Muttiah Muralitharan was the leading wicket-taker of MCL 2016 © Getty Images
Muttiah Muralitharan was the leading wicket-taker of MCL 2016 © Getty Images

The inaugural edition of the much-hyped Masters Champions League (MCL) came to an end with Gemini Arabians beating Leo Lions in the final. The tournament was a moderate success, with the quality of cricket being considerably better than what was seen in the Cricket All-Stars. Though the players were all retired, some for the better part of a decade, they proved that there was still life in them. MCL 2016 turned back the clock in terms of individual performances, with some of the most iconic players of the 2000s coming into their own once again. Ayush Gupta takes a look at the top five bowlers on display in MCL 2016.

1. Muttiah Muralitharan (Gemini Arabaians): The Sri Lankan legend, who is the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 800 wickets, once again rocked the tournament. He finished as the highest wicket-taker with 15 scalps in six games at an economy of 6.91, and an average of 11.06. His best figures read 4 for 19. Murali once again proved his legacy, as he struck time and again with his lethal spin bowling. He also finished on the winning side in the tournament.

2. Kyle Mills (Gemini Arabians): The evergreen fast-bowler from New Zealand was also a hit in the tournament, as he finished as the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 12 scalps from seven games. With an economy of 7.56 and an average of 15.75, Mills was one of the major successes of the tournament. It was his consistent performances in almost every game that allowed him to to finish on the winning side in the tournament.

3. Kyle Jarvis (Leo Lions): The former Zimbabwean pace bowler’s pace and accuracy was still applauded, as he finished the tournament as the third highest wicket-taker with 11 scalps from five games at an economy of 7.65 and average of 13.90. Jarvis finished on the runners-up side, but bowled well throughout the tournament.

4. Malinga Bandara (Virgo Super Kings): The Sri Lankan leg-spinner was an instant hit in the tournament, and finished as the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. He finished with 10 scalps from six games at an economy of 6.90 and an average of 15.20. Bandara was one of Sri Lanka’s main spinners in the mid-2000s but he soon lost his spot to the likes of Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis.

5. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan (Gemini Arabians): Though he did not do a whole lot throughout the tournament, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan had a tremendous final. He took a vital hat-trick that included the wickets of Heath Streak, Brian Lara, and Kyle Jarvis. Lara’s wicket was the biggest one, as he seemed to be on course to guide Leo Lions to chase the total down.

(Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer and is also a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) maniac. He can be followed on Twitter @Ayush24x7)