The team that wins the powerplays in T-20s are often the ones that come out on top at the end of the game. Such is the importance of the first six overs in IPL that teams dedicate a lot of time to decide their powerplay tactics. In the powerplay, bowlers usually aim to take wickets, but it is an added bonus if they restrict the batsmen. In this article, we will look at the five most economical bowlers in the powerplay in the history of IPL [Stats credit – ESPN cricinfo].
Note :- Only bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 120 balls in the first 6 overs have been considered.
#5 Ajit Chandila – 5.70
A story unlike any other, Chandila was a revelation in the powerplay until he was arrested for spot-fixing. He represented Rajasthan Royals in two editions and has 11 wickets to his name. Chandila has bowled 144 balls in the powerplay and has conceded just 137 runs. He has bowled 71 dot balls in the powerplay, a remarkable tally.
#4 Glenn McGrath – 5.70
McGrath was 38 by the time IPL started, but that did not stop him from becoming one of the most economical bowlers in the powerplay. McGrath has bowled 222 balls in the powerplay and has conceded just 211 runs. He played only in the first edition of the IPL and yet has 134 dot balls in the powerplay.
McGrath only took 12 wickets in his IPL career, but 8 of them came in the powerplay. McGrath’s most economical spell came against the 2008 champions Rajasthan Royals, as he conceded just 12 runs in 4 overs.
#3 Mohammad Nabi – 5.56
Nabi is one of Afghan’s greatest cricketers, but it took a long time for him to get a place in an IPL team. But when the opportunity came knocking, he made the optimum use of it. Sunrisers Hyderabad used him in the powerplay against left-handers to great effect.
In the powerplay, he has bowled 138 balls and has conceded 128 runs. Nabi has bowled 69 dot balls in the powerplay and has 7 wickets to his name. Although he has been part of the SRH setup for five seasons, he has not been a regular in the eleven. In his IPL career, he has 13 wickets overall at an economy of 6.92.
#2 Jofra Archer – 5.35
Archer is arguably the only modern-day bowler whose exploits in the T-20 format can match up to Bumrah’s record. Archer has been equally efficient at the death and the powerplay in the IPL. He has bowled 342 balls in the powerplay and has conceded just 305 runs.
Archer’s most economical spell came against Kings XI Punjab in 2019 when he took 3 for 15 in 4 overs. Remarkably, Punjab managed 182 runs despite Archer’s heroics. In IPL 2020, Archer took 20 wickets at an outstanding economy of 6.56. Totally, he has 46 wickets in the IPL at an economy of 7.13.
#1 Sachitra Senanayake – 5.23
A true surprise as it is the Lankan off-spinner who tops the list of most economical bowlers in the powerplay. Senanayake had a brilliant record in T-20s until his action was deemed illegal in 2014. He returned with a re-modelled action, but he lost his greatest weapon, the carrom ball. Senanayake has bowled 126 balls in the powerplay and yet not a single six has been hit off him.
He has bowled 57 dot balls in the powerplay and has 4 wickets to his name. KKR bought him for $650,000 in 2013 and Senanayake was one of the most economical bowlers in that edition.