With the Indian T20 League turning out to be a bowler’s paradise in UAE this 2020 season, cricket fans would definitely be disappointed not to see bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Alizarri Joseph, Lasith Malinga spitting fire on the fast track.
However, as Mumbai’s Jasprit Bumrah and Delhi’s Kagiso Rabada turn up the heat in the desert, eyeing a close finish to the intense Purple Cap race, we look back at some of the best bowling performances in the tournament’s previous editions.
ALZARRI JOSEPH | 12 Runs 6 Wickets
The West Indian pace bowler has been a mystery man for Mumbai, who came for a season, played just three matches and mesmerized all. Rohit Sharma had handed him the ball at a time when Mumbai were defending a paltry target of 136 runs against a well-stacked Hyderabad side. However, little did anyone know that they would witness magic that evening at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium. Joseph ended up scalping six wickets, sending the likes of David Warner, Vijay Shankar, Deepak Hoods, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddharth Kaul back to the pavilion in a space of just 22 balls. Not only were Hyderabad wrapped up for 96 runs, but Joseph had broken Sohail Tanvir’s 11-year-old record in the process.
SOHAIL TANVIR | 14 Runs 6 Wickets
Yet another bowler, whom cricket fans lament not seeing enough in the tournament, Sohail Tanvir was one of the stars in Indian T20 League’s inaugural edition. A large chunk of the credit for Rajasthan’s first and only title goes to the Pakistani bowler. Tanvir had scalped 22 wickets in 11 matches with his unusual action that season and his very best had come against Chennai at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Batting first, Chennai were in for a shocker as Tanvir had sent Parthiv Patel and Stephen Fleming back in his first three balls itself. He would come back to take the wickets of Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Albie Morkel, and Muttiah Muralitharan, taking six wickets in 24 balls and conceding just 14 runs. His staggering spell had 17 dot balls that helped Rajasthan win the match with eight wickets and 34 balls remaining.
ADAM ZAMPA | 19 Runs 6 Wickets
Though not counted amongst the most popular Australians to grace the Indian T20 League, young Adam Zampa had made quite the noise in his maiden season with Rising Pune Supergiants. Pune were travelling to Hyderabad’s Dr. Y.S.R. ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium and while the bowlers were expected to rule the proceedings given Hyderabad’s strengths, Zampa’s magical bowling had spell-bounded everyone. The onslaught started as late as the 11th over following Warner and Shikhar Dhawan’s dismissal. Zampa would run through the entire Hyderabad middle order, taking wickets of Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, Moses Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Though Hyderabad were limited to just 137 runs in the first innings, Pune eventually fell four runs short and lost the match.
ANIL KUMBLE | 5 Runs 5 Wickets
Most of the Indian cricketing stalwarts of the 1990s made little impact in the league given its new format and vibrant requirements, but Anil Kumble was one of the exceptions. Featuring in three seasons the veteran bowler had some of the brilliant evenings attributed to his name and one such occasion was in 2009. With South Africa hosting the tournament that season, Bangalore were playing defending champions Rajasthan in Cape Town, where Kumble was tasked with defending his side’s small total of 133. Starting with Rajasthan’s then batting superstar Yusuf Pathan in the middle-order, Kumble dismissed Ravinder Jadeja, Shane Warne, Munaf Patel and Kamran Khan – all in his 19 balls. His 5/5 with an economy of 1.57 is still one of the best bowling figures of the tournament. Rajasthan could only make 58 runs.
ISHANT SHARMA | 12 Runs 5 Wickets
It was a pity that Ishant Sharma had to leave Delhi’s camp in UAE just one match into the season as he suffered an abdominal muscle tear. The fast bowler has been a regular in the tournament since its beginning in 2008 and holds one of the most eye-catching bowling figures. Turning up for Deccan Chargers in 2011, Sharma was defending a small target of 130 runs against Kochi Tuskers Kerala at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. After Chargers were given the perfect start following Dale Steyn’s early dismissal of Brendon McCullum, it was all a Ishant Sharma show. The lanky bowler destroyed Kochi’s batting line-up by clinching wickets of Mahela Jayawardene, Parthiv Patel, Brad Hodge, Raiphi Gomez and Kedar Jadhav – four of whom were dismissed for ducks. Sharma’s fife-fer came in 12 runs in three overs as Kochi were all-out for 74 runs.
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