The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), shifted to the UAE and being held without the presence of the fans in the stadiums, is different from the previous editions in all senses.
But still, the cricket extravaganza did not fail to come up with some interesting bits even while being played under strict measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here we list some of the interesting bits that the IPL has offered till now.
Four out of four for AB!
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) romped to a massive 82-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday in Sharjah on the back of an AB de Villiers masterclass of 73 not out from just 33 balls.
De Villiers won all 4 of the individual awards in their previous match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). These awards are: Man of The Match, Altroz Super Striker of the Match, UNACADEMY Let's Crack it Sixes, Dream 11 Game Changer of the match. All these awards came along with 1,00,000Rs prize money each.
CSK requests IPL governing council to reduce boundary size
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have requested IPL governing council to bring the ropes in at Dubai and Abu Dhabi and make the ground dimensions smaller. They said the senior players can either field or bat, but can't do both in the heat on the big grounds at Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
CSK has batted second in all their six matches in IPL 2020 till now, and their middle order has failed to come good in any of the chases without the help of the top order.
'Strike-rate is overrated'
In T20s, KL Rahul's strike-rate is almost touching the 140-mark but the aggressive right-hander has batted in the mid-120s in the last two games in the IPL.
"Strike-rate is very overrated. For me, it is only how I can win games. On a certain day, if I feel batting at 120 can win my team the game, I will do that. This is how I bat and as a leader, you have to take responsibility. We all make mistakes but you learn everyday as a leader and a batter. Every player has a role and it can change each day. At the end of the day, I need to walk out the ground knowing that I tried to win the game for my team," he said.
Lara thinks Dhoni should exchange role
Chasing 168, CSK were stranded at 157/5 in 20 overs, losing the match by 10 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday. Speaking on the Star Sports post-match show, batting legend Brian Lara said that Dhoni should look at other players to take over the role of finisher.
"It's a bit puzzling (Dhoni's inability to finish). You feel that he has created that position where he can be flexible with himself but I think he needs to maybe look at some other players," Lara said.
"He (Dhoni) is a great finisher, no doubt about that. But things are not going right for him and I believe, some of the other players, look at Jadeja how he batted today, he came in when their chances were very slim. So, something he will have to work on, have steadier stuff."
Pooran slams fastest fifty of IPL 2020
Kings XI Punjab's Nicholas Pooran slammed the fastest fifty (17 balls) of IPL 2020 during their encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Thursday.
Pooran scored 28 off Abdul Samad's first over, hammering the spinner for four sixes and a four to reach the landmark. He is now second only to skipper KL Rahul, who holds the record for the fastest IPL half-century (14 balls) for Kings XI against Delhi Daredevils in 2018.
Dhoni's 5-year-old daughter Zina getting rape threats!
Cricket is one of the most popular games in India. But it is also the biggest catalyst for bringing out toxic misogyny among men. And the latest example of such toxicity followed the Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders match on Wednesday.
In a disturbing incident, while hundreds trolled Dhoni, some tweets and Facebook posts threatening Dhoni's five-year-old daughter also surfaced. And not just any threat, these were threats of rape and physical violence.
The threats allegedly appeared on Dhoni and his wife Sakshi's Instagram accounts following Wednesday's loss.
'Trying to keep it simple'
Afghanistan and Sunrisers Hyderabad leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who picked up three wickets against Kings XI Punjab in Dubai on Thursday for a winning cause, threw light on the importance of line-and-length for a spin bowler in T20 cricket.
"I am just trying my best to keep it simple and not put too much pressure on myself. On these wickets, you have to adjust to the line and length which is the key. After bowling the first few balls, I realised the right length on this wicket. You also have to know the weaknesses of the batters."
'Had to dive'
On Tuesday, talking about his crucial catch to dismiss Rajasthan Royals' Mahipal Lomror, Mumbai Indians' spinner Anukul Roy said that he had to dive to take the catch after realizing he was far away from the ball.
Roy had come in as a substitute fielder for Suryakumar Yadav and ended up taking an amazing catch in the ninth over off Rahul Chahar's bowling to dismiss Lomror.
Mumbai Indians were dominant in the match as they routed Rajasthan by 57 runs to go top of the table. They bowled out Rajasthan for just 137 runs and it wasn't only the bowlers who should get credit for that.
Stokes told by ailing father 'to do the job'
Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed that his ailing father, for whom he took a break from cricket, encouraged him to return to action in the IPL by telling him that he was duty-bound "to do the job".
Stokes took compassionate leave in the middle of the home Test series against Pakistan in August and travelled to New Zealand to attend to his father who has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
After spending five weeks with his family, Stokes, who is contracted with Rajasthan Royals, has landed in the UAE and is currently in quarantine.
"Saying goodbye to my dad, my mum and my brother in Christchurch was tough. It has been a difficult time for us as a family, but we've pulled together and supported each other as best we can," Stokes wrote in his column for the 'Daily Mirror'.
"The kind of start we needed"
MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings's captain, credited the positive intent of his openers for their 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter in Dubai on Sunday. Chasing 179 to win, Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis got the Chennai side over the line with 14 balls to spare, in the process bringing up the highest-ever opening partnership for CSK in the history of the tournament.
"The kind of start we got in batting, that's what we needed. We needed momentum with the right kind of shots. Watto and Faf backed themselves with the shots they're known for," a visibly elated Dhoni said after the match.
Century for Dhoni
CSK and former Indian skipper MS Dhoni reached the milestone of 100 IPL catches as a wicketkeeper during their match against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. He is the only cricketer in IPL to reach such heights.
