T20 cricket is a fickle format. In the shortest format of the game, the best of the best may end up failing while some relatively unknown players perform above all odds. Taking five wickets in just 24 deliveries is no joke. Several quality bowlers have tried, but many have ended up short.
The task of bowling to aggressive batsmen in small grounds is a nightmare of a task, let alone taking a bunch of wickets. However, there have been a few instances where the bowlers have reigned supreme and dominated an IPL game from start to finish.
With IPL 2017 about to begin, let us see ten such instances in the past where a bowler has picked up five wickets in an IPL game:
#1 Anil Kumble (for Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, 18th April 2009)
It’s game one of IPL-2 and the vociferous Newlands crowd welcomed the mother of all cricket carnivals into their country with great pomp. Opting to bat first, RCB managed to creep past 130 thanks to vital contributions from Rahul Dravid and Kevin Pietersen. Chasing a relatively easy target, defending champions Rajasthan Royals couldn’t get going as they lost half their side for a paltry 28.
With the introduction of the Bangalore team’s lead bowler, it was just a matter of time before the tail was removed. Kumble picked up his first in his second over as Yusuf Pathan fell to a half-tracker. Ravindra Jadeja was the next pawn to fall as he was dismissed the very next ball. Opposition captain Shane Warne fell victim to a classic googly, making him Kumble’s third scalp for the evening. Two deliveries later, Sohail Tanvir threw away his wicket, miss-hitting a swipe.
The veteran spinner wrapped it up in the fifteenth over of the game as debutant Kamran Khan edged a straighter one to the keeper. Kumble ended up with astounding figures of 5/5 in 3.1 overs. The first game of IPL-2 produced the only five-wicket-haul in the entire tournament.
#2 Sohail Tanvir (for Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings, 4th May 2008)
Having lost the toss, Rajasthan got off to the best of starts as Sohail Tanvir dismissed both the openers (Parthiv Patel and Stephen Fleming) in the very first over. However, replays suggested both the LBW decisions were incorrectly given.
Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan was his next scalp as the youngster edged a seam up delivery to Shane Warne at first slip. With wickets tumbling at one end, Albie Morkel held fort at the other and racked up 42 valuable runs, before he was cleaned up by the Pakistani pacer in the seventeenth over.
Tanvir wrapped up the innings as veterans Muttaiah Muralitharan and Makhaya Ntini fell victims to his back-of-the-hand slower delivery. His figures read 6/14 in four overs, and Rajasthan made a mockery of the 110 run target as they chased it with 34 balls to spare. Tanvir was awarded the Man of the Match trophy for his game-changing spell.
#3 Jaydev Unadkat (for Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils, 10th May 2013)
One of the greatest ever spells in the history of the tournament, Saurashtra cricketer Jaydev Unadkat produced a breathtaking display of fast bowling in spin-friendly conditions at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Having been put to bat, RCB plundered the Delhi bowlers en-route to a competitive 183/4.
In reply, the home side got off to a flier as Ravi Rampaul and Moises Henriques were taken to the cleaners.
Bowling against all odds, Unadkat changed the complexion of the game by taking wickets at regular intervals. He was responsible for the wickets of Mahela Jayawardene (19), Virender Sehwag (18), Unmukt Chand (41), Kedar Jhadav (8) and Morne Morkel (19).
Despite Irfan Pathan’s late burst, the former’s efforts with the ball handed the visiting team a four-run victory. Unsurprisingly, Unadkat was the Player of the Match.
#4 Adam Zampa (for Rising Pune Supergiants vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, 10th May 2016)
The young Aussie sensation from Melbourne picked up six crucial wickets in a low-scoring thriller against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Visakhapatnam. Opting to bat first, the dangerous duo of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan got off to a good start against a mediocre Pune bowling lineup.
At 2/96 after 10.2 overs, the South-Indian franchise was in prime position to post a mammoth total. But, Zampa had other ideas. Yuvraj Singh’s wicket opened the floodgates as Zampa spun a web around the Hyderabad batsmen. Experienced campaigners Kane Williamson and Moises Henriques had no answers as they bowed to the Victorian’s wily leg spin bowling.
Hard hitters Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha fell in quick succession by trying to up the ante. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was Zampa’s final victim as the latter finished with exceptional figures of 6/19 in four full overs. Although Pune fell short of the target of 138, Zampa won the Player of the Match award thanks to his brilliant spell.
#5 Amit Mishra (for Delhi Daredevils vs Deccan Chargers, 15th May 2008)
Another leg-spinner in our list, Amit Mishra was the first tweaker to pick up a five-wicket haul in the Indian Premier League. With Adam Gilchrist opting to field, Delhi managed to score 194 courtesy of stellar innings from local boys Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan.
