With hosts Chennai electing to bat first, it was Mumbai leg-spinner Rahul Chahar who stole the headlines with a sensational display which saw him concede just 14 runs from four overs while picking up two vital wickets.
CSK were restricted to just 131-4 in their 20 overs with Chahar’s miserly spell proving crucial in curtailing the rate of scoring for the hosts at the Chepauk stadium.
Here, we take a closer look at the 19-year-old leg-spinner’s stellar display in his first-ever IPL play-off appearance.
Runs conceded: 14
Brought on to bowl inside the powerplay on a track taking sharp turn and bounce, Chahar wasted no time in making an impact by picking up the wicket of Faf du Plessis with his very first delivery.
The youngster had his second victim 10 overs later when he sent a well-set Murali Vijay packing with a vicious leg-spinner that completely outfoxed the right-handed batsman. Chahar closed his spell excellently with another tight over in the death where he conceded just three runs to increase the pressure on the hosts.
With the pitch containing all the three key ingredients – turn, bounce and grip – that a spinner thrives on, the teenage leggie found the perfect speed to tie the batsmen in knots.
Although he possesses an excellent googly, Chahar rarely used it on a helpful surface and instead kept things simple with conventional leg-spin. That was excellent thinking by the spinner with Chennai’s right-handed batsmen completely struggling to cope with the amount of turn Chahar was generating.
Giving the deliveries plenty of flight and letting the surface do the rest is what worked for Chahar against both Faf du Plessis and Vijay with the latter being stumped by a country mile after advancing down the track.
Although it would have been easy for the young man to lose his nerves on the big stage, he really did not put a single foot wrong with the ball. Just one boundary came from his 24 deliveries with none of CSK’s batsmen able to stamp their authority over him.
There were no rank half-turners or juicy full tosses dished out by Chahar who exerted complete control over proceedings during his four-over spell.
VERDICT – 9/10
While veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir has gathered the plaudits for his prolific campaign, Chahar is turning out to be one the finds of the tournament. The Mumbai youngster had kept things tight in his side’s league fixture against CSK at the same venue without picking up any wickets but on Tuesday he reaped the rewards for some terrific bowling.
On a turning deck, Chahar outbowled his fellow Mumbai spinners Krunal Pandya and Jayant Yadav by some distance in what is turning out to be a stellar debut IPL campaign. To do it on the pressure-cooker of a Qualifier is an even more commendable feat from the youngster.
It seems players are not the only ones prone to losing their cool in the ongoing 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) with umpire Nigel Llong damaging a door to the umpire’s room in frustration at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
It all stemmed from a contentious front-foot no-ball call by Llong in the final over of Sunrisers’ innings bowled by Umesh Yadav. After replays indicated that the Bangalore pacer had not overstepped, RCB skipper Virat Kohli and Llong were involved in a long animated discussion with the umpire ultimately sticking to his original decision.
The ICC Elite Panel umpire then subsequently kicked the door to the umpire’s room at the Chinnaswamy stadium during the innings’ break while causing it some minor damage.
Following the incident, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) reported the matter to BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) with Llong ultimately paying for the financial damage caused.
“It was an unfortunate incident,” KSCA secretary R Sudhakar Rao was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“He gave a wrong no-ball decision in the match, and Virat went and spoke to him, and Umesh also spoke to him. So he might have been upset, and frustrated. He came back and kicked the door to the umpires’ room after the first innings. So there was a crack and a dent in the door. The glass didn’t break, fortunately.
“After the game, I found out, and I met the match referee. I spoke to him, and we had a discussion, and I have reported the matter to the CoA. It’s a BCCI event, so it is for them to make the decision, if any.”
The contentious no-ball call did not have any substantial bearing on the game in the end with RCB going on to record a four-wicket win.
Llong is one of the umpires slated to take charge of the IPL 2019 final which takes place at Hyderabad on May 12.
The IPL is not just about amazing success. It’s also about stupendous failures. Not every big-name player can have a good season, but some suffer never-ending nightmares.
Here we take a look at five stars who performed well below desired levels in the league phase. There are a few like Prithvi Shaw for Delhi Capitals and Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson of Chennai Super Kings who have failed thus far but can turn it around in the playoffs.
Kuldeep Yadav (KKR)
Matches: 9, Wickets: 4, Economy: 8.6
The Knight Riders’ star India wrist spinner had a disastrous IPL. It went from bad to worse for the left-armer, and the lowest point came against RCB where Kuldeep was almost reduced to tears after getting smashed for 59 runs.
He was dropped thereafter, jeopardising his World Cup prospects in the process.
No need to cry Kuldeep. It was not your day yesterday. Look at our courageous RCB bowlers (Siraj, Umesh, Negi) who got hit by every batsmen in every match but still bowl with same courage and dedication. Don't learn from them, but look at them. :) pic.twitter.com/ZNNXnbAiJf— Pa₹idhi $₹ivastava 🏏 (@BeingKohlicious) April 20, 2019
Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals)
Matches: 9, Runs: 123, Wickets: 6, Economy: 11.2
The star England all-rounder was expected to be the backbone of Rajasthan’s campaign. But Stokes was horrible with the bat and ball. Not only did he fail to make a memorable contribution with the bat, he was consistently one of the most expensive bowlers when most batsmen were struggling on indifferent pitches.
The forced break due to England’s World Cup preparations came at the perfect time for his (lack of) confidence.
Ashton Turner (Rajasthan Royals)
Matches:4, Runs: 3
The Aussie batsman came into the tournament with the reputation of being a finisher. After getting a chance in the latter half of the league phase, Turner bombed by registering three golden ducks to make it five blobs in a row in the format.
With such poor returns, it is not certain whether he will be seen in Rajasthan colours next year.
Robin Uthappa (KKR)
Matches: 12, Runs: 282, SR: 115
He’s been one of the strongest performers for Kolkata over the past four years. But 2019 turned out to be utterly forgettable for Uthappa, who was even dropped for poor form. For some reason, the 33-year-old batsman was promoted to No3 position in the must-win match against Mumbai Indians and despite trying every shot in his arsenal, Uthappa scored 40 off 47 balls which ultimately cost his team the match and the playoff spot.
Mujeeb ur Rahman (KXIP)
Matches: 5, Wickets: 3, Economy: 10.05
Kings XI didn’t seem to have a lot of confidence in the young Afghan spinner. He picked up 2-31 and was in and out of the side for the next three games before he was taken to the cleaners by Sunrisers Hyderabad. The right-arm mystery spinner went for 66 runs from his four overs – the second-worst bowling performance in IPL history.
Maybe there is a reason why he didn’t get much gametime in the first place.