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IPL-7: The BEST performances from the UAE leg

May 01, 2014 10:11 IST

IPL-7: The BEST performances from the UAE leg

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Harish Kotian presents the top performances from the first leg of the Indian Premier League's seventh edition in the United Arab Emirates.

The Indian Premier League continued to be a huge hit among fans even though it temporarily shifted base to the United Arab Emirates because of the general elections in the country.

All the stadiums were packed and players dished performances that will be etched in memory of cricket aficionados in the desert kingdom for a long time to come.

Glenn Maxwell proved that Mumbai Indians made a huge blunder by letting him go at the player auction.

He kicked off the seventh season in roaring fashion, slamming three straight blazing knocks which set the platform for Kings XI Punjab winning all their five matches in the first phase of the Twenty20 tournament.

There were other superb performances from international stars like Ravindra Jadeja, Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch and JP Duminy.

Besides, who can forget Chris Lynn’s unbelievable catch that played a huge role in Kolkata Knight Riders snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Indian domestic players like Pravin Tambe and Sandeep Sharma also gave a good account of themselves.

As the tournament shifts to India, here’s a look at the best performances from the first leg.

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Photographs: BCCI

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Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)

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Glenn Maxwell

(95 from 43 balls vs Chennai Super Kings)

Set a mammoth 206 for victory, Kings XI Punjab were heading for a big defeat after slipping to 52 for three in the sixth over.

But in came ‘Big Show’ Maxwell and he went on the counter-attack right from the word go. He was at his innovative best, using the switch-hit and hoick over the leg side to good effect, as the Chennai bowlers went into a tizzy.

Chennai were made to rue their lapses in the field, as Maxwell was dropped twice, on 37 and 77.

The Australian hammered 95 from 43 balls, hitting 15 fours and two sixes, adding 115 runs from 63 balls for the fourth wicket with South Africa’s David Miller as Punjab scored an unlikely victory with seven balls to spare.

(89 from 45 balls vs Rajasthan Royals)

Two days later, Maxwell was back at it again. He played another blinder to guide Punjab home in another huge run-chase.

Rajasthan Royals looked in control after posting 191 for five and reducing Punjab to 10 for two in the third over.

But they hit a storm in the form of Maxwell, who, in the company of Miller, shred the Rajasthan bowling attack to pieces.

Maxwell blasted 89 from 45 balls, with the help of eight fours and six sixes, before he departed in the 14th over.

Miller then took over and ensured Maxwell’s heroics did not go waste with a 19-ball half-century that took Punjab to victory with eight balls to spare.

(95 from 43 balls vs Sunrisers Hyderabad)

There was no stopping Maxwell as he played his third consecutive match-winning innings for Kings XI Punjab.

On the receiving end this time was Sunrisers Hyderabad. They had five international bowlers in their line-up but failed to stop the rampaging Australian.

Hyderabad had opted to put Punjab in to bat but it hardly mattered for Maxwell, who slammed 95 from 43 balls, with the help of five fours and nine sixes. He was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved century.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra came in for some special treatment from Maxwell, who carted him for four sixes in the 14th over to lift Punjab to 193.

Hyderabad crumbed under the pressure of the huge total. They were shot out for a paltry 121 and lost by 72 runs.

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Image: Glenn Maxwell
Photographs: BCCI

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David Miller (Kings XI Punjab)

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David Miller

(54 not out vs Chennai Super Kings and 51 not out vs Rajasthan)

While Maxwell received all the plaudits for his mesmerizing batting, Punjab also have Miller to thank for his crucial contributions with the bat.

The South African provided the finishing touches in the first two games with two cracking half-centuries.

Against Chennai, there was still a lot of work left to be done after Maxwell’s dismissal in the 16th over and Miller steered Punjab home, hitting 54 from 37 balls.

In the next match, against Rajasthan, Miller went on the offensive after Maxwell and clobbered six sixes as he scored 51 from 19 balls.

Kings won by seven wickets.

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Image: David Miller
Photographs: BCCI

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Aaron Finch (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

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Aaron Finch

(88 not out vs Delhi Daredevils)

Sunrisers Hyderabad bagged their first points in IPL 7 after two straight defeats courtesy Aaron Finch’s superb, unbeaten 88.

Electing to bat first, Finch batted through the innings, hitting eight fours and four sixes in his 53-ball knock as Hyderabad posted a massive 184 for 1.

He put on 128 runs from 82 balls for the second wicket with fellow-Australian David Warner as the duo delighted fans with their strokeplay.

