Dubai: Partnerships are important, for batting as well as bowling. Now with the evolution of Twenty20 cricket a perfect opening partnership, where the bat and ball complement each other in tandem, is vital for the team fire the first salvo to set them on a winning path. Those who have managed to achieve the early breakthroughs have gone on to record their victories with ease in the first round of the Indian Premier League Season 16, which began on Friday.
After five matches, where each team have played one game each, some teams have started strongly while the others have not been able to get their acts right. There is no reason for them to hit the panic button as yet in a tournament where each team play another 13 matches each, but early signs are that bowlers are playing a bigger role with early wickets to douse the hopes of the rivals, be it setting the scores or chasing a target. Veteran New Zealander Trent Boult and England and Lucknow Super Giants' pacer Mark Wood and the two Indian stars Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh of Punjab Kings guided their respective teams to victories after getting a few early wickets.
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Batters in a quandary
Once a team get three wickets in the poweplay overs, then the rest of batters are left in quandary, not knowing whether to attack or defend and end up making a mess of the run chase.
After scoring 203 runs, left-arm pacer Boult gave Rajasthan a dream start by getting two wickets in the first over, leaving Sunrisers Hyderabad an uphill task. The Bolt blow left 2016 champions on the mat. So is the case with Mumbai Indians, who lost three wickets inside the powerplay overs with Mohammed Siraj bowling a blinder of a spell. Barring a stunning counter-attack from the young Tilak Varma, Mumbai could have finished a lot lower than a sub-par 171 on a perfect batting track in Bengaluru.
On Saturday too, the script went on similar lines with both Arshdeep Singh and Wood sending Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals reeling. The England pacer produced a sharp, menacing spell with sheer pace and accuracy, hitting the stumps with regularity.
The bowlers’ are rewarded for their hardwork and consistency as the batters are determined to go hard at them, especially in the first six overs when the field restrictions are in place. In zest the batters invariably fall to their own mistakes. It is proving that getting early wickets are more important than scoring big runs. As the league progresses, teams might be more cautious to keep their wickets in tact to negate the early advantage to their rivals.