The Citizen (Gauteng)
How our local IPL stars shaped
There are still six weeks of action remaining in the Indian Premier League, but notwithstanding the weak performances of the Proteas T20 side, there were some strong performances by South Africans in the first week of the biggest tournament in cricket, highlighted by David Miller and Chris Morris combining to steer the Rajasthan Royals to a thrilling win over the Delhi Capitals.
AB de Villiers had not played a competitive game of cricket since the previous IPL finished in November, but he opened his 2021 campaign with a match-winning 48 off 27 balls for the Bangalore Royal Challengers in their thrilling win over the defending champion Mumbai Indians. In their next game, he was still trying to work out the wizardry of leg-spinner Rashid Khan when he was dismissed for just a single.
Chris Morris has had a frustrating start to the IPL in terms of his fast bowling, having figures of 2/41 in four and 1/27 in three overs, but he vanquished all those negativities as he roared to 36 not out off just 18 balls to win a thriller for the Rajasthan Royals against the Delhi Capitals.
David Miller missed the Rajasthan Royals’ loss to the Sikhs from the Punjab Kings in their opening game, but played hide-and-seek with the Delhi Capitals’ bowlers, hammering 62 off just 43 deliveries, as he led the recovery that was finished by Morris after coming in at 17/3.
Marco Jansen has been thrust into the limelight at the IPL from the outset by the champion Mumbai Indians, but the 20-year-old has shown immense heart with the ball. His debut was impressive as he took two wickets in the 15th over of the Bangalore innings, including that of Glenn Maxwell, finishing with fine figures of 2/28 in his four overs. He then bowled two overs for 17 runs against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Unfortunately he has made ducks in both his visits to the crease.
Kagiso Rabada played in that thrilling Rajasthan Royals’ loss to the Delhi Capitals and was the bowler of that penultimate over that cost 15 runs as Chris Morris hit him for two sixes. Rabada had been excellent with the ball before that, taking 2/15 in three overs. He also scored nine not out off four balls with the bat.
Quinton de Kock missed the first game and then scored just two off six balls, but he can still console himself with the fact that his Mumbai Indians team can still defend a low total like 152 as they beat Kolkata by 10 runs.
Faf du Plessis never got going in his opening IPL match, being dismissed for a three-ball duck as the Chennai Super Kings lost by seven wickets to the Delhi Capitals.
Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir have not yet played a game, while Anrich Nortje’s participation with the Delhi Capitals was delayed by a false positive Covid test.