Just like scoring a century or picking a fifer, bowling a maiden over in T20 cricket is considered bliss. Given the fast-paced nature of the format, it is difficult to bowl a dot delivery let alone bowling 6 of them on the trot and procuring a golden maiden over. Despite it being one heck of a task, there have been many bowlers in world cricket who managed to deliver it not just at the international stage but at the IPL as well. We will be focusing on the ones who were able to do it on a consistent basis in the present article. In the below piece, we look at 6 bowlers, who bowled most maiden overs in the history of IPL:
1. Praveen Kumar – 14
A medium-pacer from Uttar Pradesh, who relied more on swing and seam movement for wickets, Kumar tops the list, bowling 14 maiden overs in his IPL career.
He played for as many as 5 franchises which included the likes of RCB, PK, MI, SRH and GL, and shouldered the important responsibility of bowling the initial overs and at the death.
Apart from his effective seam bowling, Kumar was a handy contributor with the bat down the order, scoring crucial runs in the team’s cause. That knock of 24(15) with a boundary and 2 sixes playing for PK against MI in IPL 2013, almost won the game for his side.
Kumar has scalped 90 wickets from 119 IPL innings at an average of 36.12 and an economy rate of 7.72.
2. Irfan Pathan – 10
Known by the name ‘swing king’ during his stint with the Indian team, Irfan is second on this list with 10 maiden overs in the IPL.
Irfan‘s IPL journey started with PK which was later followed by SRH, CSK, RPS and GL. He had his best time playing for the Punjab-based franchise, where the seamer not only picked wickets at regular intervals but even batted higher in the order.
Irfan was often used as a pinch-hitter, who scored runs at a brisk pace and assisted in shifting the momentum in his team’s favour. The approach also helped the other batsmen in the team, who were able to bide some time and then go big for runs, making it a combined onslaught.
Irfan has picked 80 wickets from 101 IPL innings at an average of 33.11 and an economy rate of 7.78.
3. Dhawal Kulkarni – 8
A talented pacer from Mumbai, who is more inclined towards bowling ideal lines and lengths rather than bowling express pace, Dhawal is third on the list with 8 maiden overs from 91 innings.
Dhawal was part of the Royals set-up for the majority of his IPL career, stringing some impressive performances for them with the ball. He is known for his exploits with the new ball, bowling the perfect lengths which will halt the scoring for the opposition.
Like any other bowler, Dhawal too has some issues bowling at the death, where he is bound to disappear for a few and spoil the good effort displayed early on. Thus said, he is an important member of the MI set-up, being retained for the upcoming season and will be expected to perform to his potential come to any opportunity.
The right-arm seamer has dismissed 86 batsmen from 91 IPL innings at an average of 28.21 and an economy rate of 8.26.
4. Sandeep Sharma – 8
Another swing sensation from Punjab, Sandeep is fourth on the list with 8 maiden overs from 92 innings. After being part of 2 U-19 World Cup squads in 2010 and 2012, it was his involvement with the successful 2012 squad that assisted him in earning a contract at the cash-rich league.
Sandeep was part of the Punjab set-up initially, who bowled several economical spells for them, halting the progress of the batsmen. His edge over India’s superstar skipper, Virat Kohli is well documented and that has been the highlight of every IPL season post his debut.
IPL 2020 was fruitful for the medium-pacer, who did the job for SRH in the powerplay overs, getting the big fishes in the opposition team. His wicket-taking spree augered well for the other bowlers and the team as a whole, helping them make yet another playoffs.
Sandeep has snared 109 wickets from 92 IPL innings at an average of 24.28 and an economy rate of 7.72.
5. Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 8
The man of the moment, who assisted India in winning the limited-overs series against England, Bhuvneshwar is fifth on the list with 8 maiden overs from 121 innings.
It is a lesser-known fact that Bhuvi was part of the RCB set-up before he played for Pune Warriors India and now Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, it was for SRH that he could showcase his skills, bowling the most crucial overs in a T20 game.
With swing being his only weapon initially, Bhuvi added a lot more variations to his arsenal which includes the cutters, bouncers, knuckleballs and yorkers to keep a check on the batsmen and maintain his relevance. Having left the last season midway due to an injury, Bhuvi with the current form and experience will be raring to step on the field for SRH and win them their 2nd title.
The seamer has picked 136 wickets from 121 IPL innings at an average of 23.92 and an economy rate of 7.24.
6. Lasith Malinga – 8
The veteran of Sri Lankan cricket and IPL, Malinga is sixth on the list with 8 maiden overs from 122 innings. The yorker sensation made his debut for MI in the 2009 season contested in South Africa and since then hasn’t looked back for any.
Whenever the team needed him to pick wickets, Malinga would always perform his duty and assist the team in getting the better of the opposition. Given the intense nature of the tournament, batsmen did work out some plans to counteract his threat but in the end, Malinga would come out on top.
Having missed the last season due to personal reasons, Malinga was expected to make a comeback in IPL 2021. But, shocking everyone to the core, the speedster announced his retirement from the league and left his countless fans with innumerable memories to cherish.
Malinga has snapped up 170 wickets from 122 IPL innings at an average of 19.79 and an economy rate of 7.14.