By Karthik Parimal
In my previous article, I discussed about the 10 most memorable knocks of the IPL 2012. But the batsmen weren’t the only ones who stole the show. There were quite a few breathtaking spells by bowlers who stamped their authority in this tournament. Fast bowlers and spinners proved to be efficient in equal measures. A bowler like Dale Steyn continued to torment the opposition with his tearaway pace, whereas Sunil Narine left even the best of the batsmen flabbergasted with his mystery spin. Let us now reminisce in some of the best bowling spells we witnessed in this edition of the IPL.
10 most memorable bowling spells (in no particular order):
(4-0-8-3 vs Royal Challengers of Bangalore, Match 71):
The equation was simple for the Royal Challengers of Bangalore (RCB) – defeat Deccan Chargers (DC) and qualify for the playoffs. In fact, the first half of that plan was executed with precision as the usually profligate RCB bowlers did well to restrict DC to a meagre 132 for seven. Many expected the explosive Chris Gayle to make mincemeat of the target, but Dale Steyn had other plans. He bowled a spell that flummoxed and left even the big Jamaican with absolutely no answers. Steyn then went on to dismiss Tillakaratne Dilshan in the very next over. He eventually finished with figures of 4-0-8-3, a performance that ensured that RCB crashed out of the tournament by nine runs.
(4-0-10-2 vs Mumbai Indians, Match 40):
Steyn was the lone fighter for his side in this game. Asked to bat first, Deccan Chargers managed a paltry total of just 100. Considering Mumbai Indians’ (MI) formidable batting line-up, the target was never going to be a strenuous one. However, Steyn created havoc during his spell. At one stage, it appeared as though DC were going to make a match out of nothing. But despite his spell of 4-0-10-2, MI cruised home with five wickets to spare. If only the rules allowed Steyn to bowl more than four overs, the scenario could have been different.
(3.1-0-15-4 vs Mumbai Indians, Match 65):
Such low-scoring humdingers are proof that cricket need not completely be a batsman’s game. Put in to bat first, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) could manage just 140/7 on the board. But when you have a bowler of Sunil Narine’s calibre in your artillery, such scores sometimes prove to be more than enough. Narine bamboozled the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, before dismissing MI’s skipper Harbhajan Singh and later RP Singh. He finished with figures of 3.1-0-15-4, a spell that ensured KKR’s victory by a decent margin of 32 runs.
(4-0-19-5 vs Kings XI Punjab, Match 17):
Narine’s bowling performance in this match instantly shot him to limelight. Even Adam Gilchrist failed to read his deliveries. Shaun Marsh, Praveen Kumar, Bipul Sharma and Harmeet Singh were his other victims. His figures at the end of KXIP’s innings read 4-0-19-5. There was no looking back from this point onwards as he became a regular feature of the KKR side. The rest as they say is history. He was the Golden Player of IPL 2012.
(4-0-26-4 vs Kings XI Punjab, Match 5):
After Ajinkya Rahane’s batting prowess powered Rajasthan Royals (RR) to 191 for four, it was Kevon Cooper who drove the final nail into KXIP’s coffin with an excellent display of his bowling abilities. Cooper demolished KXIP’s middle-order and left them 31 runs behind the target. After this heroic performance, Cooper went on to become an integral part of RR’s line-up, and also featured in the list of top wicket-takers during the initial stages of the tournament. Injury forced him out of action during the latter part of the IPL, and it’s a pity that the fans couldn’t see much of this exceptional talent from Trinidad & Tobago.
(4-0-19-4 vs Rajasthan Royals, Match 30):
Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane and Owais Shah’s brilliant and consistent batting made RR a very competitive side throughout this IPL. In fact, these three featured in the top ten run-getters of IPL 2012 for a major part of the tournament. To dismiss these three batsmen upfront required a great deal of effort, and the fact that this was made possible by a rookie named KP Appanna deserves great appreciation. Appanna struck the first four times and left RR 46 runs behind RCB’s total of 189. However, he lost out on the Man of the Match award to fellow teammate AB de Villiers who struck a scintillating 23-ball 59.
(4-0-13-4 vs Pune Warriors India, Match 60):
He got the first hat-trick of IPL 2012 and also became the first ever bowler to take a hat-trick for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He dismissed the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Jesse Ryder in the very first over, and then sent Robin Uthappa and Anustup Majumdar packing in his next two overs. Chandila finished with figures of 4-0-13-4, a spell that knocked the winds out of PWI’s sails as they set out to chase a stiff target of 171.
(4-1-8-2 vs Rajasthan Royals, Match 56):
After he was smashed for 14 runs in the last three balls of the final over during the game against Mumbai Indians, Ben Hilfenhaus bowled his heart out in the game against Rajasthan Royals. He did make a sound statement. Figures of 4-1-8-2 certainly helped Hilfenhaus salvage some pride. RR could manage just 126 for six in their allotted quota of 20 overs, and CSK chased that target down with eleven balls and four wickets to spare. Hilfenhaus was adjudged the Player of the Match.
(4-0-16-3 vs Deccan Chargers, Match 23):
This spell deserves a mention because the 22-year old lad from Jharkand managed to dismiss the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel and JP Duminy in a closely-contested match. DC were literally running away with the game at one point of time, and it was Nadeem’s spell that slowed their run-rate considerably. DC finished at 157/8, and Kevin Pietersen ensured that the Delhi Daredevils got there comfortably. His knock completely overshadowed Nadeem’s performance.
(4-0-16-5 vs Deccan Chargers, Match 6):
This was one of the most one-sided contests in this year’s IPL. DC made the mistake of choosing to field first on a flat surface at Vishakapatnam, and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) made full use of this opportunity to post a mammoth 193 for six on the board. In reply, DC never looked comfortable. Ravindra Jadeja ran through DC’s middle-order to shoot them out for a paltry 119. He was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match for his five-wicket haul.
(If cricket is a religion and has many devotees, Karthik Parimal would be a primary worshipper. His zeal for writing and love for the sport of cricket is what has brought him here. Karthik can also be followed on Twitter)