"You win some, you learn from some"
Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni and Kings XI Punjab's KL Rahul was caught in the same frame after the match as the former Indian captain was explaining and analyzing the match with the youngster -- a moment that won everyone's heart both on and off the pitch. Hence, KXIP tweeted: "You win some, you learn from some."
Highest ever partnership for CSK
Shane Watson (83 not out off 53b) and the in-form Faf du Plessis (87 not out off 53b) pummelled Kings XI Punjab into submission to lead Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to a thumping 10-wicket win at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing KXIP's competitive 179-run target, CSK emerged victorious with 14 balls to spare and snapped its three-match losing streak. This is the highest ever batting partnership of CSK in IPL.
Raina reacts after Dhoni breaks his record
Suresh Raina reacted after Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni broke his record to become the most-capped T20 player in any league on Friday during their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai. Raina congratulated Dhoni and said he is happy that his record has been broken by the former India captain.
"Congratulations Mahi bhai at becoming the most capped IPL player. Happiest that my record is being broken by you. All the best for the game today and am sure @ChennaiIPL will win this season's @IPL," Raina Tweeted.
Rohit only player to score 500 runs in four different posotions
Rohit Sharma is the only player who scored 500 Runs in 4 different batting positions so far:
Opening - 1188 Runs
At 3 - 920 Runs
At 4 - 2392 Runs
At 5 - 563 Runs
Garg looks a very bright prospect, reckons Sehwag
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag praised youngster Priyam Garg for his rescue knock against the Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.
Priyam smashed 51 runs in just 26 balls. Sehwag was impressed as he tweeted: "Baghban feeling for Chennai. Under 19 guys smashing the senior guys. Priyam Garg looks a very bright prospect. Great tournament for the youngsters so far. #CSKvsSRH."
5000 IPL runs for Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma made his way into the record books during their match against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday as he became the third cricketer to score 5000 runs in IPL after RCB captain Virat Kohli and CSK's Suresh Raina.
Friendship & Mutual Respect
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli posted a picture of a joyous moment with his friend and fellow RCB batsman AB de Villiers.
" The most special thing about sport is the friendship and mutual respect you share with your teammates along your journey. Sport is beautiful," the caption read.
Uthappa forgets no saliva rule
Rajasthan Royals batsman Robin Uthappa accidentally applied saliva on the ball while fielding during their game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday.
Like Father Like Son
Shahrukh Khan, one of the co-owners of KKR, and his elder son Aryan Khan were seen enjoying KKR take on Rajasthan Royals from the stands.
Internet breaks as SRK arrives at the stand
Wearing a purple beanie hat over his long hair -- probably grown during the lockdown -- and the facemask of KKR, Shahrukh Khan made fans go crazy over the Bollywood Badshah's new look as he went to Dubai to see his team's match.
Maiden IPL 50 for Curran
Rajasthan Royals' Tom Curran scored his first-ever IPL Fifty off just 36 balls, hitting two fours and three sixes, against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday. However, it proved in vain as Rajasthan Royal's suffered a heavy 37-run defeat.
'He won the battle easily tonight'
One of the greatest things about the IPL is how it pits national teammates against each other. Over the years, the closest of teammates have been put face to face in the IPL and have made for some fascinating contests. However, as Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Pat Cummins bowled to fellow Australian and Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith on Wednesday, a few words were exchanged between them.
"It wasn't a great battle (with Cummins), he won easily and after I spoke to him, he said 'you smack those in the nets, sometimes you just get a good one'," Smith, the Rajasthan captain, said after edging a Cummins delivery to the wicketkeeper in the second over.
Rashid Khan dedicates man of the match award to his late mother
Sunrisers Hyderabad leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who took three wickets in his economical spell against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday, dedicated his Man of the Match award to his mother who died earlier this year.
"MA KE HAAT KA KHANA"
On Tuesday, Afghanistan's Rashid Khan took an Interview of his fellow Sunrisers teammate and teenage sensation Abdul Samad where Rashid asked Samad about the secret behind his power-hitting and what kind of a diet he followed to stay fit and strong. "Normal Maa ke haath ka khana (mother's home-cooked food)," the teenager replied.
Fans troll CSK
When You Realize That The Last Point Of The Table Is CSK
CSK fans be like pic.twitter.com/mmc9NqqHAV; Hemant (@Meme_lover_2) September 30, 2020
Chennai Super Kings became the topic of all jokes on social media on Tuesday after they dropped down to the last spot on the points table following Sunrisers Hyderabad's 15-run win over Delhi Capitals.
CSK fans watching points table :- pic.twitter.com/eQpORIW5hb; स्वदेशी इंटरनेट एक्सप्लोरर (@explorerhoon) September 29, 2020
Shahrukh meets Dhoni
Shahrukh Khan and Chennai Superkings skipper MS Dhoni indulge in a candid conversation during an IPL game.
With the mentor
Rajasthan Royals cricketer Sanju Samson poses with the team mentor and ambassador Legendary Shane Warne.
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Thangarasu Nataranjan's 'JP' on his jersey is a show of gratitude to his mentor Jayaprakash who first spotted his talent in tennis ball cricket.
'Didn't get what I deserve'
"To be honest, I didn't get what I should have but it's okay. People know who is Amit Mishra. That's is enough for me. I have to focus on my cricket and bowling so that is what I do," Amit Mishra said, touching upon the disappointment of not turning up more for India.