T20 is essentially a batsman’s game. But, every tournament throws up a few names of bowlers, who stand up to the challenge, and put up performances on par with the batsmen. This tournament has been no exception. Take a look at the best bowlers of this year’s CLT20.
Pravin Tambe: This is some fairy tale story. Of course, the leggie who turns 42 on October 8, would have loved to have been on the finishing side in the final. But, what he has achieved during this series has been nothing short of sensational, considering his age that is. In five matches, Tambe scalped 12 wickets at an impressive strike rate of 9.5 and economy rate of 4. His average of 6.5 falls in the category of unbelievable. Throughout the tournament, Tambe came up with match- defining spells, and it wasn’t surprising that he ended up as the leading wicket-taker. His spell of 4/15 against the Lions was his best, but Tambe was in his elements in the semi-finals and the final as well with figures of 3/10 and 2/19 respectively.
Sunil Narine: Yet another T20 tournament where the mystery spinner bamboozled most batsmen. Narine’s figures itself tell the story of his success. In five matches, he claimed 11 wickets at a strike rate of 11 as well. His economy rate of 4.3 was brilliant as usual, and his average of 7.8 was next only to Tambe’s. Narine came up with a sensational spell of 4/9 against the Sunrisers and gave Mumbai a scare in the semi- final as well with amazing figures of 3/17. As long as Narine was bowling T&T were in with a chance, but the lack of support for him cost them a place in the final.
Harbhajan Singh: The axed India off-spinner had a poor tournament throughout, but he was retained for the final and, as they say, cometh the hour, cometh the man. In all, Singh played five matches and grabbed six wickets at a strike rate of 19 and economy rate of 7.3. His average of 23 was also decent. But, these end figures were massively bolstered by Singh’s effort in the final, when he came up with his best performance. The veteran offie picked up three wickets in one over to derail Rajasthan’s chase. He ended with figures of 4/32 and was the man of the final.
Nathan Coulter-Nile: The fast bowler was a vital cog in Mumbai’s wheel in Lasith Malinga’s absence. He played in five games and picked six wickets. Coulter-Nile had a strike rate of 19, but his kept things tight as his economy rate of 6.3 suggests. In that context, his average of 20 was very much acceptable. Coulter-Nile’s best figures were 3/19 in the key game against Scorchers, and he picked up a wicket each in the semis and the final.
Dale Steyn: As it has so often happened in the past, Steyn was the sole saving grace for Sunrisers Hyderabad with the ball. The South African speedster managed six wickets in as many games at a strike rate of 23 and economy rate of 6.7. His average of 26 was also on acceptable lines.
--By A Cricket Analyst