Hardik Pandya (R) played a match-winning knock for the Gujarat Titans last week (Image Courtesy: IPLT20.com)
The third week of IPL 2022 featured many entertaining encounters. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) regained their form by registering a hat-trick of wins, while the defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opened their account in the IPL 2022 points table.
Mumbai Indians (MI) suffered their fifth consecutive defeat of the season as the Punjab Kings (PBKS) edged them in a last-over thriller. Gujarat Titans (GT) lost their first game in IPL history, whereas the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) also got beaten twice in the space of seven days.
Some big names failed to get going in the matches that took place last week, but at the same time, there were some surprise performers as well. On that note, we will look at the top three players who surprised fans with their amazing performances last week in IPL 2022.
#1 Hardik Pandya, Gujarat Titans
Hardik Pandya smashed two fifties in the previous week of IPL 2022 (Image Courtesy: IPLT20.com)
Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya led his side from the front in their fixture against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). He scored 87 runs off 52 deliveries, hitting eight fours and four sixes, to lift GT from 15/2 to 192/4.
When the new season began, not many fans expected Pandya to be a contender for the Orange Cap in IPL 2022. However, the Gujarat skipper has surprised everyone with his all-round brilliance for the new franchise.
Pandya started the week with a 50 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad but his efforts went in vain. He followed it up with an unbeaten 87* to help GT defeat RR. Hardik also took a wicket and executed a magnificent direct-hit run-out during the battle against Rajasthan.
#2 Kuldeep Sen, Rajasthan Royals
Kuldeep Sen made his debut for the Rajasthan Royals last weekend against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). Captain Sanju Samson backed the uncapped fast bowler to bowl the most important over of the match on his debut.
Sen had the responsibility of defending 15 runs against Marcus Stoinis and Avesh Khan off the last six deliveries. Khan took a single off the first ball and gave the strike to the well-set Marcus Stoinis.
It seemed like Stoinis would guide LSG home in his first game of the season, but Sen bowled three dot balls on the trot to seal the deal for RR. Stoinis scored 10 runs from the last two balls, but RR eventually emerged victorious by three runs.
#3 Shivam Dube, Chennai Super Kings
Shivam Dube played the best knock of his IPL career against his former franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore last week. Batting at No. 4 for the Chennai Super Kings, Dube scored 95 runs off 46 balls, including five fours and eight sixes, at a magnificent strike rate of 206.
His excellent performance inspired the Chennai Super Kings to 216/4 in 20 overs. Dube was just one hit away from his maiden IPL ton, but could not smash the last ball of the innings out of the park and managed just a single off that ball instead.