Stars of the Week: Bowlers bloom amid batting boom

These are early days in the tournament, but the Indian Premier League (IPL) has already witnessed some glittery firepower on the field.

Samuel Badree had an outing to remember against Mumbai Indians.

These are early days in the tournament, but the Indian Premier League (IPL) has already witnessed some glittery firepower on the field. If the inaugural week of the star-studded tournament saw the batsmen dominating the show, bowlers made their presence felt in the next week, adding spice to the league. While the second week witnessed two hat-tricks on a single day — a first in the history of IPL, it was also about young guns like Sanju Samson and Nitish Rana making an impact with the bat. So, as the tournament moves into the third week, let’s take a walk on the park, looking at some of the players, who proved their mettle in the last few days.

Samuel Badree (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

It was his first outing of the season for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, and the West Indies leg-spinner marked his entry with a hat-trick — the first of the season. At the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on April 14, it was Samuel Badree, who rocked the Mumbai Indians top-order. With bowling figures reading 4-1-9-4, Badree provided the early edge to the Virat Kohli-led side. Even though, the Bangalore outfit failed to outclass a formidable Mumbai Indians, Badree had an outing to remember.

Andrew Tye (Gujarat Lions)

When it rains, it pours, goes the saying. And, Australian fast bowler Andrew Tye made the adage come true, as the Gujarat Lions player scalped a hat-trick against Rising Pune Supergiant — hours after Badree’s feat. At the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, the 30-year-old Aussie not only got off to a sparkling IPL opener, but also guided the struggling Gujarat Lions to its first victory. Maintaining the uber cool form, Tye ended the day at 5-17.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Looks can often be deceptive, and medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one example. In the four games that he has played so far, Kumar has claimed 10 wickets — the highest till now. With best figures of 3-20 against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on April 15, Kumar has proven that even in the shortest format of the league, consistency is the key.

Sanju Samson (Delhi Daredevils)

After a dull domestic season, which saw him getting into a tussle with the Kerala State Cricket Association, Sanju Samson was back in the business. Donning the Delhi Daredevils jersey for the second time in a row, the young cricketer from Kerala allowed the willow to do the talking against the Rising Pune Supergiant.

The result was out in the open — a flashy knock of 102 in 63 deliveries! Even as Delhi Daredevils lost early wickets, Sanju kept his cool and did what he’s best known for — batting at ease.

Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Leading from the front, the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper has had a season to remember so far. Piling up 182 runs in the four games, Gautam Gambhir has made it clear that this IPL could well be his gateway to the Indian team for the Champions Trophy. With two seventy-plus knocks and an average of 91.00, Gambhir sits pretty on top of the run-getters list.

Nitish Rana (Mumbai Indians)

At 27, Nitish Rana is slowly getting a hang of slam bang cricket! Donning the Mumbai Indians jersey, Rana has scored 140 runs from four games. Though he has been a late bloomer in the league, Rana has proven his worth in the Mumbai Indians middle-order this time by providing confidence and support at the times of crisis.

Compiled by Shayan Acharya

(IPL matches from April 9-15)