Top 4 unlikely record-holders in the IPL
The Indian Premier League is soon to enter its second decade of existence. The first ten years have resulted in a stark change in the entire sport of cricket.
There have been a plethora of stellar performances with both bat and ball over the years. A vast range of incredible records have been created, and have subsequently been destroyed too.
There are some records which are held by players who one would think are outrageously unlikely to hold that record. Let's take a look at some of these improbable record-holders:
#4 Most hat-tricks in a season
There have been a mere seventeen hat-tricks across the ten IPL seasons. There are no surprises there, as hat-tricks are naturally hard to come by. These seventeen hat-tricks are shared between fourteen people.
Among these fourteen, twelve have taken the elusive hat-trick just the one time. Only two people have the privilege of having gotten three wickets in three consecutive balls on more than one occasion. Amit Mishra has gotten hat-tricks thrice, a feat that no other player has managed to achieve. There are no surprises there, however, as Amit Mishra is the IPL's second-highest wicket-taker in history.
The other bowler who has taken multiple hat-tricks is more baffling, primarily because he is traditionally more of a batsman! Yuvraj Singh. He became only the fourth player to bag a hat-trick when he got rid of Uthappa, Kallis and Boucher from the Royal Challengers Bangalore way back in 2009, when he played for the Kings XI Punjab.
Yuvraj shocked everyone, including himself, as he soon bagged his second hat-trick in the same season against the Deccan Chargers. He got rid of Gibbs, Symonds and Venugopal Rao and etched his name in IPL history as the first bowler to notch more than one hat-trick.
Yuvraj Singh still holds the record for being the only man to have captured more that one hat-trick in a single season. Considering how hard hat-tricks are to come by, lightning striking twice for the same bowler in the same season may not happen in the near future. It looks like Yuvraj Singh could hold this unlikely record for some time to come!
#3 Most dot balls and maiden overs bowled
The shortest format of the game is a cruel one for the bowlers. With each innings lasting just twenty overs, batsmen tend to go after bowlers from the word go. Dot balls are much rarer than they used to be, and maiden overs are extremely hard to come by. Over the past decade, there have been many bowlers who've managed to make a name in the IPL with their ability to curtail the flow of runs.
Having the record for either of 'most dot balls bowled' or 'most maidens bowled' is a commendable laurel to have in the IPL. Lasith Malinga, Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Sunil Narine, Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh are among the most successful bowlers in IPL history, and one would expect one of these IPL veterans to hold these records. However, both these records incredibly belong to the same man, and shockingly to most of us, they both belong to yesteryear swing bowler Praveen Kumar.
In his 119 innings, Praveen Kumar has managed to top the charts with 1075 dot balls and 14 maidens. Though his record for dot balls is bound to be broken in the upcoming season, his record for most maiden overs bowled could last for a while. You have to feel for Praveen Kumar, who went unsold in the 2014 auctions despite holding these records.
#2 Lowest innings total
The first ever match in the history of the IPL witnessed the Kolkata Knight Riders impose a crushing 140-run defeat on the Royal Challengers Bangalore. This remains, to this day, one of the IPL's top five biggest victories in terms of runs.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore were bundled out for a mere 82 in their home stadium, the Chinnaswamy. Since then, however, the Royal Challengers Bangalore have clobbered many a bowling attack. The Chinnaswamy has proven to be famous for having one of the flattest tracks in the country, and 200+ scores became a common sight for the die-hard Bangalore fans. It is no surprise that three of the five top scores in an innings in IPL history belong to the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In the 2017 season, the franchisee from Bangalore boasted of the strongest batting lineup in the league with players like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson and Kedar Jadhav in their ranks. It is shocking that this outrageous batting lineup slumped to record the lowest innings total in the history of the IPL. The side from Bangalore were to chase a humble total of 132 against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.
An incredible implosion saw the Royal Challengers all-out for a total of just 49 runs. None of the eleven batsmen succeeded in reaching the two-digit figure with the bat. Exactly four years after registering the highest-ever IPL score, the Royal Challengers Bangalore were miraculously demolished for the lowest ever score.
#1 Fastest half-century
The IPL has seen some truly extraordinary knocks. Remember Chris Gayle's breathtaking knock of 175 against the Pune Warriors? Or Brendon McCullum's annihilation of bowlers en route a mammoth score of 158 in the very first match of the IPL? Other modern greats including Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and David Warner to name a few have lit up the IPL with some surreal knocks as well.
There have been a total of 19 instances wherein a half-century has been scored in under or equal to 20 deliveries. Scoring at a strike rate of over 250 literally means that a boundary is being scored in every other ball. The list of fastest fifties features familiar names such as Gayle, Warner, Dhoni, Gilchrist and Raina. Yusuf Pathan is among the two cricketers who top this list with his 15-ball half-century, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014. Considering his intrepid style of batting, this doesn't come as much of a surprise. However, the person who tops the list is shocking to say the very least.
In the 2017 edition of the IPL, Sunil Narine shocked everyone as he equalled Yusuf's record for fastest IPL half-century. Narine dismantled the Royal Challengers Bangalore's bowling attack as he plundered 6 fours and 4 sixes to score 54 of just 17 balls. Narine smashed three gigantic sixes and a four in the first four balls that he faced from his countryman and fellow spinner, Samuel Badree.
Narine slammed another four boundaries and one massive six off the bowling of a hapless Sreenath Aravind to bring up his record-equaling half-century in style.
Narine has been one of the IPL's most successful bowlers, having taken 95 scalps at a humble economy of 6.32. Imagining him having the record of fastest IPL half-century would have been near impossible for anybody prior to the 2017 season. After all, from 2012 to 2016, Narine had a combined total of 47 runs against his name.
It was uncharacteristic to see him open the batting for the Knight Riders in the 2017 season. Boy, were we in for a surprise! The spinner whacked 224 runs at a strike rate of over 170. His innings against the Royal Challengers is his only half-century in the IPL, and it was surely one to remember!