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Kings XI Punjab beat Delhi Daredevils by six wickets on Sunday to clinch their first win of the 2018 Indian Premier League season, where Gautam Gambhir hit 55 off 42 for the losing outfit to boost his early hopes for the Orange Cap.
Dwayne Bravo remains the top scorer in the IPL after notching 68 runs in Chennai Super Kings’ victory over Mumbai Indians on Saturday. Hardik Pandya and Mayank Markande share a joint lead in the bowling stakes with three wickets taken in Mumbai’s defeat.
Mohit Sharma and Mujeeb Ur Rahman took two wickets apiece for Kings XI in their defeat of the Daredevils, and it was the latter who ran out Gambhir to stop his rampage in timely fashion.
Kolkata Knight Riders will look to impress in their 2018 season-opener at home to Royal Challengers Bangalore later on Sunday, with the hosts hoping to make the play-offs for a third year in succession.
Read on for a breakdown of who’s leading in the hunt for a post-season award as the 2018 IPL season welcomes back the cream of the cricket crop.
Orange Cap Leaders (Runs)
1. Dwayne Bravo, Chennai Super Kings (68)
2. Gautam Gambhir, Delhi Daredevils (55)
3. Lokesh Rahul, Kings XI Punjab (51)
4. Karun Nair, Kings XI Punjab (50)
5. Suryakumar Yadav, Mumbai Indians (43)
Purple Cap Leaders (Wickets)
1. Hardik Pandya, Mumbai Indians (3)
2. Mayank Markande, Mumbai Indians (3)
3. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Kings XI Punjab (2)
4. Shane Watson, Chennai Super Kings (2)
5. Mohit Sharma, Kings XI Punjab (2)
Kings XI Punjab (167/4) beat Delhi Daredevils (166/9) by 6 wickets
Ravichandran Ashwin’s first game captaining new side Kings XI Punjab was a success as they completed a successful chase of 166 to push their way to the summit of the IPL standings.
The Daredevils failed to create a formidable enough tally in their innings and paid the price as Kings XI rallied to a relatively routine win, and Gambhir’s 55 wasn’t his first time damaging these opponents, per Cricbuzz:
Most runs against an opponent in #IPL: 797 Gayle v KXIP 726 GAMBHIR v KXIP * 712 Raina v MI 710 Rohit v KKR 706 Kohli v CSK 701 Raina v KKR #KXIPvDD
Gambhir’s effort was also his 36th half-century in the Indian Premier League, a joint-record total alongside David Warner.
But Bravo remains the man to beat in the scoring stakes after he opened his campaign with a powerful 68 off 30 balls in Saturday’s defeat of Mumbai, returning to Chennai Super Kings this year after two years away.
Bharath Seervi of ESPNCricinfo was quick to acknowledge the level of competition against whom he managed to amass such a score:
Bharath Seervi @SeerviBharath
Dwayne Bravo is the first player to hit 3 sixes in an over off Bumrah in T20s. #MIvsCSK #IPL2018
It was fitting the Super Kings rallied from the dead after serving a two-year suspension from the IPL, and Bravo called his match-saving contribution the best innings he’s ever played:
This is the best inning I have ever played – Dwayne Bravo At 118-8 CSK were looking down and out. But one man had other ideas. Bravo’s scintillating 30-ball 68 swung the match around dramatically as CSK took the points home. Here’s he talking to the media #MIvCSK https://t.co/OQuhZrMifC
While Chennai were getting off to a promising start upon their return to the league, emerging leg-spin gem Markande made an impression in his first IPL game for Mumbai.
His and Pandya’s respective trio of wickets looked as though it would be enough to seal the victory for the Indians, but despite their eventual loss, cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle marvelled at Markande’s IPL arrival:
Harsha Bhogle @bhogleharsha
This is a seriously wow debut for Mayank Markande. A Bumrah kind of debut? Better at this stage……
The Mumbai duo each have three wickets to their name this season and share the driving seat for the purple cap, while three players, including Kings XI pair Sharma and Ur Rahman, follow closely on two apiece.