Morkel heads pack in IPL

2012-05-02 12:26
Morne Morkel (File)
Cape Town - Proteas paceman Morne Morkel comfortably tops the table for most wickets thus far in the 2012 Indian Premier League (IPL).

The lanky speedster has been in consistently good form for Delhi Daredevils, clearly playing an influential role in their surge to tournament leadership with eight wins from 10 outings.

Morkel boasts 19 scalps at an average of 14.00 and economy rate of well under seven runs to the over (6.82).

He continues to improve in leaps and bounds as a limited-overs bowler, after a period early in his senior-level career where he had a reputation for wasting too many deliveries in first-class and Test cricket by struggling to hit good lines and lengths regularly.

His success at the IPL is good news not only for South Africa’s challenge later in the year at the Sri Lanka-hosted ICC World Twenty20 - conditions ought to be reasonably similar to Indian ones at present - but also for the Proteas’ key Test tour of England before that.

Morkel’s closest challenger in the wickets column is the skiddy, unorthodox Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians), who has claimed 15 in only six appearances at a particularly striking average of 7.93 and economy rate of 5.06.

Compatriot Dale Steyn, who has shown commendable aggression and intensity in an otherwise labouring Deccan Chargers outfit, shares joint fourth spot on 11 wickets with Kieron Pollard and Munaf Patel (Mumbai Indians) and Piyush Chawla of Kings XI Punjab.

Meanwhile South Africa also sports a top-fiver in the “most runs” category, with Faf du Plessis of the Chennai Super Kings holding fifth despite tailing off a little in his last two outings after a blistering run of heavy scoring.

He has 334 runs at an average of 37.11, although the field is led by Ajinkya Rahane of Rajasthan Royals - 458 runs at 57.25.

Du Plessis remains uncapped by the Proteas at T20 level, although that seems likely to change fairly shortly.

Read more on:    ipl  |  morne morkel  |  cricket

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