There is no harder job in cricket than bowling at the death in T-20 games. The batsmen literally have nothing to lose and hence they aim to hit every single ball out of the park. Even the greatest of bowlers have been hit mercilessly at the death. But there is a group of special bowlers who have often come out on top in duels with the batsmen at the death in the IPL. In this article, we will look at the five most economical death bowlers in IPL history [Stats credit – ESPN Cricinfo].
Note:- Only bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 120 balls at the death have been considered. Overs 17-20 have been considered as death overs, since strategic timeout is often taken at the end of 16 overs. This article was written before the beginning of the SRH vs DC game on 22/09/21.
#5 Wayne Parnell – 7.97
A surprising name, but Parnell at his peak was right among the world’s best death bowlers. He had a simple, straightforward action which made it easier to deliver yorkers at the base of the stumps. Parnell has bowled 164 balls at the death in the IPL and has only conceded 218 runs. Overall, he has 26 wickets in the IPL at an economy of 7.35.
#4 Mitchell Starc – 7.83
It is a shame that one of the world’s premium death bowlers has missed a lot of IPL games. But Starc was outstanding in the 2014 and 2015 editions of IPL. At the death, Starc has delivered 190 deliveries and has conceded 248 runs while picking up 16 wickets.
He has also conceded just 4 sixes at the death and has bowled 67 dot balls. Starc’s reverse swinging yorker is one of the most lethal deliveries in cricket, and he has put it to good use in the IPL. Overall, Starc has 34 wickets in the IPL at an economy of 7.17.
#3 Lasith Malinga – 7.82
The greatest and one of the most economical death bowlers in IPL history, Malinga deservingly takes the third spot in this list. Only Dwayne Bravo has bowled more balls at the death in the IPL than the Lankan master. He has bowled 917 deliveries at the death, conceded 1196 runs and has picked up 90 wickets.
He has also bowled a record 320 dot balls at the death, more than any other bowler in IPL history. Malinga is also the leading wicket-taker in the IPL with 170 dismissals to his name. It is safe to say that many of the above-mentioned records will forever remain intact.
#2 Doug Bollinger – 7.51
Bollinger represented Chennai Super Kings from 2010 to 2012 and was their best death bowler during that period. Bollinger has bowled 210 balls at the death, conceding 263 runs and has 21 dismissals to his name. In his very first season, Bollinger rose to prominence with a spell of 4 for 13 in four overs against defending champions Deccan Chargers.
Overall, Bollinger has 37 wickets in the IPL at an economy rate of 7.22. Bollinger’s height enabled him to produce awkward bounce which is one of the reasons for his fabulous record at the death.
#1 Rashid Khan – 7.33
Rashid Khan is the only spinner on this list and that alone is an ode to his phenomenal skill-set. Rashid has bowled 162 balls at the death and has conceded 198 runs. Almost 50% of the deliveries he has bowled from overs 17-20 in the IPL has been dot balls. He also has 11 wickets to his name.
In IPL 2020, Rashid Khan bowled 64 overs and picked up 20 wickets at an economy of 5.37. Collectively, no bowler can match up to his performances in the 2020 edition. He just turned 23, but he has already cemented his place among IPL’s greatest.