Afridi and Gilchrist hammered the Delhi pacers and looked to take the game away from the opposition. Up stepped Amit Mishra, who removed the tenacious Pakistani in his first over. Seven deliveries later, Mishra bamboozled South African Herschelle Gibbs with an unplayable wrong-un. Rohit Sharma stitched vital partnerships with Andrew Symonds and Venugopal Rao, bringing the visiting team close to the finishing line.
With the dismissal of the latter, it was a matter of time before the Hyderabad unit collapsed. Needing 19 from the last over, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, RP Singh, and Pragyan Ojha fell in consecutive deliveries, earning Mishra a hat-trick and a five-for.
#6 James Faulkner (for Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, 17th May 2013)
James Faulkner, the wily left-armer, is the only player in the tournament’s history to pick up five-wicket hauls on two different occasions, and both were against the same opponents, Sunrisers Hyderabad. In a must-win game for the two sides, Cameron White won the toss and elected to bat first.
Faulkner made two early inroads as the experienced duo of Parthiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan fell cheaply. As the innings progressed, the Hyderabad side looked to take the game away from Rajasthan with wickets in hand at the death.
However, Faulkner returned and bowled twelve exceptional deliveries, which included the wickets of Biplab Samantray, Darren Sammy, and Dale Steyn. The Australian finished his spell with figures of 5/16 in four overs, which included a maiden.
But, his efforts went in vain as the Royals made a mess of a below-par target and succumbed to a 23-run defeat.
#7 Ravindra Jadeja (for Chennai Super Kings vs Deccan Chargers, 7th April 2012)
The demigod of cricket memes put in an exceptional all-round display to hand Chennai the full two points. Opting to chase, the Hyderabad team’s bowlers were below par and gifted boundaries at regular intervals. Faf Du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo and Jadeja himself were the biggest contributors as the Super Kings posted a challenging total of 192.
Chasing over 9.5 runs an over from the get-go required a solid opening partnership and a couple of big innings from the middle order batsmen. However, the Deccan Chargers ticked none of the above boxes thanks to a splendid display of spin bowling. IPL veterans Suresh Raina and Shadab Jakati did the initial damage by sharing three wickets amongst themselves.
‘Sir Jadeja’ drew first blood in his third ball by claiming Parthiv Patel’s wicket. Six balls later, Kannadiga Bharath Chipli was castled and Manpreet Gony followed suit. Dwaraka Ravi Teja failed miserably in trying to chip away at the run rate.
The Saurashtrian ended the match with Dale Steyn’s wicket and finished with figures of 5/16 in four overs.
#8 Sunil Narine (for Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, 15th April 2012)
In one of the best games of the 2012 season, Sunil Narine produced a marvellous display of spin bowling. Having lost the toss, Punjab got off to a horrid start as skipper Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh were dismissed before the fifth over.
Both of them fell to the crafty West-Indian off-spinner. Bowling two overs at the death, Narine made a good account of himself as he picked up three wickets in seven deliveries including the crucial one of Dimitri Mascarenhas. Narine’s figures read 5/19, which included a whopping fourteen dot balls!
Despite his monumental efforts, the Knight Riders fell two runs short of the target and suffered an embarrassing defeat.
#9 Harbhajan Singh (for Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, 22nd April 2011)
In a contest between two IPL heavyweights, the team from Maharashtra reigned supreme. On what was a batting pitch, local boy Rohit Sharma’s 48-ball 87 provided the impetus for a challenging total. Defending 165 was a challenging task.
With Chennai at 98/2 after the tenth over, chances of a win looked minute. But then, Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh bowled a breath-taking spell to change the complexion of the game. Having already taken Raina’s wicket, the off-spinner added Srikant Aniruddha and Albie Morkel to his victims’ list in the space of three balls.
Four deliveries later, the Punjabi bowler had sent both Ravichandran Ashwin and Joginder Sharma back to the dressing room. His 5/18 in four overs opened the floodgates for a dramatic CSK collapse. Deservingly, he was named the Man of the Match.
#10 Lasith Malinga (for Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils, 10th April 2011)
Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been of the most consistent bowlers across all seasons of the IPL. He is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament’s history with 143 scalps in 98 games. He has taken four wickets in an innings on four occasions and only once did he manage to better that.
In their first game of the 2011 season, Delhi and Mumbai squared off in the iconic Feroz Shah Kotla. Opting to bat first, Virender Sehwag’s men had a miserable start as they lost a wicket every other over.
‘Slinga Malinga’ did most of the damage as his wickets of David Warner (1), Unmukt Chand (0), Venugopal Rao (26), Morne Morkel (0) and Ashok Dinda (0) proved vital in restricting the Daredevils to a paltry 95. Mumbai went on to win the game quite comfortably and Malinga was a vital cog in his team’s journey to a third place finish.