Best bowling figures in IPL history: List of top 5 bowlers with the best figures in an IPL match

Bowlers have been the heart of the Indian Premiere League. However, some of their spells have been a part of the history books as well.


Best bowling figures in IPL history: List of top 5 bowlers with the best figures in an IPL match

Adam Zampa

The shortest format of the game has always been batsman-oriented with the question being who will score more. However, even amidst the hustle and bustle of the T20 format and the batsmen hitting sixes at will in the premium tournaments such as IPL, bowlers have been able to hold their own on a plethora of occasions. They have come up with crucial wickets to derail chases or to help restrict in the first innings. Let alone wickets, even dot balls are extremely crucial in T20s.

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The focus here would, however, be on wickets as we take a look at the top 5 best bowling figures in the history of the IPL. The list has two Indians at No. 4 and No. 5 but the top 3 are all overseas bowlers. West Indian Alzarri Joseph leads the pack thanks to his 6/12 in 2019 which came 11 years after Sohail Tanvir’s famous 6/14 in 2008. Picking up 6 wickets in an inning is no joke and hence, getting a place on this list would take some doing.

Also Read: Highest individual score in IPL: List of top 5 batsmen with the highest scores in an IPL match

List of players with the best bowling figures in IPL history

SNPLAYEROvRunsWktsAgainstYear
1 Alzarri Joseph3.4126SRH2019
2 Sohail Tanvir4146CSK2008
3 Adam Zampa4196SRH2016
4 Anil Kumble3.155RR2009
5 Ishant Sharma3125KTK2011
6 Lasith Malinga3.4135DC2011
7 Ankit Rajpoot4145SRH2018
8 James Faulkner4155SRH2013
9 Ravindra Jadeja4165DEC2012
10 James Faulkner4165SRH2013

5. Ishant Sharma – 5/12 vs Kochi Tuskers Kerala, 2011

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma produced an opening spell of the highest quality to rip through the Kochi Tuskers Kerala batting order in 2011. Defending a modest total of 129 sets thanks to Kumar Sangakkara‘s lone battle, Ishant came into a bowl for the Deccan Chargers after his bowling partner Dale Steyn had picked up a wicket in the first over.

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What followed was a spell of pure brilliance as the Kochi batsmen were left clueless against the speedster. 4 out of the 5 batsmen that he dismissed were out for ducks. At one point, KTK was on 11/6 but they revived their innings before being shot out for 74.

4. Anil Kumble – 5/5 vs Rajasthan Royals, 2009

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble

This spell by Anil Kumble is among the most famous ones in the history of the IPL as it helped bowl out Rajasthan Royals for a paltry score of 58 – which remained as the lowest team total in the tournament’s history before Royal Challengers Bangalore’s infamous 49 broke the record.

In the second match of the 2009 IPL, RCB had got to a score of 133 as Rahul Dravid anchored the innings on a tricky pitch. In the second innings, Praveen Kumar and Jesse Ryder had removed the top order of RR before Kumble spun a web around the lower-order batsmen to pick up 5 wickets while conceding just 5 runs.

3. Adam Zampa – 6/19 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, 2016

Adam Zampa
Adam Zampa

In what is probably the best performance by a bowler in a losing cause in the history of the IPL, Aussie leggie Adam Zampa came up with a wily spell of bowling as he foxed the Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman while appearing for the Rising Pune Supergiants. After RP Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin had picked up the first two wickets, all of the next 6 wickets were taken by Zampa.

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The leg-spinner’s spell helped restrict SRH to just 137. However, in the chase RPS faltered and fell short of the target by 4 runs as MS Dhoni was run out of the penultimate ball of the match to leave Ashish Nehra to defend 5 runs off the final ball which he did by dismissing Zampa.

2. Sohail Tanvir – 6/14 vs Chennai Super Kings, 2008

Sohail Tanvir
Sohail Tanvir

Rajasthan RoyalsSohail Tanvir lit up the inaugural edition of the IPL with his incredibly accurate bowling. His quick action and the unconventional nature of his release caused quite a lot of trouble to the batsmen who looked clueless at times. That was exactly what happened with Chennai Super Kings who came up against Tanvir who looked like he could do no wrong.

Tanvir ran through the CSK top 3 to leave them struggling at 11/3 before returning at the death to polish off the tail. His spell helped bowl out CSK for 109 which was chased down with ease in less than 15 overs.

1. Alzarri Joseph, 6/12 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, 2019

Alzarri Joseph
Alzarri Joseph

Alzarri Joseph leads the pack with regard to the best bowling figures in IPL history thanks to his fiery spell for Mumbai Indians against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019. What was even more incredible about the West Indian’s feat was that he was making his IPL debut in the match. Defending a target of 137 which was reached thanks to fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard‘s fireworks, Joseph put his talents on full display in the second innings.

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He removed two batsmen in his opening spell including the dangerous David Warner. His second spell which came at the death then produced as many as four wickets as he brutally took apart the SRH tail to finish with the best figures in the history of the tournament.

Also Read: 5 Best Leg spinners in IPL history

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