But there have also been moments in the tournament, although not very many, when bowlers have emerged on top, rattling the opposition batsmen. Taking full advantage of a small window of opportunities, bowlers have completely outplayed the batsmen and made the opposition suffer. And these moments have in-turn brought the bowlers under the spotlight in what is predominantly a batting-friendly atmosphere.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the bowlers with the best bowling figures in the IPL:
Alzarri Joseph (Mumbai Indians) – 6/12 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019
Alzarri Joseph had a fairytale start to his IPL stint, as the Antigua-born youngster created history on April 6, 2019 by registering the best bowling figures ever in the tournament in his debut match. Playing for Mumbai Indians, Joseph wreaked havoc on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in a group game, registering figures of 6/12 — which now stand as the best bowling figures in IPL history. Chasing a moderate 137, Sunrisers found themselves caught in the Joseph storm, as the 23-year-old completely decimated the hosts in their own backyard. During his breathtaking spell, Joseph bagged the wickets of David Warner, Vijay Shankar, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul, eventually ending with figures of 3.4 overs, 1 maiden, 6 wickets for 12 runs. Due to the masterclass from Joseph, Sunrisers Hyderabad were bundled out for 96 in 17.4 overs, losing the match by 41 runs. Unfortunately after two more games, Mumbai Indians had to do without the services of the youngster, after he was ruled out of the tournament with an injury in only his third match for the franchise.
Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals) – 6/14 vs Chennai Super Kings in 2008
Although Pakistan players now do not feature in the IPL, the inaugural edition in 2008 was an exception. One Pakistan cricketer who made a mark in that edition was left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir, who claimed figures of 6/14 for Rajasthan Royals in a group stage match against the Chennai Super Kings. Tanvir dismissed Parthiv Patel, Stephen Fleming, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Albie Morkel, Muttiah Muralitharan and Makhaya Ntini, Tanvir crippled the CSK batting order as the visitors were bowled out for 109 in Jaipur on May 4, 2008. With not much to do in the chase, Rajasthan went on to win the match by 8 wickets and 34 balls remaining. Tanvir shot to fame in the first edition itself and held the record for the best figures in the IPL for 11 years. Tanvir played 11 IPL matches taking a total of 22 wickets. He played a big role in the Royals winning the first edition of the tournament under Shane Warne’s captaincy and also walked away with the purple cap for the most number of wickets in the tournament in 2008.
Adam Zampa (Rising Pune Supergiants) – 6/19 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016
Spinners have been crucial weapons for teams in the IPL. Amid all the slam-bang action by the batsmen, spinners often control the game, getting the opposition’s run rate down and chipping in with wickets at crucial junctures. And on May 10, 2016, Adam Zampa was in the spotlight after the leggie, playing for the now defunct Rising Pune SuperGiants franchise registered astounding figures of 6/19 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Visakhapatnam. Rattling the Sunrisers, Zampa spun the ball beautifully to bring the opposition batsmen down to their feet. With the wickets of Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Zampa completely destroyed the SRH middle order, restricting them to 137 for 8. Although then, in a dramatic turn of events, SuperGiants lost the match by 4 runs, due to a combined team effort by the Hyderabad bowlers. Even though Pune lost that match, the spell by Zampa in that match found a place in the history books and is currently the third-best ever in the history of the competition.
Anil Kumble (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 5/5 vs Rajasthan Royals in 2009
Anil Kumble was in the twilight of his cricketing career when the IPL took off as a T20 competition. Even though with not much experience in the format, Kumble in his latter days continued to be keenly involved in the IPL. Bringing in tons of experience, Kumble was a standout bowler in the tournament even in the short time that he played. And on one such occasion, Kumble showed why he has always been a potent threat with the ball when on April 18, 2009 he registered figures of 3.1 overs, 1 maiden, 5 wickets for 5 runs for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a match against the Rajasthan Royals. Defending a moderate total of 134, Kumble came into his own, completely derailing the Royals run-chase. With the wickets of Yousuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shane Warne, Munaf Patel and Kamran Khan, Kumble helped his team bundle out the Royals for 58 — the second lowest total in the history of the IPL. Even though Rahul Dravid was adjudged Man of the match in that game for his heroic 66, Kumble’s spell, one of the best in the tournament was what turned the match in RCB’s favour.
Ishant Sharma (Deccan Chargers) – 5/12 vs Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011
The world has seen a resurgent Ishant Sharma, as he is now an integral part of the Indian Test team. With consistent performances that were lacking in the past few years, Ishant has also managed a comeback in the IPL after being ignored for a while. But during the initial days of the tournament, Ishant was at his peak and was the spearhead for his franchise, the now defunct Deccan Chargers. And during one such game on April 27, 2011 against Kochi Tuskers, Ishant came into his own, rattling the opposition with his precise line and length. Claiming figures of 3 overs, 5 wickets for 12 runs, Ishant turned the match on its head. Defending a paltry 130, Chargers were able to dismiss the now defunct Tuskers for just 74, riding on the performance from Ishant. With the wickets of Mahela Jayawardene, Parthiv Patel, Raiphi Gomez, Brad Hodge and Kedar Jadhav, Ishant produced one of the greatest IPL spells to win the match for his franchise. Incredibly, Ishant dismissed four of those five batsmen for ducks in a dream spell. Ishant rightfully went on to win the Man of the Match award in that encounter.