Fastest 50 wickets in IPL: One of the most celebrated tournaments in the world of cricket, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has kept its fans loyal and hooked to the game ever since its commencement in April 2008. The game brought into plate some of the fiercest matches in the history of T20 cricket. The revolutionary cricket league, which sees the most talented players from all around the world compete in a common platform to showcase their talent, has produced and honed the skills of some of the strongest players in the T20 format. And why not? After all, the competitive franchise tournament tests the core talent of the players in its fast-paced games. IPL’s popularity is evident by the fact that most players globally prefer to feature in the league than any other T20 contest.
For players, one of the thrusts is giving a stand-out performance in IPL as the league has the potential to give them a ticket to the national team. The fact holds not just for the Indian domestic players but overseas ones as well.
The tournament becomes particularly competitive for bowlers as each of them get only four overs per innings to display their talent. When you see a player’s name in the record-holder list of the fast-paced competitive game that is the IPL, you know that he is a force to be reckoned with.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the list of the bowlers who have established themselves as the MVPs of one of the most sought-after tournaments and entered the list of the top 5 fastest 50 wickets in IPL.
The top 5 bowlers who took the fastest 50 wickets in IPL are as follows:
5. Mitchell McClenaghan (36 matches)
The New Zealand speedster stormed the IPL scene in 2015, making his debut for one of the most successful teams of the tournament, Mumbai Indians. Mitchell McClenaghan, with his relentless precision and brilliant pace, remains one of the major reasons behind the franchise’s success. Although he did not feature in a few seasons for the team, he had a sensational time during the six-year-long stay with the franchise until 2020. In his presence, the team won the title four times, in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. The southpaw achieved the milestone of 50 IPL wickets in 36 matches. McClenaghan lost the fourth spot by a whisker, just one game short of our fourth spot-taker in the run for the fastest 50 wickets in IPL.
4. Imran Tahir (35 matches)
The Pakistan-born South African cricketer Imran Tahir entered the record book of the fastest 50 wickets in IPL in 2018. The leg-spinner achieved the benchmark in his 35th match while playing for Chennai Super Kings. Interestingly enough, Tahir is also the second-fastest to scalp 50 wickets in T20 cricket. The Purple Cap winner of IPL 2019 is nothing short of sheer brilliance, proving himself as a threat to the opposition whenever he is leading the bowling attacks. Although Tahir has not remained a mainstay player for a single team, he has proved his worth in the team with his blazing performances. Tahir has played for three teams until 2020, including Delhi Daredevils (2014) and Rising Pune Supergiants (2017), but mostly featuring for Chennai Super Kings. With his match-winning performances, he is the No. 1 bowler in the shortest format of the game.
3. Lasith Malinga (33 matches)
It would be downright shocking to not have Lasith Malinga‘s name in the list of the fastest 50 wickets in IPL. With skillsets to die for, the Sri Lankan player spearheaded the bowling attacks of Mumbai Indians until 2019. It goes without saying that the sheer brilliance in sling bowling led to the Sri Lankan legend cementing his place in the team for almost a decade-long career of his in IPL. The pace veteran featured in 122 matches and picked 170 wickets, helping the franchise lift the title four times. The ‘Yorker King’ hunted down his 50th wicket in his 33rd match, making Shane Watson his victim. The third-fastest man to take 50 wickets in the tournament, at the dismay of his fans and the Rohit Sharma-led team hung his boots from franchise cricket in 2020.
2. Sunil Narine (32 matches)
In 2014, Sunil Narine of the Kolkata Knight Riders, added another feature to his already illustrious cap when he achieved the milestone of the fastest 50 wickets in IPL. He continued to reign as the fastest bowler to get 50 scalps until Rabada broke his record in 2020. The ‘mystery spinner’ entered the elite list feat in just 32 matches. Sunil Narine has been a star player in the momentous chapters of KKR. The controversy-laden IPL career has been a major setback for him as the mainstay player of the franchise has been reprimanded for his twisted bowling action on more than one occasions.
Despite all of that, the value he adds to the team can never be countered. He powered the franchise with his all-rounder performance to help the team clinch the title twice in 2012 and 2014. Not only did he establish himself as the spearhead bowler of the team, but also gained the status of the opening batsman owing to his reliable batting capabilities. His value can be easily estimated by the fact that he won the IPL MVP award just in his debut season (2012), and a second time in 2018.
1. Kagiso Rabada (27 matches)
Kagiso Rabada breezed his way to become the top dog of the list of the fastest 50 wickets in IPL, comfortably breaking the record of Sunil Narine. Rabada became the quickest player to take 50 wickets in IPL by clinching the wicket of compatriot Faf du Plessis in a match between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings in 2020. The Delhi Capitals player required merely 27 matches to achieve the stellar feat. Rabada made his IPL debut in 2017 and has been impressing with his master pace bowling. He did not play in the 2018 season but in 2019, he was back with a bang, scalping 25 wickets, falling short of just one wicket from winning the Purple Cap.
Following the previous season, Rabada set the stage on fire and gave a Purple Cup-winning performance in IPL 2020, during which he scalped 30 wickets. The same season he also became the bowler to take 50 wickets in IPL in the fewest matches.
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