Indian Premier League

How the 12 South African stars fared at Covid-hit IPL

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Faf du Plessis for Chennai Super Kings
Faf du Plessis for Chennai Super Kings

On Friday, the Chennai Super Kings were crowned Indian Premier League (IPL) champions after defeating the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Proteas batter Faf du Plessis smashed 86 in the IPL final to steer the Super Kings to an 27-run victory, claiming their fourth IPL title in the process.

The tournament resumed last month after it was halted in May due to the devastating surge in pandemic deaths in India, prompting foreign players to rush home.

The IPL resumed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and it became the perfect build-up to the T20 World Cup set at the same venue.

In this year's IPL, 12 South Africans took part with Aiden Markram and Tabraiz Shamsi, joining the tournament in the second leg in the UAE.

Here's how the South Africans fared during this edition of the IPL:

Faf du Plessis - Chennai Super Kings

After getting snubbed from the Proteas T20 World Cup squad, Du Plessis had a lot to prove and he has done so as he finished off as the highest South African run-scoring this IPL season.

In 16 IPL matches, the former Proteas skipper has scored 633 runs at an average of 45.21 and with a healthy strike rate of 138.20.

Du Plessis fell two runs short of the Orange Cap on Friday when he made 86 in the IPL final as his fellow opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad finished as the highest run-scorer.

Playing in his 100th IPL game on Friday, Du Plessis nearly carried his bat - falling on the final ball - as he scored his sixth half-century of the season.

Du Plessis will, unfortunately, return to South Africa and will not remain in the UAE for the T20 World Cup, which starts on Sunday.

READ | Faf's IPL final heroics raise eyebrows over World Cup non-selection: 'Absolutely ridiculous!'

AB de Villiers - Royal Challengers Bangalore

De Villiers' Bangalore charges ended with a defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator to finish fourth.

While the former Proteas star batsman scored 313 runs this season, the majority of his runs came in the first leg - managing a high score of 26 in the UAE.

De Villiers, who has been at Bangalore since 2011, retired from international cricket in 2019 and the 37-year-old has been solely playing T20 cricket.

There has been talk during this year's campaign that De Villiers might not be retained by Bangalore next season.

This month, former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir told Cricinfo that Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell should be retained and not De Villiers.

While former Australian spinner Brad Hogg joined the bandwagon and said that retaining De Villiers would be risky for Bangalore.

Quinton de Kock - Mumbai Indians

De Kock is not in the brilliant form that the Proteas imagined as he scored 142 runs in 5 matches in the second leg. 

This year, the Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman scored two half-centuries and ended on 297 runs in 11 matches for the former champions.

Mumbai Indians finished fifth, missing out on the playoffs after finishing tied on 14 points alongside Kolkata but had a lower net run rate.

The Proteas were hoping to have De Kock in peak condition ahead of this month's T20 World Cup as he sets to resume an opening partnership with captain Temba Bavuma.

There's no doubt that De Kock's form could change the Proteas course during the T20 World Cup in the Middle East.

Anrich Nortje - Delhi Capitals

Nortje had a stellar debut IPL season last year and did not feature in India's first leg of the IPL after receiving a false positive Covid-19 test.

However, the 27-year-old bounced back in the UAE and took 12 wickets in his eight games.

Nortje formed part of Delhi's formidable bowling attack, which included his compatriot Kagiso Rabada, Indian fast bowler Avesh Khan and spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.

Nortje featured in both playoffs for the Capitals but his 1/31 against Chennai and 2/31 against Kolkata wasn't enough to see his side to the playoffs.

Imran Tahir - Chennai Super Kings

Tahir had another quiet season for the IPL champions as MS Dhoni's side preferred the spinning services of India's Ravindrasinh Jadeja, which made it tough for Tahir to find a spot in the starting XI.

In April, the 40-year-old took two for 16 in his only IPL game against the losing Royal Challengers Bangalore. Despite not having much impact on the field, Tahir is part of another victories IPL team.

Tahir was part of the notable omissions from the Proteas' T20 World Cup squad.

Kagiso Rabada - Delhi Capitals

Rabada had a good IPL for the Capitals despite not getting to don the purple cap, which he done so last year.

The Proteas star bowler ended his IPL campaign on 15 wickets in his 15 games as the Capitals lost their place in the final to Kolkata.

Rabada's form in the UAE wasn't as prolific as he managed, taking seven wickets in the second leg with a best of 3 for 37 against the Sunrisers.

Chris Morris - Rajasthan Royals

Morris made headlines this year when he was bought for an IPL auction record fee of $2.2 million by the Rajasthan Royals.

A lot of expectation was on the former Proteas all-rounder and he somewhat delivered. Morris had a solid first leg of the IPL, taking 14 wickets in his seven IPL games.

However, Morris failed to carry on the form in the UAE and only took one wicket - ending with 15 wickets overall in 11 IPL games to finish as the Royals' highest wicket-taker.

But the bat is where Morris disappointed most, scoring only 67 runs throughout the tournament at a 13.40 average.

The 32-year-old was dropped for a few games, but his duck in the Royals' final game did not leave the best impression.

Lungi Ngidi - Chennai Super Kings

Ngidi - like Tahir - had a quiet IPL with the Chennai Super Kings. 

The Proteas fast bowler didn't spark with the ball, playing in only three IPL games (all in the first leg) and taking five wickets.

Ngidi's best figures of the season came in April, where he took three for 28 against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Although the Super Kings preferred their overseas line-up of Josh Hazlewood and Sam Curran, Ngidi was with the Super Kings in their IPL triumph on Friday.

The 25-year-old will not be heading into the T20 World Cup in the best form as he has not played a competitive game since July.

David Miller - Rajasthan Royals

Miller had an average season for the Royals as he competed in nine IPL games this season, scoring 124 runs.

The Proteas batsman did deliver a match-winning performance in April against the Capitals, where he smashed 62 off 43 balls.

The Royals finished seventh in the IPL this season - only winning five matches.

Miller's indifferent performance at the IPL will hopefully spur him on ahead of the T20 World Cup for the Proteas. Maybe SA fans will get to witness 'Miller Time' on the biggest stage.

Aiden Markram - Punjab Kings

Markram made his IPL debut in the tournament's second leg after replacing Englishman Dawid Malan in the Punjab Kings squad.

The Proteas batsman had a solid showing with the bat, reaching double figures in all six of his IPL matches.

Markram ended the tournament on 146 runs with a best of 42 in a losing cause against the Mumbai Indians.

The 27-year-old also bowled four overs in the competition, although he could not get his first IPL wicket.

Markram's performance in the UAE for the Kings is the perfect stepping stone for Markram as he competes in his first T20 World Cup.

Tabraiz Shamsi - Rajasthan Royals

Shamsi came into the IPL as a replacement for Australia's Andrew Tye in the Royals' squad in the second leg.

The Proteas spinner only managed one game for the Royals and took 0/34 against the Delhi Capitals.

Shamsi, who is the number one T20 bowler in the world, will lead the Proteas' spin attack in the Middle East in the upcoming days.

Marco Jansen - Mumbai Indians

Jansen was bought for approximately R40 000 at this year's auction for the Mumbai Indians.

The Warriors fast bowler made an impression in his IPL debut as he took two for 28 in a losing cause against Bangalore.

Jansen then went on to play one more IPL game but took 0/17 in April.

The 21-year-old did not feature in the second leg and could only watch from the sidelines as his side finished fifth in the IPL.

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