IPL 2020 began with Mohammed Shami roaring back from the break with some near-match-defining performances for Kings XI Punjab. Fifty six matches later, it was Rashid Khan (who played a season-defining role with 19 wickets from 14 matches at an economy rate of 5.28) inspiring Sunrisers Hyderabad to a last-gasp play-off qualification.
In between, there were some spells we had come to expect — Rajasthan Royals’ Jofra Archer and Mumbai Indians’ pace duo Jasprit Bumrah-Trent Boult breaking through top orders, Yuzvendra Chahal turning lost causes for Royal Challengers Bangalore into winning positions — but there was also the occasional unexpected blitz — like Anrich Nortje’s speed-barrier-breaking spell vs RR, or Lockie Ferguson’s instant impact on debut vs SRH.
Fifteen of the 56 official Man-of-the-Match awards have gone to bowlers. Here is a look at some of the best match-turning spells from the season:
Rashid Khan 3/7 vs DC
This was the most economical spell of the season. Defending a score of 219 in a must-win match, Rashid Khan finished his spell against Delhi Capitals with figures of 3/7. He bowled 17 dots. At the end of his spell, Delhi were struggling at 83/6 after 13 overs. This is the most economical 3+-wicket haul in IPL history.
Over sequence: W 0 1 0 W 0 | 0 0 0 1 1 0 | 0 1 0 1 0 1 | 0 1 0 0 W 0
— Express Sports (@IExpressSports) October 27, 2020
Siraj 3/8 vs KKR
Mohammed Siraj had gone for 44 runs in four wicketless overs the match before, and so when he was given the ball in the Powerplay overs vs KKR, it must have been a bit of a gamble. Two overs later, he had dismissed Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana and Tom Banton without conceding a single run. He thus became the first player ever to bowl two maiden overs in one IPL match.
He finished his spell in the Powerplay with figures of 3/2, and returned to bowl one over at the death, in which he conceded six singles. KKR, batting first, were restricted to 84/8 at the end of their 20 overs.
Varun 5/20 vs DC
The only five-wicket haul of IPL 2020 and only the 21st in IPL history, Varun Chakravarthy’s spin dismantled the Delhi Capitals middle order in a chase that had been under Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant’s control till then. Left reeling after his spell, this would be the first of three big defeats DC would suffer before recovering in their last league match.
Chakravarthy’s figures of 5/20 are the best match figures in the IPL by an uncapped spinner. It was two days after this spell that Chakravarthy was handed his first India call-up, for the upcoming T20 series in Australia.
Lockie 3/15 (2/2 in Super Over) vs SRH
Lockie Ferguson made his season debut with three quarters of the season having been played already, but had an immediate impact. Making his first appearance, he bowled 27 balls against SRH, including 3 in a Super Over, taking five wickets, including two in a Super Over, as KKR won the match from a losing situation.
Before Lockie’s introduction, the SRH openers had been cruising at 58/0 after 6 overs in their chase of 164. Lockie removed Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Priyam Garg to expose the lower-middle order in the middle overs as the match headed for a tie. Taking on the responsibility of bowling the Super Over that followed, he bowled the most economical Super Over score in IPL.
Boult 4/18 vs CSK
One of the more consistent performers throughout the season, Boult’s spell of 4/18 vs CSK — the second best figures of the season after Varun Chakravarthy’s fifer — was his standout performance.
As Boult and Bumrah spat fire in the Powerplay overs, CSK were reduced to what threatened to be a terrible collapse — at 3/3 and then 21/5 — before Sam Curran’s resistance took CSK to 114.
(Note: This list has been updated till the end of the league stage of IPL 2020)
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