IPL Week 3 Notes: Starc sends RCB charging up the table

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At the halfway stage of IPL2015 it’s a familiar sight at the top of the table, with MS Dhoni’s star-studded Chennai Super Kings side looking down at the rest of their rivals.

While they sit comfortably in first place though, they will be wary of a similarly gifted franchise moving up ominously on the rails.

Royal Challengers Bangalore have finally found some form, thanks to the arrival of a key overseas cog.

Here’s a run down of the Week 3 action:

RCB on the charge

Virat Kohli’s side lost three of their opening four matches to sit bottom at the end of Week 2, but have since won two on the bounce to surge up into the play-off places.

Their latest victory should sound as a warning shot to the rest of the league. Mitchell Starc, playing in just his third game of IPL2015, took 3-20 as RCB rolled Delhi Daredevils for just 95. Chris Gayle, 62*, and Kohli, 35*, then motored to the target in 10.3 overs.

Life in the old dog yet

Last week was a celebration of the return to form of Harbhajan Singh, while this time around it’s a seam-bowling former teammate who caught the eye.

Ashish Nehra, who last played any form of international cricket in 2011, took over the Purple Cap worn by the leading wicket taker when registering 4-10 for Chennai Super Kings against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the best figures of the tournament so far:

An unlikely partnership

Australian and Indian cricketers haven’t been the closest of friends over the years, but David Warner took the rivalry between the nations to new heights over the course of the Aussie summer.

So prickly was he to the touring Indians before and during the World Cup, his position as Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper looked risky.

However, he has found an unexpected ally in Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order. The pair now hold the record for the most 100-plus partnerships in the IPL after registering their third, of 130, against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Warner scored 91:

A name for the future

17-year-old Sarfraz Khan became the youngest player in the history of the IPL when he turned out for RCB against the Chennai Super Kings, breaking the record held by Pradeep Sangwan since 2008.

Batting at number six, Khan made just 11, but showed he has a future in the game by clearing the ropes in just his fifth ball at the crease.

He has since been picked twice more by the Royal Challengers, but hasn’t been required to don the pads.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.