The IPL is done and dusted and Chennai Super Kings have been crowned as the champions for the fourth time. Their players utilized their experience and stepped up in the playoffs. However, there were other noticeable performers in the playoffs. So let’s have a look at the players who performed exceptionally in the playoffs week.
Here are the top five performers in the playoffs week of IPL:
5. Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa, who is an IPL veteran didn’t get a chance to feature in the first 12 games of the IPL. But he was eventually included after Suresh Raina sustained an injury. Robbie couldn’t contribute in the first couple of games. But he showed his class in the playoffs week. In Qualifier 1, CSK were chasing a stiff target of 173 against an excellent DC bowling. CSK even lost an early wicket.
But Robin showed his experience and scored match winning 63 runs to help CSK close in on the target. In the final, his quickfire 31 off just 15 balls helped CSK put up a massive total on the board. Eventually, CSK defended the total and won the final.
4. Venkatesh Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer is one of the finds of this year’s IPL. He didn’t get a chance to feature in the first leg but took the world by storm in the second leg. In the three games of the playoffs, Iyer scored 131 runs which included two fifties.
His first half century came against the best bowling lineup of IPL, Delhi Capitals, in Qualifier 2. His fifty pretty much ended the chances for Delhi. In the final, KKR were chasing a huge target of 193. Iyer gave KKR the best possible start as he scored fifty off just 32 balls. But KKR fell way short of the target despite his contribution.
3. Ruturaj Gaikwad
It won’t be wrong if we call UAE the den of Ruturaj Gaikwad. He scored more than 400 runs in this leg alone and became the second player who won the orange cap and the IPL trophy in the same year. In the 1st Qualifier against Delhi, he played a match winning innings of 70 off 50 balls which included 5 fours and 2 sixes.
His innings helped CSK reach the finals. Expectedly, he was given the player of the match award. In the finals, Gaikwad and Faf gave an excellent start to CSK as the duo stitched a fifty run stand for the opening wicket. This foundation helped CSK set up a huge total.
2. Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine has been a match winner for KKR for almost a decade now. In the eliminator against RCB he showed exactly why he is the most dangerous player specially in T20 cricket. He picked up four crucial wickets which included Kohli, De Villiers and Maxwell and scored quick 26 runs to take his side home. He pretty much defeated RCB single handedly.
In Qualifier 2, he went wicketless but conceded only 27 runs in his four overs. In the finals, he was the most successful KKR bowler as out of the three wickets that fell for CSK, Narine took two of them. But he couldn’t contribute much with the bat. KKR eventually fell short of the target.
1. Faf Du Plessis
Faf gets the number one position solely because his innings was the reason behind CSK’s win in the most important game of the IPL. His innings became special because Faf failed badly in the 1st Qualifier as he was dismissed in the first over. Faf also ended up as the 2nd highest run scorer and he was only 2 runs behind Gaikwad.
In the penultimate game, Faf scored 86 off 59 deliveries. He almost carried his bat through as he was dismissed off the last ball. Faf struck 7 fours and 3 maximums in his game changing innings. He helped CSK set up a huge total which was too tough to chase down for KKR. Deservingly, Faf received the player of the match award for his match winning performance.