It is a famous saying in the cricket world that batsmen win you games whereas bowlers win you the tournaments. And this adage holds even greater importance in a tournament like the IPL. Smaller grounds, bigger bats, rules are tilted in favour of the batters as the shortest format of the game isn't a friend for the bowlers. <p></p> <p></p>Even if you miss your line or length by a fraction, you can be punished. Ergo, it is imperative for the bowlers to be guile in their approach and we saw such astute bowling performances by the world-class bowlers in the first half of IPL 2021, before the tourney was deferred indefinitely by the Indian board. We take a look at the top five bowling performances of IPL 2021. <p></p> <p></p><strong>1. Harshal Patel - 5-27 vs Mumbai Indians</strong> - Royal Challengers Bangalore have struggled with their death bowling over the years and they decided to hand over the mantle to uncapped Harshal Patel in IPL 2021. Patel was able to grab his opportunity with both hands as he scalped five wickets and conceded only 27 runs in the opening match against Mumbai Indians, to register the first five-wicket haul against MI. <p></p> <p></p>Patel didn't stop there and went on to scalp 17 wickets in the seven matches he played for RCB. The right-arm medium pacer used the slower ball and the yorker to good effect. However, he was a bit expensive in the last few matches. <p></p> <p></p><strong>2. Harpreet Brar - 3/19 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore</strong> - Punjab Kings' left-arm orthodox spinner impressed with his skills in his first match of the season. The youngster was under the pump after he conceded 10 runs in his first over. However, he bounced back in style to dismiss Virat Kohli, who had pranced down the wicket but was bowled by Brar. <p></p> <p></p>Subsequently, the left-arm spinner from Moga, accounted for Glenn Maxwell with a peach of a delivery. Harpreet also got the big wicket of AB de Villiers as he was able to put PBKS on top. Brar finished his quota of overs with impressive figures of 3-19 and bagged the Player of the Match award as PBKS won convincingly by 34 runs. <p></p> <p></p><strong>3. Deepak Chahar - 4/13 vs Punjab Kings</strong> - Chennai Super Kings swing master Deepak Chahar once again impressed with his skills in the powerplay overs. Chahar got the ball to swing both ways and breathed down the neck of the opposition batsmen. The right-arm fast bowler from Rajasthan, was at his absolute best against Punjab Kings. Chahar gave a perfect start to CSK as he bowled Mayank Agarwal with a jaffa. <p></p> <p></p>Furthermore, Chahar dismissed Deepak Hooda, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran and reduced PBKS to 26-5 in the first six overs. PBKS could only manage to put 106 runs on the board and Chennai was able to chase down the total with ease. Chahar was awarded the Player of the Match for his fine performance. <p></p> <p></p><strong>4. Amit Mishra 4-24 vs Mumbai Indians</strong> - Delhi Capitals veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra is one of the most consistent bowlers in the IPL. Mishra was at his best in a high octane match against defending champions Mumbai Indians. The leg-spinner was playing his first match of the season and he bamboozled the MI batters with his adroitness. <p></p> <p></p>Mishra got the big wickets of MI captain Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard to put the opposition under the fire. MI could manage 137 runs in their 20 overs and DC won easily in the end by six wickets. The spinner from Haryana received the Player of the Match award for his impressive performance. <p></p> <p></p><strong>5. Rahul Chahar - 4-27 vs Kolkata Knight Riders</strong> - Kolkata Knight Riders were cruising to their target of 153 runs against Mumbai Indians in the fifth match of the season. KKR were 84-1 but Rahul Chahar was able to turn the tables for his team. The leg-spinner scalped the wickets of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi and KKR skipper Eoin Morgan to get his team back in the contest. <p></p> <p></p>Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult added the final blow as KKR were restricted to 142 runs. Chahar bowled at the top of his game and he was able to deliver the goods for the Rohit Sharma-led team. The youngster from Rajasthan was able to bag the Man of the Match award for his fine performance.