There is a saying that ‘batsmen win you games and bowlers win you tournaments‘. It’s the bowlers who win you the big games such as the IPL Finals and with that being said let’s look straight into the top-5 bowling performances in IPL Finals. Let’s check whose performance makes the cut and whose does not:
5. Yusuf Pathan’s 3/22 vs CSK in 2008
It’s strange to believe that Yusuf Pathan has featured in this list? In the inaugural final of the IPL between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, Yusuf Pathan bowled a magical spell dismissing the set openers, Parthiv Patel and Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan. People expected the Purple Cap holder, Sohail Tanvir, to be the standout bowler in the Final but it was quite a surprise that Yusuf Pathan had actually picked up 3 wickets. He dismissed the openers and the dangerous Albie Morkel and ended up with the bowling figures of 3/22.
Later that night, he managed to smack a wonderful half-century that pretty much set up Rajasthan’s chase and they managed to win the inaugural IPL under Shane Warne. Coincidentally, this all-round performance was voted as the best performance of the decade in a poll conducted by ESPNCricinfo.
4. Ravichandran Ashwin’s 3/16 vs RCB in 2011
CSK put on a massive total of 205 thanks to Murali Vijay’s outstanding 95 and Mike Hussey’s brilliant 63. It was a really big ask for RCB with the Orange Cap holder Chris Gayle tearing bowlers apart right from the start of the innings. In the previous game against Mumbai in Qualifier 2, Gayle smacked 20+ runs off the first over itself. Hence, the psychological advantage was clearly with Gayle.
Dhoni threw the ball to Ashwin first as he did in the 2010 IPL final. Ashwin bowled a wonderful delivery and Gayle tried to cut it away but sneaked an inside edge onto Dhoni and departed for a duck. It was a huge wicket for CSK as the big fish was gone. Next, Ashwin bowled a wider one to Mayank who got knocked over. Well, that was the game – RCB were quite clueless after Gayle’s wicket and that provided an instant collapse. Captain Vettori bagged a goldie after giving a simple and easy catch to Ashwin and well that helped CSK win the final by 58 runs.
3. Mitchell Johnson’s 3-26 vs RPS in 2017
Mitchell Johnson was just a replacement option for Mitchell McClenaghan right throughout the tournament but however at the backend, he deservingly got his chances and especially he got picked in the final. Mumbai Indians before this game lost 3 in 3 to the Pune franchise and they needed someone to step up in the final. MI posted a mediocre score of 129 thanks to Krunal Pandya’s 47 and it was expected that RPS was going to win the final. After Rahul Tripathi’s wicket, Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane set RPS the run chase. They were slow but pretty steady – but eventually, Mitchell Johnson finally got the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane for 44.
In the end, Johnson had to defend 9 runs in the last over, a replacement bowler for McClenaghan in the last over? Surely you would expect RPS to win the game with ease. It became easier after Tiwary slogged a four vs Johnson with RPS requiring only 5 more to win. However, Johnson managed to get rid of Manoj Tiwary and it was the skipper himself, Steve Smith. He managed to get a slow but fantastic half-century but however in the heat of the moment, Johnson got rid of the big fish Steve Smith giving a dead straight catch to Rayudu. With 4 runs off the last delivery, Johnson managed to pull off an insane over with the Mumbai Indians winning by 1 run.
2. Jasprit Bumrah’s 2/14 vs CSK in 2019
After managing to score only 149, CSK were cruising at one point with Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson tearing apart MI’s bowling but however, Faf got stumped by Krunal. Then came Jasprit Bumrah and he once again showed
why he is the best fast bowler in this format. He bowled a sharp bouncer to Rayudu who nicked off to Quinton de Kock. Bumrah was economical and clinical throughout the game. He was introduced at the right time and boy, he did a wonderful job. With only 17 runs needed off the last two, Bumrah bowled a terrific over picking up the wicket of Bravo.
In the next over, Malinga managed to defend 9 runs successfully and MI won the match. Bumrah was awarded the Man of the Match for his terrific performance with the ball.
1. Anil Kumble’s 4/16 vs DC in 2009
The two sides on the bottom of the table in the previous edition clashed with each other in the 2009 IPL final. Anil Kumble who was in great form right throughout the tournament bowled the first over to the dangerous Gilchrist. Gilchrist was knocked over for a 3 ball duck.
Later in his spell, Kumble came back and struck with the huge wicket of Symonds in the 9th over. Bowling in the death, Kumble once again struck to get the emerging stars Rohit Sharma and Venugopal Rao in the last delivery of his spell. All of Kumble’s wickets were the X-Factors of their team and had the potential to take the game away from the opposition. However, Royal Challengers Bengaluru failed to chase 144 and lost the game by 7 runs. Though Kumble’s efforts were in vain, his performance is still the best bowling performance in an IPL final. He was rightly adjudged as the Man of the Match and remains the only player to get a Man of the Match in a losing cause in an IPL final.
Featured Image: Mumbai Indians | Twitter
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