In reply, Delhi Daredevils ran them close. They finished with 180 for four and lost by four runs.

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Image: Aaron Finch
Photographs: BCCI

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JP Duminy (Delhi Daredevils)

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JP Duminy

(52 not out vs Kolkata Knight Riders)

Delhi Daredevils’ poor run continued in the IPL as they went down in the first match and extended their losing run to seven games in a row.

But South African JP Duminy ensured they got back to winning ways with a cracking knock of 52 from 35 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders.

The match looked evenly poised with Delhi needing 32 from three overs for victory and five wickets in hands. But Duminy turned the match on its head as he hit fellow-South African Morne Morkel for two sixes and a four in the 18th over which fetched them 21 runs.

He ended the match in grand style with a six off Piyush Chawla that also brought up his fifty and took Delhi to victory with three balls to spare.

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Image: JP Duminy
Photographs: BCCI

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Chris Lynn (Kolkata Knight Riders)

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Chris Lynn

(45 and a stunning catch vs Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Royal Challengers Bangalore had the match against Kolkata Knight Riders firmly in the bag, with nine needed from the last over and six wickets in hand.

The experienced AB de Villiers had been in this situation many times before, and up against him was medium pacer R Vinay Kumar.

Three runs came off the first four balls before de Villiers pulled a short one to the boundary.

Chris Lynn initially appeared to have misjudged the catch as he slipped, but quickly regained control and arched his body back to complete one hell of a catch. In a matter of a few seconds, Lynn became hero and a household name in Kolkata.

That catch overshadowed his contribution with the bat earlier, as he top-scored for KKR with a quickfire 45 from 31 balls, showing scant respect for bowling legend Muttiah Muralitharan as he carted him for a few sixes over the leg side.

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Image: Chris Lynn
Photographs: BCCI

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Jacques Kallis (Kolkata Knight Riders)

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Jacques Kallis

(72 vs Mumbai Indians)

Before the tournament there were question marks over whether Kolkata Knight Riders had made the right decision in retaining veteran Jacques Kallis.

But the 38-year-old answered his critics in style as he slammed 77 from a mere 46 balls in the tournament opener to propel KKR to a convincing 41-run victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians.

KKR lost captain Gautam Gambhir for a duck early but Kallis rallied the innings, adding 131 runs for the second wicket with Manish Pandey, who scored 64 from 53 balls.

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Image: Jacques Kallis
Photographs: BCCI

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Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings)

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Ravindra Jadeja

(36 not out and 4-33 vs Rajasthan Royals)

Ravindra Jadeja’s superb all-round performance helped Chennai Super Kings get the better of Rajasthan Royals in a keenly-fought contest.

After being put in to bat, Chennai were struggling at 74 for five at the fall of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s wicket.

Jadeja scored 36 from 31 balls to guide them to 140 for six before doing the star turn with the ball.

The left-arm spinner took four for 33 in four overs, including the key wickets of Shane Watson and Sanju Samson off successive deliveries, to put Chennai in charge.

Rajasthan were bowled out for 133 and lost by seven runs.

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Image: Ravindra Jadeja
Photographs: BCCI

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Pravin Tambe (Rajasthan Royals)

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Pravin Tambe

(4-20 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore)

T20 is regarded by many as a youngster’s game, but a few veterans continue to outshine their younger team mates and opponents in the ongoing IPL season.

Once such performer is 42-year-old Pravin Tambe. The gritty leg-spinner has become an integral part of Rajasthan Royals since 2013 after a string of impressive performances in the last season and Champions League T20.

Tambe had not even played a first class match before Rajasthan picked him out of nowhere last year.

He is now repaying the faith shown in him.

Royal Challengers Bangalore, which arguably have the most dangerous batting line-up, were left stunned as they were bowled out for a paltry 70 in 15 overs.

After a couple of early wickets, Tambe got into the scheme of things with the big wicket of Virat Kohli for 21. He then cleaned up the tail to finish with four for 20 in four overs as Rajasthan eased to a six-wicket victory.

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Image: Pravin Tambe
Photographs: BCCI

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Sandeep Sharma (Kings XI Punjab)

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Sandeep Sharma

(3-21 vs Kolkata Knight Riders)

If Kings XI Punjab are going into the second phase of the tournament unbeaten, much credit is due to Sandeep Sharma, who had two excellent outings with the ball.

