Tuesday, May 17, 2022

IPL 2022: Yuzvendra Chahal maintains lead even as T Natarajan, Dwayne Bravo close gap in purple cap list

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Indian Premier League 2022 has entered the business end. At the start of the fifth week, it appears that Gujarat Titans are a clear favourites to grab a top-two finish. The debutants have 12 points from seven matches and sit on top of the IPL 2022 points table comfortably. The same, however, can’t be said about IPL’s two most successful teams: Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

Five-time winners MI are yet to win a match and their chances of making it to the playoffs are close to nil. Defending champions CSK are not faring any better. Their 11-run loss to Punjab Kings means they won’t be able to secure direct qualification even if they win their remaining six matches. The Ravindra Jadeja-led side will now have to depend on net run rate and a host of other factors to stand a chance of making it to the playoffs.

There is another interesting race going on for the purple cap, which is awarded to the highest wicket-taker of the tournament. Rajsthan Royals’ leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is sitting on top with 18 wickets in seven matches. Chahal, who has taken his first hat-trick, is in top form with the ball and is also one of the main reasons behind RR’s improved performance.

Chahal is followed by Sunrisers Hyderabad left-arm pacer T Natarajan, who has taken 15 wickets in seven matches.

Then comes CSK all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who broke into the top-three after picking up two wickets against PBKS in Mumbai on Monday. The IPL’s all-time highest wicket-taker has so far taken 14 wickets in eight matches.

At the fourth and fifth positions are two comeback men of Indian cricket: Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav. Playing for the Delhi Capitals, Kuldeep has scalped 13 wickets in seven matches and is in the middle of one of his best-ever IPLs. Umesh, on the other hand, has been a shining light in the Kolkata Knight Riders bowling unit. The right-arm seamer has sneered 11 wickets in eight matches.

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