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T20 is a format that tends to be dominated by the batsmen and the Indian Premier League (IPL) is no exception. The tournament has been witness to some extraordinary batting performances over the past decade – BUT it is for a reason that IPL is the world’s premier domestic T20 competition. The usually downtrodden bowlers have always proved their worth and have often put in game-changing shifts for their respective teams, by registering one of the best bowling figures, if not the best everytime.
Ahead of the upcoming edition of the IPL, we continue this series where we go down the memory lane and list down all the IPL bowlers who have recorded best bowling figures in the Indian T20 league over time.
5 bowlers with the best bowling figures in IPL:
1. Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals)
6/14 in 4 overs versus Chennai Super Kings in 2008
In his first and only IPL campaign, Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir made a big impact and was instrumental in Rajasthan Royals‘ title-winning season. Even after a decade of IPL’s inception, Tanvir’s spell of 4-0-14-6 against the Chennai Super Kings in 2008 are still the league’s best bowling figures in an innings.
Speaking of the magical spell, Tanvir started off with a bang and sent the two CSK openers back in the very first over of the match. He six wickets included the crucial scalps of Parthiv Patel, Stephen Fleming and Albie Morkel. Riding on the left-arm pacer’s brilliant bowling, Rajasthan managed to skittle out the MS Dhoni-led CSK for a paltry score of 109 runs and chased the total down in less than 15 overs, recording a crucial win in the process.
2. Adam Zampa (Rising Pune Supergiants)
6/19 in 4 overs versus Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016
In the 2016 edition of the IPL, Rising Pune Supergiants made their debut and so did Adam Zampa. On a Visakhapatnam wicket that was assisting the spinners, Zampa was brought in to bowl by skipper MS Dhoni when Kane Williamson and Yuvraj Singh had a nice partnership going for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The Australian leg-spinner bowled a googly to Yuvraj and forced him to miscue a lofted shot to long-off. He followed it up with the wickets of Kane Williamson, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and weaved a web around the Sunrisers’ batting. Despite Zampa producing figures of 6 for 19 – the second best in the history of the Indian Twenty20 competition – Pune fell four runs short of beating an in form Sunrisers side.
3. Anil Kumble (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
5/5 in 3.1 overs versus Rajasthan Royals in 2009
After a poor first season in 2008, the Royal Challengers Bangalore faced the defending champions Rajasthan Royals in their first match of IPL 2009. After restricting Bangalore for 133/8 in their 20 overs, the Shane Warne-led Royals were favourites to win the match – but a certain Anil Kumble had other ideas.
On a Cape Town wicket that was tough to bat on, Kumble produced a masterclass in wrapping up the tail and finished with figures of 5 wickets for 5 runs in less than 4 overs. Rajasthan were bowled out for an embarrassing score of 58 and Kevin Pietersen’s RCB made their intentions very clear in a season where they reached the IPL final but had to ultimately settle as the second best team on the day.
4. Ishant Sharma (Deccan Chargers)
5/12 in 3 overs versus Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011
If you needed a punctuation mark to describe this spell by Ishant Sharma, you’d choose a big, bold exclamation mark and colour it a deep crimson red. Kochi Tuskers Kerala’s scorecard was stunningly woeful at the end of four sensational overs: 0, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0 were the scores of the batsmen sucker-punched by the lanky Indian fast bowler, who harassed them with seam and bounce.
Chasing a modest target of 130 runs to win, Kochi Tuskers Kerala were bundled out for 74 runs as they were never able to recover from that soul-crushing spell by Ishant. His five wicket haul included big name players like Mahela Jayawardene, Parthiv Patel, Brad Hodge and Kedar Jadhav.
5. Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians)
5/13 in 3.4 overs versus Delhi Daredevils in 2011
Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in the decade-old history of IPL and the slinger from Sri Lanka was bound to find a place on this list. When batsmen face Malinga, they know what’s coming at them: several yorkers, some low full tosses, the odd slower ball. Some might not swing but everything will be aimed at the stumps. Knowledge wasn’t power for Delhi Daredevils’ batsmen in this game, though, as the right-arm pacer ripped through them in two spells.
Malinga’s five-wicket haul helped shoot out Delhi for 95 and ultimately ruined the contest before the sun had set at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Malinga’s performance allowed the Mumbai batsmen, led by the great Sachin Tendulkar, to chase in comfortable gear.