“Bowl a lot, bowl a lot more and bowl with pure love without any expectations, only love can last a lifetime” was Ravichandran Ashwin’s reply for a tweet when asked about words of motivation for those who take up bowling. The advantage quotient has traveled to the other side of the 22 yards from the bowling end over the century, and it has only strengthened with the advent of T20s.
At times, it looks like boundaries and six pull the crowds to the stadium and bowlers are seen as an object to execute those. But the bowlers should also be given due credit for intelligently adopting to testing conditions. IPL has also seen many such bowlers who have come up with their own little bag of tricks to belittle the batsmen and taken the cherry off the cake. We bring you the best bowling spells through the history of the tournament.
When Pakistan had a route to the IPL:
Sohail Tanvir 6/14 — Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, 2008
14th of September 2007 is when India edged past Pakistan through bowl out, it was also when a left arm seam bowler entered into the international stage with his unique action. Short sprint, minimal loading and quick release made him difficult to pick for the batters, at least until your video analysts gives an idea about him. CSK too felt the same when Tanvir reduced them to 11/3. Parthiv and Fleming got out in similar fashion to the one which came back sharply into the left handers and hit their pads. His third wicket of Vidyut who was caught at slip left CSK in shambles. Skipper Warne reserved his next two for death overs and he came back to remove the well set Albie Morkel and Muralitharan followed three balls later and at that stage, Tanvir’s spell read 3-0-3-5. Ntini whacked a couple of boundaries in Tanvir’s final over before he cleaned him up and he ended with astonishing figures of 4-0-14-6. When this happened, it was the best bowling figures in T20 cricket. It makes us wonder if this would have been bettered, had cricket not been a victim of an ill border relation.
Adam Zampa – 6/19,Rising Pune Supergiants vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, 2016:
Ending up on the losing side after such a performance and taking it in his stride is what Zampa did when his 6/19 ended in vain. From Googly to slider, he has a plethora of variations in his repertoire and used them to send back some of the top batters. Zampa removed Yuvraj with a tossed up googly and Williamson and Henriques were caught at long-off when they tried to launch a leg break. Hooda was caught well outside crease when he failed to connect Zampa’s quicker one, Naman Ojha was cleaned by a slider and Bhuvneshwar Kumar was caught in at long on. Four different deliveries were among the six wickets he got. The match didn’t end on a good note for him as RPS batsmen’s failed to chase down a mediocre 137.
Jumbo stuns Rajasthan
Anil Kumble – 5/5: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, 2009
Taking guard at 17/3, Dravid’s strokeful 48 balls 66 took RCB to 133 for 8, and then, Kumble took 5/5. “We oldies can have our days too” was Kumble’s take on this. The winners of the inaugural season, RR, took on RCB at Capetown as IPL flew to South Africa. At the end of 20 overs, RCB’s performancs looked like an extension of their previous season. But it was South Africa, the conditions were different and their seamers stepped up. Praveen Kumar removed the openers and Jesse Ryder took a couple, Mascarenhas was run out and RR’s score read 29/5. Kumble came into the attack only in the 10th over, and made sure to extend their early advantage. Yusuf Pathan swung hard at a short one and was caught at long-off and a Young Jadeja was caught by Kohli at deep mid-wicket. Spin wizard Shane Warne was deceived by Kumble’s googly and was stumped and Munaf Patel was caught at long on. Kumble spun a web around the lower idle order and tail enders and RR was all out for 58, the lowest IPL score at that time, which was surpassed only recently by RCB themselves.
An unexpected spell:
Ishant Sharma – 5/12: Deccan Chargers vs Kochi Tuskers Kerela, 2011.
Certain spells defy the picture we have on certain players and this will be counted as one such incident. Skipper Sangakkara and Cameron White’s partnership took the Deccan Chargers to 129 at the end of 20 overs. The pitch was seamer friendly and Ishant worked it out to his advantage. His height helped him get better purchase off the pitch and at the end of his first spell, the Kochi Tuskers were 29/6 with five of the top six batsmen’s returning without disturbing the score board a bit. Ishant took five of those and Steyn took care of Mccullum. DC won the match comfortably by 55 runs. Blame it on his fitness or him being over used, the fact is Ishant remained unsold in 2017 IPL auction, only to be roped in as a replacement for Murali Vijay by Kings XI.
And an expected one:
Lasith Malinga — 5/13: Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils, 2011:
He is one bowler who will definitely feature in top T20 spells in any tournament around the world, such is his action and variations. 8 days earlier before this match, Malinga was seen as the biggest villain at Mumbai when he removed the Indian openers in that auspicious night of world cup finals, but then, playing for Mumbai in IPL, he broke the DD batting line up with his toe crushers and slower ones in his teams opening match. David Warner and Unmukt Chand were bowled in his first spell and he got three in his next and finished off Delhi’s innings for 95. Mumbai successfully chased the target with skipper Tendulkar guiding the team home with an unbeaten 46.