On May 3, the IPL 2023 match between Lucknow Super Giants and Chennai Super Kings was called off due to heavy rain at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow. Both the teams will now be sharing one point each. However, the day saw a record being set elsewhere. On May 3, Mumbai Indians became the first team in the tournament’s history to successfully overhaul a 200 plus target on consecutive occasions. It was the 26th 200-plus total of IPL 2023 – a tournament record – and the 10th time both teams had crossed the 200-run mark in the same match. It was also the fifth successful chase of a 200-plus total in IPL 2023 – another record for the league.
The run-rate in the PowerPlay is at an all-time high of 8.57, well clear of the previous peak of 8.39 of the 2018 edition. This is just the fourth time the run-rate has been in excess of eight in the PowerPlay since the 2008 season and the first since 2019.
As many as 152 sixes have been hit in the first six overs in IPL 2023, at a frequency of 3.30 per match, second to only the 2018 edition (3.75 sixes per match). With the added cushion of an extra batter, courtesy the Impact Player rule, in all probability, teams have been less risk-averse from the get-go. As a result, the average runs scored per wicket in 2023 (34.68) is the second lowest in the last five seasons played in the home and away format.
However, despite IPL 2023 being a pacesetter in terms of scoring rates across T20 tournaments, teams have found success in the PowerPlay to varying degrees. All numbers are up to date till the SRH vs KKR game on May 4.
Rohit Sharma’s travails with the bat belie the fact that Mumbai Indians enjoys the fourth best PowerPlay run-rate (8.85) in the tournament. Ishan Kishan – with 195 runs at a strike rate of 144.44 – has been the chief contributor for Mumbai in the PowerPlay while Rohit’s approach to take the bowlers on from the word go hasn’t reaped dividends. He has been dismissed seven times in nine innings in the first six overs, while averaging 19.71 and striking at 131.42. Against the backdrop of the Rohit-Kishan opening partnership blowing hot and cold, Cameron Green has stepped up in the No. 3 role. The Aussie all-rounder has averaged 52 in the PowerPlay, and his strike rate of 148.57 has ensured Mumbai doesn’t lag too far behind in maximising the field restrictions.
Like Mumbai Indians, Punjab has struck at an identical run-rate of 8.85 in the PowerPlay and has been plagued by a similarly inconsistent opening pair. Shikhar Dhawan and Prabhsimran Singh have cruised at a healthy run-rate of 9.50 as an opening pair, have two partnerships of over 50 but average 25.57. With a strike rate of 152.33, Prabhsimran has been the aggressor while Dhawan has been an accumulator at 135.80. In the absence of Dhawan, who missed three games due to injury, Atharva Taide and Matthew Short have lent able support at No. 3. Short has steadied the innings after the fall of an early wicket on three occasions while striking at 137.17 in the PowerPlay while Taide boasts of a strike rate of 171.42 in the limited opportunities he has got at one-drop.
The Sanju Samson-led RR leads the charge when it comes to maximising the field restrictions with the highest run-rate (9.55) in the PowerPlay. What is commendable is that it has managed to keep the tempo up while losing just eight wickets (second least during this phase) in the first six overs. Yashasvi Jaiswal has been the key architect for the Royals during this phase, striking at 165.69, while his opening partner Jos Buttler has played second fiddle at a strike rate of 144.24. Jaiswal and Buttler have been the second most prolific opening pair in IPL 2023.
Chennai Super Kings
The four-time champion can boast of a PowerPlay run-rate of 9.51 and a format-agnostic per wicket average of 85.66 thanks to the consistency of openers Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The duo has struck three fifty-plus and one century partnership