Monday, May 9, 2011

Miserly bowling; burly hit of Sixers - most runs given - IPL 4 upto 8th May 2011

The IPL extravaganza is on – 31 days after and 50 matches of 70 having concluded – it is Mumbai Indians, Kolkatta Knight Readers, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Superkings on top of the list.  Too many matches and following the fortunes of the Teams have not been all that easy.  

This mad game actually offers only 120 legal deliveries for a Team and coming back from a poor beginning is not all that easy.  Some teams have adopted a cautious beginning – that is scoring less and keeping their wickets in tact at the powerplay but have done well so far.  Pune, Deccan and Punjab have won only three and perhaps are already on their way out.  

Even in a format where batsman go slam bang, it was expected that bowlers like Bret Lee, Dale Steyn, Lasith Malinga, Daniel Vettori would be hard to be torn apart.  There have been some games where the bat has entirely dominated and there is one player who has been hitting everyone out of the park.  Before that can you guess the most miserly bowler of this tournament so far ?  This man is not a speed merchant, is not an International star even…..

You may not have heard much of him earlier – but he has been making waves :  He is Rahul Sharma – who ?    A leg spinner from Jallandhar, Punjab, playing for the team which has been battered and bruised – only 3 wins of ten.  This leggie may not turn the ball much, but has tried turning the fortunes well.  He is able to extract bounce and pace off the track and has been unrelenting with his accuracy.  

In 37 overs thus far, he has bowled a maiden, given 191 runs at an average of 14.69 and economy rate of 5.16 !!  astonishing indeed.  He had a 3/13 but will be remembered for the 2 for 7 in 4 overs against might Mumbai Indians.  Forgetting the version at SA, this is the hich most economical four-over spell in any IPL game in India.  If you are to eliminate Bhuvanes Kumar who has bowled only 3 overs,  Bipul Sharma’s 2 overs and the likes of S Dhawan, M Manhas – the other miserly bowlers are :  D Vettori (5.58 after bowling 36 overs); Slinga Malinga (5.79 / 39); Ali Murtaza, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shane Warne, Yusuf Pathan (5.91/32 overs); Iqbal Abdulla, surprising Sreesanth, Bollinger, Harbhajan and more.    Malinga is of a different league being the leading wicket taker with 24 wickets.

Rahul Sharma played last edition also turned up for Deccan Chargers managing 5 wickets at an economy of more than 8.   Read that he was diagnosed with a facial nerve dysfunction that affected his vision. He worked with doctors in order to recover enough to return to cricket.  He made his debut for Punjab in 2006 but had to wait till 2009 to play again.  Gutsy performer, one should say.  

On 2nd may in the match between Kochi Tuskers and Delhi Daredevils, he was the MOM but soon realized how cruel the game could be :  it is the 25 year old left arm medium fast bowler Prasanth Parameswaran.  That day when he came on to bowl, saw his first ball disappear nonchalantly outside the stadium roof  vanquished by Virender Sehwag.  The same over he had him caught behind. The other wicket he took was good enough to secure the coveted MOM for this debutant in IPL.  Yesterday to say that it was nightmarish is an understatement.  It was the third over of the Bangalore innings and Chris Gayle was on strike.  

First one went over Point for 6; second trying a slower one overstepped, went over Point again for another 6; the free hit went for a 4 in midwicket region;  the third (regular) ball also went for 4; fourth was hit brutally over cover for 6; 5th went 91 m straight for another 6 and the last one went past the keeper for a four :  6-6+1-4-4-6-6-4 (whopping 37 run over it was)

Parameswaran gave 44 in his 13 ball spell; the worst bowling in IPL 2011 has been : Sidharth Trivedi against Punjab 59/4; Zaheer 53/4; AC Thomas 53/4; Amit Mishra 53/4; Shane Warne 50/4; Van der wath 49/4; M Morkel 49/4; R Vinay kumar, Harris & Christian 48/4; Agarkar 47/4 and Kamran Khan 47 off 3.

One man has changed the complexion of Six hitting – Chris Gayle who went unsold and is here only because the Carribbean Board dropped him has so far hit 26 in his 5 appearances. Those who follow him are Virender Sehwag 18/11 matches; Yuvraj 17/10; Valthaty 14/9; Rohit Sharma 12/10;  Ravindra Jadeja 12/11; Manoj Tiwary 12/11; De Villiers 11/9 and Virat Kohli 11/9.

Now can you say whether the Bowlers or the Batsmen have dominated in the present edition of IPL.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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