Hardik dismissed Shubman Gill and Lynn with well disguised slower ones, which brought about one of the most astounding runs of play. From over number nine to 13, Kolkata crawled from 57-2 to 73-4 – losing two wickets in one over including Andre Russell for a duck. They scored just 16 runs in five overs with Robin Uthappa even playing out a maiden in the 11th over.
Uthappa slows down
I wonder if you can add, in the playing conditions in T20 cricket, the possibility of recalling a batsman. There is no disrespect in that, the best have an off-day, and it will provide the team with an option to correct a wrong decision, maybe.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 5, 2019
Uthappa’s inability to rotate the strike or hit sufficient boundaries saw Kolkata completely lose their way. Had it not been for a 13-ball 26 by Nitish Rana, KKR would have finished with an even lower total. In the end, Uthappa consumed 47 balls for his 40 as Kolkata played out as many as 60 dot balls.
Mumbai pacers made great used of the slowness of the pitch to pick up seven wickets with Bumrah picking up two off the final two balls of the innings. However, the biggest strike of the match came earlier when Malinga bowled a sharp bouncer from round the wicket to Russell in the 13th over to catch the glove behind. It was that sort of a day for Kolkata where simply nothing worked.
All over in a flash
The Knight Riders needed their best bowling effort of the season to defend 134. But on a still decent pitch, the bowling KO punch never came as Mumbai skipper Rohit (55 not out) and one down bat Suryakaumar Yadav (46 not out) took the hosts home with nine wickets in hand and almost four overs to spare.
Kolkata star all-rounder Russell had his worst game of the season when the team needed him the most, bleeding 34 runs from 2.1 overs to go with his duck. It was a terrible way for Russell to end the IPL campaign and underlined the importance of a collective effort.
For Kings XI Punjab, it was about finishing on a high and maybe even spoiling the playoff scenario for Chennai Super Kings by completing a thumping win. As it turned out, Punjab defeated Chennai by six wickets with two overs to spare, thanks to a 19-ball fifty from opener KL Rahul on Sunday.
With no real pressure, it was Punjab who came up with the goods as they chased down Chennai’s total of 170-5 with ease. Rahul was the main architect of the win, hitting seven fours and five sixes during his 36-ball 71.
Despite the defeat, Chennai ended up on 18 points and a net run rate of .131, which means they will play the first IPL 2019 Qualifier.
Veterans get going for Chennai
Surprisingly lackadaisical finish by CSK. 170 not a poor score but after the big and racy partnership between Faf and Raina, 190 looked a cinch. Dhoni seemed lacklustre and distracted too, as if already mentally preoccupied with the play-off match!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) May 5, 2019
The Super Kings will be pleased with the efforts of Faf du Plessis (96 off 55 balls) and Suresh Raina (53 off 38). It was their effort which put some impetus in the innings that was expertly controlled by Punjab bowlers. Pacers Mohammed Shami (2-17 from three overs) and Sam Curran (3-35) were on top of their game while skipper Ravi Ashwin was at his miserly best, giving away just 23 runs from his four overs.
While the 120-run stand between Faf and Raina was great news for Chennai heading into the playoffs, the scoring rate of the likes of Shane Watson (7 off 11 balls) and MS Dhoni (10 off 12) left a lot to be desired. A total of 170-5 was a bit anticlimactic given a massive century stand at the top of the order.
Rahul goes on a rampage
Punjab opener KL Rahul loves the Mohali ground. He recorded the fastest fifty in the history of IPL at the venue – off 14 balls against Delhi last year. At the same venue a year later, Rahul went after Chennai’s seasoned attack, taking particular liking to Harbhajan Singh who he smashed for 24 runs in the fourth over of the chase to race to 52 off just 19 balls. It was the third fastest fifty of IPL 2019 and the fastest-ever scored against Chennai.
While Rahul was going hammer and tongs, Chris Gayle wasn’t even in double figures. The scoreboard kept ticking over as Punjab reached exactly 100 in 10 overs.
Bhajji hits back
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan was smashed for 41 runs in his first two overs but came back to dismiss both Rahul and Gayle off successive deliveries in the 11th over. In his last over, the offie had Mayank Agarwal caught at deep square leg to bring some hope back in the Chennai camp as KXIP were 126-3 with 45 needed from seven overs.
However, in-form Nicholas Pooran made 36 off 22 balls to put the result beyond any doubt.