Morkel bouncing well at the IPL

2012-05-05 20:10

In past years, teams in the Indian Premier League would be marking out their territory and staking their claim for the play-off spots.

The 2012 edition, though, has dished up some weird scenarios, even though the usual contenders are starting to gather steam ahead of crucial games.

The towering Morne Morkel, now more famous for leaving a golf-ball sized lump on Ross Taylor’s forearm in New Zealand, heads the wicket-taking list with 19 scalps in 10 matches.

An economy rate of 6.82 might not be flash, but in a format engineered to decimate the bowling species, it is an above-average return.

Those figures have propelled the Delhi Daredevils to the top of the IPL log, but it will be remain to be seen whether they sustain their momentum.

Lasith Malinga is snapping at his heals with 17 wickets and could overtake him when his Mumbai Indians face the Chennai Super Kings.

What has been interesting is the kind of pitches we’ve seen in the tournament.

India is known for its flat, batsman-friendly tracks, but the different grounds have dished up a variety of pitches.

The low-scoring Mumbai Indians-Deccan Chargers clash in Mumbai last week was played on a track that entirely uncharacteristic with its bounce and seam.

Dale Steyn, who plies his trade for the struggling Deccan Chargers, is a bit off the pace with 11 wickets, but the misfiring Chargers line-up has not given him the requisite runs to defend.

Jacques Kallis features lower down, with seven wickets in nine games.

In the batting stakes, Faf du Plessis has ceded the purple cap to Ajinkya Rahane of the Rajasthan Royals, but the Super Kings opening batsman remains the best South African willow-wielder with 376 runs at 37.

AB de Villiers, campaigning for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, is the next-best South African batsman with 245 runs, but his contributions have been overshadowed by the explosive Chris Gayle, who has ransacked 407 runs at an average of 50.87 in nine matches.

JP Duminy and Kallis are the only other Protea batsmen in the top 50, with 133 and 183 runs respectively.

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