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Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL 9: 5 memorable moments from Week 4

IPL 9: 5 memorable moments from Week 4

May 09, 2016 23:04 IST

Featuring Yusuf Pathan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Marcus Stoinis, Ashish Nehra.

The Indian Premier League has entered an interesting phase.

All the eight IPL teams are fighting it out to stay in contention for a place in the play-offs.

The week gone by was profitable for the Kolkata Knight Riders who won 2 of the 3 games KKR played. The Gujarat Lions returned to their winning ways after 3 straight defeats following a 5 wicket victory over KKR.

The performance of the week came from India and Royal Challengers Bangalore batting sensation Virat Kohli who smashed 108 from 58 balls to lead his team to a superb victory over the Rising Pune Supergiants.

Sunrisers Hyderabad also moved in for a place in the play-offs after registering 2 wins in the space of 2 days.

Harish Kotian/Rediff.com lists 5 memorable moments from IPL 9, Week 4.

Pathan's stunning counter-attack

Yusuf Pathan

IMAGE: Yusuf Pathan celebrates steering the Kolkata Knight Riders to victory against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. All Photographs: BCCI

May 2, 2016: Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell launched an incredible attack after the fall of quick wickets at the start to guide the Kolkata Knight Riders to an entertaining 5 wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Chasing the challenging 186 run target set by RCB, Yusuf smashed an unbeaten 60 off only 29 balls to guide KKR home with five balls left.

Russell's 24-ball 39, which included 4 towering sixes, was crucial in KKR's victory chase.

KKR looked down and out after being reduced to a paltry 69/4 in the 11th over before Yusuf and Russell staged a stunning comeback.

The match was still evenly poised with KKR needing 47 from 4 overs before Pathan went after Shane Watson in the 17th over, hammering the tall Australian for 4 boundaries and a six to get 24 runs and effectively settle the result.

Earlier, RCB posted a competitive 185/7 after skipper Virat Kohli and K L Rahul hit 52 runs each.

Pant fits the bill

Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant in action against the Gujarat Lions.

May 3, 2016: Every year the IPL throws up a few young stars. This year Rishabh Pant could well be one of them.

India's Under-19 star struck a brilliant half-century to power the Delhi Daredevils to a comprehensive 8 wicket victory over the Gujarat Lions at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.

The 18 year old, playing only his third IPL game, stole the limelight as he hit a 40-ball 69, which included 9 fours and 2 sixes, after being surprisingly sent in to open the innings.

Pant, who hit some exquisite shots including a six each off James Faulkner and Suresh Raina, stitched 115 runs for the opening wicket with Quinton de Kock (46) which took the game away from the Lions, who posted a modest 149.

Promoted up the order to open the innings, Pant struck 3 fours off successive deliveries in the second over bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni to make his intentions clear.

There was no stopping the left-hander who raced to his 50, off just 25 balls, with a six off Raina. By the time he was dismissed in the 14th over, the result was a foregone conclusion.

Kohli's magnificent century

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates an amazing century.

May 7, 2016: Virat Kohli's aura continues to glow brightly.

Going by his exploits this IPL season, one wonders if there ever was a better batsman in a run-chase in cricket history.

The captain smashed his second IPL 9 -- and T20 -- century to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a thrilling 7 wicket victory over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Rising Pune Supergiants.

Kohli struck an unbeaten 108 off just 58 balls, with 8 fours and 7 sixes.

It enabled Bangalore chase down 192, with 3 balls to spare, and notch only their 3rd victory in 8 matches.

RCB's skipper entered the record books as the only batsman to score two tons in an IPL season.

Virat joined Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson, David Warner, A B de Villiers, Adam Gilchrist and Virender Sehwag who have hit two IPL centuries overall.

Kohli's ton overshadowed an amazing 13-ball 36-run assault by Shane Watson, which included 5 fours and 2 sixes, that suddenly tilted the balance of the match Bangalore's way after it was evenly poised a couple of overs past the halfway stage.

Bangalore took 39 runs off 2 overs -- 20 from the 14th over, bowled by Thisara Perera, and 19 from the 15th, bowled by Rajat Bhatia.

Watson smashed a hapless Perera for 5 fours in a scintillating show of stroke-making before hitting Bhatia for 2 sixes.

Kohli then took over, smashing 2 sixes and a four off Adam Zampa in the 18th over and 2 sixes off R P Singh in the 19th to steal 18 runs from each of the two overs. He hit Ashok Dinda for a four to finish off the match in grand style and keep RCB's hopes alive.

Stoinis' all-round show

Marcus Stoinis

IMAGE: Marcus Stoinis hits a boundary for the Kings XI Punjab.

May 7, 2016: Marcus Stoinis is an unknown entity in Indian cricketing circles, but making waves in the IPL.

The 26-year-old Australian, who plays for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield, has provided a much-needed boost for the struggling Kings XI Punjab.

Playing just his fourth IPL game this season, Marcus proved his worth with both bat and ball against the Delhi Daredevils, scoring a half-century and claiming 3/40.

Opening the batting, he stroked a fluent 52 from 44 balls while Wriddhiman Saha also hit the same number of runs, off 33 balls, to carry Punjab to 181/5.

In reply, the Delhi Daredevils, despite an opening stand of 70 runs from 47 balls between Quinton de Kock and Sanju Samson, were unable to close out the match.

Medium pacer Stoinis kept chipping away with regular wickets to bring Punjab back after Delhi's fiery start. He accounted for both openers before claiming the key wicket of Sam Billings towards the close.

Nehra swings it

Ashish Nehra

IMAGE: Ashish Nehra celebrates a wicket against the Mumbai Indians.

May 8, 2016: Ashish Nehra, a surprise inclusion in India's squad for the world T20, has gotten better and better with every outing this year.

After impressing with the ball in the Asia Cup and World T20, the 37 year old is making an impact in the IPL with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Nehra made most of the conditions to send the Mumbai Indians tumbling for a paltry 92 after Sunrisers posted 177 in Visakhapatnam.

Mumbai made a disastrous start and were reduced to 30/5 in 5 overs, with Nehra scalping 3 top-order batsmen in 12 balls.

Parthiv Patel was the first to go for a duck, dismissed LBW by Bhuvneshwar Kumar's sixth ball of the innings.

Nehra, who also got early swing like Bhuvneshwar, then brought Mumbai to their knees, taking 3 wickets in 2 overs, including the big one of captain Rohit Sharma (5).

Then Ambati Rayudu (6) fell to a gem of a Nehra delivery that flew to Kane Williamson at backward point.

Two balls later, Nehra tempted Jos Buttler (2) with a widish delivery and the batsman, without moving his feet, prodded to get a thick outside edge for wicketkeeper Naman Ojha to take a stunning one-handed diving catch to his right.

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com