Even though batters have a larger say in T20 games, bowlers have also carved a special place for themselves by delivering mesmerising performances.

The IPL is home to some of the most prominent bowlers, who have delighted fans with their most destructive bowling performances.

This article will list the ten best bowling performances in IPL history.

1. Alzarri Joseph (MI) | 6/12 vs SRH, 2019

Imagine stepping in to bowl to defend a total of 136 runs put on the board. The Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling attack had a task cut for themselves to halt the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) from chasing down the target.

SRH was off to a flying start. Then came Alzarri Joseph, playing in his debut IPL season, who tore apart the SRH batting lineup.

He picked up 2 wickets in his first 2 overs, sending 2 important batters back to the pavilion. Joseph then followed up that with 4 wickets in death overs, helping MI skittle SRH for a mere 96 runs.

Joseph’s figures of 6 for 12 runs are the best bowling figures in IPL history.

2. Sohail Tanvir (RR) | 6/14 vs CSK, 2008

Sohail Tanvir became the first bowler to take a 6-fer in the IPL and eventually won the inaugural Purple Cap award in 2008.

Tanvir ran riot against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Jaipur on May 4, 2008. CSK elected to bat first, but the left-arm pacer proved their decision wrong.

Tanvir started with the new ball and sent Chennai’s openers back into the hut in first over itself. He continued his havoc and ended up with 6 wickets for 14 wickets in 4 overs.

Tanvir’s bowling figures were the best for almost 11 seasons until Alzarri Joseph went ahead of him.

3. Adam Zampa (RPS) | 6/19 vs SRH, 2016

The Rising Pune Supergiants were taking on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Vizag on May 10, 2016. SRH opted to bat first, but Pune’s bowlers kept the match pretty much under their control.

Hyderabad was at 96 for 2 at the start of the 16th over and was looking to finish on a higher note. However, Adam Zampa had different plans, and he ripped apart SRH’s next 6 wickets.

Zampa’s bowling masterclass helped Pune restrict SRH to 137 in the first innings. However, Zampa’s heroics didn’t materialise in a win for RPS, as they lost the match by 4 runs.

4. Anil Kumble (RCB) | 5/5 vs RR, 2009

If not for Anil Kumble’s valiant bowling effort, the Royal Challengers Bangalore would’ve lost their season opener against RR. 

Batting first, RCB mustered 133/8, with major contributions from Rahul Dravid (66) and captain Kevin Peterson (32). No other batter from RCB camp even crossed 10 runs.

With a decent target on board to defend, Praveen Kumar and Jesse Ryder’s 2 scalps each under 9 overs laid the perfect path for Kumble’s spin. The leggie made the middle and lower-order RR batters dance to his tune and grabbed 5 wickets for 5 runs.

Also Read | The 10 Greatest Indian Spinners of All Time

5. Akash Madhwal (MI) | 5/5 vs LSG, 2023

Mumbai were up against Lucknow in the Eliminator of the 2023 season. Mumbai’s batters scored 182 runs in the first innings, and it was over to their bowlers to defend the total.

Akash Madhwal, a promising pacer, drew the first blood in the second over of LSG’s innings. Later, he went on to deliver a match-defining bowling performance by picking up 4 more wickets to end up with 5 wickets for a mere 5 runs.

6. Jasprit Bumrah (MI) | 5/10 vs KKR, 2022

When nothing is going your way, just give the ball to Jasprit Bumrah and let him do his thing. Even captain Rohit Sharma would have thought this in the match against KKR and brought Bumrah into attack at the right time.

Kolkata were cruising on 136/3 at the start of the 15th over. But then Bumrah struck 2 wickets in the same over, breaking KKR’s back. He resumed his wrath in the 18th over, picking up 3 more wickets.

7. Mohit Sharma (GT) | 5/10 vs MI, 2023

Mohit Sharma didn’t play a single game in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, but 2023 was his redemption year. He was among the top wicket-takers in the season and delivered his best IPL performance when it mattered the most.

The Gujarat Titans were playing against the Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad. GT piled up 233 runs on the board, thanks to Shubman Gill’s 129 runs.

Mumbai had a rough start, but their middle-order batters were hammering Gujarat bowlers for boundaries. Suryakumar Yadav was in no mood to slow down until Mohit Sharma castled him.

After that, it was Mohit Sharma show with the ball, as he produced match-winning figures of 5 for 10.

8. Lasith Malinga (MI) | 5/13 vs DD, 2011

Before Jasprit Bumrah came onto the scene, it was Lasith Malinga who terrified batters with his pace and toe-crushing yorkers. The Sri Lankan bowler was an important cog for Mumbai, and he proved that with his scintillating bowling performances.

Malinga’s one such brilliant performance came against the Delhi Daredevils in the 2011 season. Delhi elected to bat first, but Malinga’s bowling was too hot to handle.

The Yorker King grabbed 5 wickets by conceding 13 runs and helped MI wrap up DD for 95 runs.

9. Andre Russell (KKR) | 5/15 vs MI, 2021

Andre Russell has proved his utility both with the bat and the ball on several occasions for KKR. But his extraordinary 2-over spell against Mumbai will forever be etched in the league’s history.

KKR’s bowlers had tightened their grips around MI’s batting lineup as the death overs approached. And then Russell made matters worse for them by skittling 5 wickets for 15 runs in 2 overs.

10. Rohit Sharma (DC) | 4/6 vs MI, 2009

Not many know that Rohit Sharma has a hat-trick to his name in the IPL. Representing the Deccan Chargers in 2009, he was on a song against Mumbai, a team that he would lead to several title triumphs in the future.

Rohit scalped his first 2 wickets on the last 2 balls of the 16th over. He then completed his hat-trick on the first ball of the 18th over by dismissing a set JP Duminy. 

2 balls later, Sharma got Saurabh Tiwary stumped to finish with the figures of 4 for 6.


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