Punjab’s batting looked to have faltered for once when they finished on a modest 132 for nine against Kolkata Knight Riders.

But the 20-year-old Sandeep, who was handed the new ball, made it count by taking the wicket of Manish Pandey in the third over before accounting for Gautam Gambhir in his next.

He then returned to dismiss the high-flying Surya Kumar Yadav, who had slammed 34 from 17 balls, to help Punjab clinch a 23-run victory.

(3-15 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Sandeep made everyone stand up and take notice of his bowling as he claimed the big wickets of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli in his first over against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

He also accounted for Parthiv Patel to finish with splendid figures of three for 15 in three overs, including a maiden.

Punjab chased down the runs with five wickets and seven balls to spare and, deservedly, Sandeep won his second successive man of the match award.

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Image: Sandeep Sharma
Photographs: BCCI

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James Faulkner (Rajasthan Royals)

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James Faulkner

(3-11 vs Kolkata Knight Riders)

James Faulkner was one of the top performers for Rajasthan Royals, but this year has found the going a bit tough.

He was dropped for a game before he replaced Tim Southee for the match against Kolkata Knight Riders.

It was Faulkner’s 24th birthday and he made sure he made the special day count. He was called up to bowl his second over as late as the 19th over of the innings.

And he made all the difference as he took three wickets in a single over.

Surya Kumar Yadav was dismissed for 31 from 19 balls from the first ball before Robin Uthappa and Vinay Kumar fell off the fourth and fifth ball.

Needing 11 runs to win from two overs with six wickets in hand, Kolkata lost their way Faulkner's spell.

The match ended in a tie and went into the Super Over.

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Image: James Faulkner
Photographs: BCCI

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Lakshmipathy Balaji (Kings XI Punjab)

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Lakshmipathy Balaji

(4-13 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad)

After Punjab had posted a huge 193 for six, courtesy Glenn Maxwell’s whirlwind innings of 95, their bowlers destroyed the Sunrisers Hyderabad batting.

Former India pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji led the way with a brilliant spell of four for 13 in four overs.

Balaji scalped the dangerous Australian duo of Aaron Finch (19) and David Warner (8) in the space of two deliveries to cripple Sunrisers right at the start.

He also dismissed Darren Sammy late in the innings before accounting for Dale Steyn as Punjab romped to a 72-run victory.

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Image: Lakshmipathy Balaji
Photographs: BCCI

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Brendon McCullum (Chennai Super Kings)

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Brendon McCullum

(71 not out vs Mumbai Indians)

The struggling Mumbai Indians were able to post a competitive 141 for seven in their 20 overs courtesy Rohit Sharma’s 50.

Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith gave Chennai Super Kings the perfect start, putting on 57 runs for the opening wicket off 38 balls.

The Kiwi opener anchored the Chennai innings to perfection, scoring 71 not out from 53 balls, inclusive of eight fours and two sixes.

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Image: Brendon McCullum
Photographs: BCCI

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Mohit Sharma (Chennai Super Kings)

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Mohit Sharma

(4-14 vs Mumbai Indians)

Chennai Super Kings retained Mohit Sharma for IPL 7 after a string of impressive performances last year which also helped him breakthrough into the Indian team.

Introduced in the fifth over, he claimed the wicket of Aditya Tare in his first over. He then caused maximum damage, snaring the wickets the dangerous Kieron Pollard (12), Ambati Rayudu (1) and Harbhajan Singh (0) in his final over.

The loss of those three big wickets in the 19th over meant Mumbai were unable to lift the tempo at the end and finished with 141 for seven. The total proved meagre for CSK’s strong batting and they rattled off the runs for the loss of three wickets in 19 overs.

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Image: Mohit Sharma
Photographs: BCCI

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Dwayne Smith (Chennai Super Kings)

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Dwayne Smith

(66 and 1-12 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Chennai, who lost Dwayne Bravo to injury for the entire tournament, found an able replacement in Smith, who was signed up at the auction earlier this year.

The West Indian has already scored three half-centuries in five matches, but his most impressive performance was against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Sharjah.

He chipped in with two quiet overs, and took a wicket for 11 runs.

Then he exploded with the bat.

Chasing 146 for victory, Chennai went on the attack, with Smith and Brendon McCullum putting on 85 runs from 65 balls for the opening wicket.

Smith went on to score 66 from 46 balls, with the help of four fours and five sixes, as Chennai, despite a late stumble, won by five wickets and three balls to spare.

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Image: Dwayne Smith
Photographs: BCCI

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