Muralitharan takes top spot
Almost all Australian players, who have entered IPL 2012 late following the tour of the West Indies, have made an immediate impact. While Shane Watson's unbeaten 90 off just 51 balls in Royals' seven-wicket win over Pune Warriors has taken the top spot on the list of best batting performances in IPL 2012, Hilfenhaus is in third position on the list of top bowling performances for his excellent spell of 2 for 8 in the win over Royals. Rohit Sharma also found form at the right stage and set up Mumbai Indians for a comfortable win over Kolkata Knight Riders with a superb century, which is third on the list of top knocks in IPL 2012. Royals dominated the bowling performances too with Ajit Chandila picking up a hat-trick on his way to a four-wicket haul against Warriors.
Watson, during his 90 against Warriors, scored at a high strike rate of 176.47 in an otherwise low-scoring encounter. The rest of the batsmen, in sharp contrast, managed to score at a strike rate of only 90.41. Rohit's century, his first in the IPL, comes in at No.3 behind AB de Villiers' 59 against Royals. In the crucial match, Rohit came in at 15 for 1 and scored 109 off 60 balls enabling Mumbai Indians to reach 182. Rohit's strike rate of 181.66 stood out in comparison to the rest of the batsmen who managed a combined strike rate of 121.66. Two other knocks from the previous week have made it into the top ten. While Mayank Agarwal's 64 off 30 balls, which is ranked fourth, helped Royal Challengers recover from a shaky start against Mumbai Indians, David Warner's blitz against Deccan Chargers made light work of a competitive target of 188. Warner's hundred, his fifth in Twenty20s, is the fourth 100-plus score to find a spot in the list of top ten performances this season. Virender Sehwag is the only batsman to figure twice in the top ten, for his scores of 87 and 73 against Warriors and Royals respectively.
All stats updated till the end of the matches played on May 14, 2012
|Shane Watson||Rajasthan Royals||Pune Warriors||90||61.18|
|AB de Villiers||Royal Challengers Bangalore||Rajasthan Royals||59||59.31|
|Rohit Sharma||Mumbai Indians
||Kolkata Knight Riders||109||58.38|
|Mayank Agarwal||Royal Challengers Bangalore||Mumbai Indians||64||54.89|
|David Warner||Delhi Daredevils||Deccan Chargers||109||54.73|
|Ajinkya Rahane||Rajasthan Royals||Royal Challengers Bangalore||103||54.25|
|Kevin Pietersen||Delhi Daredevils||Deccan Chargers||103||53.46|
|Gautam Gambhir||Kolkata Knight Riders||Royal Challengers Bangalore||93||52.82|
|Virender Sehwag||Delhi Daredevils||Pune Warriors||87||52.09|
|Virender Sehwag||Delhi Daredevils||Rajasthan Royals||73||50.03|
Chris Gayle, the highest run-getter in IPL 2011, has lifted himself to the top of the run-scoring chart yet again in this year's IPL. Gayle has five half-centuries this season and has scored his runs at an impressive strike rate of 151. Gautam Gambhir, who slots in at second position, has also had a remarkable season scoring 519 runs in 13 matches. Cameron White and Shikhar Dhawan have been the stand-out batsmen for Chargers who have otherwise had a dismal run. AB de Villiers has been outstanding in the middle order for Royal Challengers and is ninth while Faf du Plessis, his South African teammate, is in tenth position following his highly successful run for Super Kings.
|AB de Villiers||14||315||17.94|
|Faf du Plessis||13||398||17.10|
Chandila's 4 for 13 against Warriors was comfortably the best bowling performance in the previous week. His economy rate of 3.25 was excellent in a match where the run-rate was 7.40 and all his wickets were those of top-order (top four) batsmen. In the Super Kings-Royals match, Hilfenhaus produced a superb spell of 2 for 8 and helped restrict Royals to just 126. Although the match by itself was not a very high scoring one (run-rate 6.62), Hilfenhaus' economy rate of 2.00 was exceptional. Incidentally, three of the top five bowling performances have come against Royals. Sunil Narine, who is sixth on the list for his 5 for 19 against Kings XI Punjab, was brilliant once again (2 for 14 off four overs) in the game against Super Kings which ended in a last-ball defeat for Knight Riders.
|Ravindra Jadeja||Chennai Super Kings||Deccan Chargers||5/16||59.08|
|Ajit Chandila||Rajasthan Royals||Pune Warriors||4/13||57.96|
|Ben Hilfenhaus||Chennai Super Kings||Rajasthan Royals||2/8||52.95|
|KP Appanna||Royal Challenges Bangalore||Rajasthan Royals||4/19||52.22|
|Pavan Negi||Delhi Daredevils||Rajasthan Royals||4/18||51.96|
|Sunil Narine||Kolkata Knight Riders||Kings XI Punjab||5/19||51.40|
|Dale Steyn||Deccan Chargers||Mumbai Indians||3/12||49.66|
|Dimitri Mascarenhas||Kings XI Punjab||Pune Warriors||5/25||49.33|
|L Balaji||Kolkata Knight Riders||Royal Challengers Bangalore||4/18||49.10|
|Munaf Patel||Mumbai Indians||Deccan Chargers||4/20||48.40|
Muttiah Muralitharan, who has had a great run so far, has displaced Lasith Malinga from the top of the list of best bowlers in IPL 2012. Muralitharan has picked up 13 wickets in eight matches at an excellent average of 14.30 and economy rate of 5.81. Malinga, the leading wicket-taker in the IPL, is above Narine, who has a stunning economy rate of just 5.29. Dale Steyn, Chargers' best bowler by a distance, and Morne Morkel, the highest wicket-taker in IPL 2012, are in fourth and fifth positions respectively. A strong indicator of Kings XI's bowling strength is the fact that three of their bowlers (Parvinder Awana, Azhar Mahmood and Piyush Chawla) are in the top ten for IPL 2012.
Gayle's run of good form sees him maintain top spot on the list of top batsmen across all IPL seasons. Shaun Marsh, who has had a slightly below-par season, has slipped down in terms of points but continues to hold second spot. Watson's recent performances have lifted him to third spot while Sehwag has fallen from fourth to sixth position. Sachin Tendulkar has averaged just 25.33 at a low strike rate of 115.73 and has dropped from sixth spot at the start of IPL 2012 to eighth presently. Suresh Raina, who has failed to score a single half-century this season, is likely to be displaced from his position by the in-form Rohit, who is currently in 12th position.
When it comes to the overall list of bowlers, Malinga retains the top spot with a comfortable lead over the second-placed Muralitharan. Muralitharan, by virtue of his superb show, has gone above Amit Mishra, who has dropped down to fifth owing to his ordinary performance this season. While Steyn has moved up one spot to seventh, Morkel has dropped three spots and is now ranked eighth. R Ashwin, who has a high average (35.77) but an impressive economy rate (6.31) this season, is in ninth position followed by Munaf Patel.
Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo