IPL 2019: Looking back at all the 4-wicket hauls of record-holder Sunil Narine
A bowler gets only 24 legitimate deliveries to prove his worth in the IPL, and that too against some of the biggest hitters of modern day cricket from across the globe. It goes without saying that a bowler picking up a 4-wicket haul in the league is a rare phenomenon.
But Sunil Narine of Kolkata Knight Riders has managed to return with a 4-wicket haul on as many as 6 occasions in his IPL career so far. With 112 wickets in 98 matches, he is also the seventh highest wicket-taker in the history of the tournament.
Last year Narine picked up 17 wickets in 16 matches, and this year too he will be a vital cog in the wheel for his team.
But before the spinner gets the opportunity to have a go at opposition batsmen from March 24 onwards (which is when KKR start their IPL 2019 campaign, against SRH), let us revisit the 6 occasions when Sunil returned with a 4-wicket haul.
4/15 against Mumbai Indians in 2012
The Knight Riders registered a solid win against a formidable Mumbai Indians side which then boasted of stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar and Herschelle Gibbs. In fact, in his first 4-wicket haul of the IPL, Narine got the prized wicket of Tendulkar - whom he had clean bowled.
4/13 against Delhi Daredevils in 2013
In yet another match-winning performance, the West Indian spun a web around the Delhi Capitals batsmen to help his team register a win by 6 wickets at the Eden Gardens. He conceded a miserly 13 runs at an economy rate of 3.25 in the process.
4/22 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013
In this match, Narine went one-up against fellow countryman and self proclaimed "Universe Boss" Chris Gayle before dismissing 3 other batsmen to pick up his second 4-wicket haul of the year. The Kolkata side won by 5 wickets.
4/20 against Mumbai Indians in 2014
While defending a total of 163 runs against Mumbai Indians, which had batsmen like Mike Hussey, Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma in their ranks, Kolkata once again fell back on Narine. He finished with 4 wickets including those of Hussey and Rayudu, to stop them 41 runs short.
4/20 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014
Narine dismissed none other than Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and AB De Viliers in this match to complete a memorable 4-wicket haul. The Royal Challengers eventually fell short by 30 runs while chasing 196.
4/19 against Kings XI Punjab in 2015
In this closely fought encounter which the Knight Riders won by a wicket, Narine played more than a handy role. He picked up the all-important wicket of Glenn Maxwell, who was looking dangerous on 43. Narine gave away just 19 runs at 4.75 for his 6th 4-wicket haul.
Narine has a 5-wicket haul too
Narine's best performance came in the 2012 edition of the IPL when he picked up 5 wickets against Kings XI Punjab while conceding just 19 runs. He even won the man of the match award despite the fact that Kolkata Knight Riders lost that encounter by two runs.
Only a handful of bowlers have managed to get a fifer in the tournament, and the West Indian holds the distinction of being one of them. No wonder the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise has retained him in successive IPL auctions.