The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) played convincing cricket against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to clinch the IPL 2021 title. Under MS Dhoni, the franchise has now won its fourth title and remains one of the most successful sides in the tournament.
The UAE leg of the IPL gave us plenty of memorable moments and Indian players really came to the fore. In many ways, this leg truly defined the bench strength of Indian cricket. The matches were closely fought and one of the biggest reasons was the pitches on offer.
All the three pitches in this leg of the IPL had something on offer for both the bowlers and the batters. While Dubai and Sharjah had assistance for spinners and slower bowlers, Abu Dhabi was an excellent batting surface.
On that note, we take a look at the 5 best bowling performances in the second leg of the IPL:
#1 Arshdeep Singh - 5/32 in Dubai
It was a disappointing season for the Punjab Kings, but their bowling was always top notch. Young left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh was one of the stars of the show and he picked up his fiver against the Rajasthan Royals in a Dubai match where he displayed his complete repertoire of skills.
He scalped the wickets of Evin Lewis, Liam Livingstone, Mahipal Lomror, Chetan Sakariya and Kartik Tyagi to restrict Rajasthan to 185. However, Punjab choked in the final over and lost the game by two runs.
#2 Nathan Coulter-Nile - 4/14 in Sharjah
The Mumbai Indians were under the pump in the initial stages of the IPL 2021 and this was the match where they came out roaring. Coulter-Nile led the charge as he picked up four wickets to restrict the Rajasthan Royals to 90 for 9.
In response, the Mumbai Indians smashed home in 8.2 overs and remained in contention for a playoffs spot. But then the Kolkata Knight Riders snuck into the playoffs with a better net run rate.
#3 Harshal Patel - 4/17 in Dubai
The holder of the Purple Cap in this IPL, the Royal Challengers Bangalore's Harshal Patel, went from strength to strength in the UAE leg. He ended the season with 32 wickets and kept chipping in whenever Virat Kohli threw him the ball in different matches.
Patel's best performance in this leg came against the Mumbai Indians. He picked up four wickets, including a hat-trick, to knock out Mumbai for 111 runs as they chased 165.
#4 Shivam Mavi - 4/21 in Sharjah
Shivam Mavi replaced Prasidh Krishna in the KKR and was always amongst the wickets in the powerplay overs. He formed a great combination with Lockie Ferguson and helped Eoin Morgan control the first six overs.
Mavi's best performance came against the Rajasthan Royals, where he picked up four wickets for 21 runs. He accounted for the wickets of Sanju Samson, Glenn Phillips, Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Rajasthan Royals by 86 runs.
#5 Sunil Narine - 4/21 in Sharjah
The Kolkata Knight Riders were a resurgent unit in the UAE leg of the IPL with their bowling attack leading their charge. When conditions were in their favor in Sharjah, the KKR spinners kept spinning a web around oppositions, spearheaded by Sunil Narine.
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Against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Narine picked up the wickets of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers and KS Bharat to turn the match in KKR's favor. He finished with four wickets for 21 as KKR knocked out Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator.
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