Twenty-20 cricket is a batsman’s game. It is mostly about blistering batting, huge sixes, and racy run chases. IPL, the biggest annual extravaganza of T20 cricket, is also no different.
But over the years there are quite a few bowling performances in IPL which have a permanent place in the fan’s minds. Here are the chosen few-
Sohail Tanvir – 6/14
In the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008, Pakistani players were part of most of the teams which is not the case anymore. But in those early years, some of them delivered some memorable spells. Tanvir’s 6 for 14 against Chennai Super Kings is still the best bowling performance in IPL. He started with picking up Parthiv Patel in the first ball of the innings and soon had 2 wickets in his first over. He also finished with a wicket on his last delivery and took 3 more in between. With an unorthodox left-arm bowling action, Tanvir was a handful in the entire tournament and picked 22 wickets with an average of 12.09. But that spell was the brightest moment in his IPL career.
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Shoaib Akhtar – 4/11
The most popular Pakistani fast bowler to join IPL was undoubtedly Shoaib Akhtar. Although he was past his prime by then, KKR’s captain Sourav Ganguly’s argument was that he could still get best out of him in a 4 over spell. And it was evident in Akhtar’s first match in Eden Gardens. Defending a paltry 133 against Delhi Daredevils whose top order included Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, and AB De Villiers, Shoaib was in his top form from the beginning. He got Sehwag nicked his first ball to the keeper and then hurried all the batsmen with his pace. He got all 4 top order batsmen from DD in his 3 over spell and did not require finishing his quota as DD was all out for 110.
Anil Kumble – 5/5
One of India’s greatest ever match winner Anil Kumble played first 3 seasons of IPL with moderate success. Surprisingly his most successful season was 2009 when the IPL was played in South Africa in less spin-friendly condition. In the second match of the tournament, Royal Challengers Bangalore were defending 133 and in a decent condition with Rajasthan Royals on 47/5 in the 11th over. However dangerous Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja were starting to develop a partnership and could take the match away with their big hits. But Kumble came to bowl at the 12th over and picked up both Pathan and Jadeja in his first two balls to effectively end the match. He continued his magic and mopped up the entire tail and finish with 5/5. RR slipped to 58 all out, the lowest IPL team total for next 8 years.
Adam Zampa – 6/19
One of the most dramatic bowling performances in IPL was Zampa’s 6 wicket haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016. Adam Zampa, a leg-spinner, is highly rated in Australia and a regular member of limited over team. He made his IPL debut against RCB in the middle stage of the tournament and this was only his second game. After giving 8 runs in first over, MS Dhoni held him back till 16th over. Zampa picked up dangerous Yuvraj Singh in that over which encouraged Dhoni to trust Zampa for the death overs and Zampa took the wickets of Kane Williamson and Moises Henriques in the 18th over and 3 more wickets in the 20th over to finish with 6 wickets. Incidentally, this is the best T20 bowling performance in losing cause and also the best bowling performance by a spinner in IPL.
Andrew Tye – 5/17
Andrew Tye had one of the most memorable debuts in IPL when in his first match for now-defunct Gujrat Lions he delivered a match-winning performance against Rising Pune. His first wicket was of a rampaging Rahul Tripathi which helped his team to control the flow of runs. He came back again to pick up Ben Stokes. When he was given the responsibility of bowling the 20th over in his debut match, he took this opportunity and got a hat-trick in first 3 balls of the 20th over to restrict RPSG for 171, a target which was easily chased. Tye became the first bowler to take a hat-trick on IPL debut.