Top 10 Death Overs Specialists in IPL history

IPL, the Indian Premier League, is the toughest league on the planet, where the best players across the globe compete with each other. 

And when it comes to the death overs, the last 4 overs of an innings are considered the fate-deciding overs of the match where batters look to maximize the score. But, on the other hand, they play with the immense pressure of scoring considerable runs to get the upper hand.

” When the lights are the brightest
Crowds are the loudest
Pressure is the highest
The best will arrive
The strongest will survive
The greatest will thrive.” 

This phrase perfectly describes death bowling.

It’s always tough for the bowlers to stop the batsmen, but few bowlers have outsmarted the batsman in this phase. So here we will see those few bowlers who have done incredibly well in this most challenging phase of bowling and brought massive success to their franchises.

Note: We have decided to add only the bowlers who meet the criteria of having bowled a minimum of 50 overs in the 17-20 overs phase of a match.

10. Zaheer Khan

zaheer-khan mi

One of the Indian greats, Zaheer Khan, was the first Indian bowler who aced the art of death bowling in T20 cricket. His left-arm angle and unique action helped him to nail Yorkers. Find out a detailed note on how Yorkers affect T20 games here.

He was the first one to introduce knuckle delivery. 

He has bowled 89.1 overs and taken a tally of 35 wickets with a fantastic economy rate of 8.8. His dot ball % in death overs is 28.2, and it takes 5.9 balls for batters to hit him a boundary. 

9. RP Singh


The Purple Cap winner of the 2nd edition of Indian Premier League RP Singh played a vital role in the title victory of Deccan Chargers. Look out for the year by year winners list of Purple Cap here.

He bowled a match-winning spell against Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2009 finals, having an unbelievable spell of 4-0-16-1, and took the crucial wicket of Jacques Kallis.

Left-arm pacers are always considered deadly in death overs, so was he. 

He has bowled a total of 78.5 overs in the 17-20 overs phase in IPL and has taken 43 wickets with an economy rate of 9.25, with a dot ball % of 31.1, and it takes 5.4 balls for batters to hit him a boundary. 

8. Ashish Nehra 

Ashish Nehra CSK

Another left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra, the current Head Coach of Gujarat Titans, has played for many franchises in IPL.

And did his job pretty well in the last 4 overs, outplayed many batsmen, and turned the tables for his team. In 2015 he bowled exceptionally well, took 22 wickets in 16 matches for CSK, and helped them to reach the finals, unfortunately, lost there to Mumbai Indians. 

His numbers in death overs are so good; he has bowled a total of 69.5 and taken 46 wickets with an economy of 8.8 and is considered one of the best death bowlers in IPL history. His dot ball % is 32.9, and it takes 5.7 balls for batters to hit him a boundary. 

7. Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn IPL

If fast bowling is art, then Dale Steyn is the Picasso of it; such is the stature of this big man. The retired South African great has shown his abilities in the IPL to their best. He has played for 4 IPL franchises, including Royal Challengers Bangalore, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Gujarat Lions. 

In IPL 2013, Steyn has bowled a total of 211 dot balls which is the highest number of dot balls bowled by a bowler in a single edition of IPL. 

He has brilliantly portrayed his abilities in death overs, bowled 88.4 overs, taking 43 wickets with an excellent economy of 8.8, and we have ranked him at 7th in our all-time best death bowlers list. His dot ball % is 34.6, and it takes 5.4 balls for batters to hit him a boundary. 

6. Sunil Narine


When we talk about death bowling brilliance, only pacers come to our mind, but this man has changed the perceptions completely. He also won the ‘Most Valuable Player of the Season’ award in the triumph season of KKR in 2014 and another MVP award in 2018. 

He has been the most impactful player of KKR to date and played a vital role in winning their 2 IPL titles. He has outsmarted many batsmen, including one of the greatest batsmen of IPL, MS Dhoni, who has scored only 1 boundary of his bowling. 

His death-over numbers are unbelievable; he has bowled 113 overs and taken 54 wickets with an economy rate of 7.93, which is commendable. His dot ball% is 38.1, and it takes 5.9 balls for batters to hit him a boundary, which is commendable. And, he leads the chart for bowlers with most wickets against Punjab Kings.

5. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhvuneshwar Kumar, the king of swing bowling, has shown a fantastic bowling display in death overs in IPL. His toe crushing yorkers did wonders for him, especially in the 2 seasons in 2016-17, where he took 49 wickets in 2 seasons with an unreal economy of 7.24 

This veteran pacer has many weapons to execute and outplay the batters like yorkers, knuckle delivery, and traditional slower ball. But he always shined when the pressure was highest, and his death bowling stats are proof of it. 

He has bowled 149.2 overs in this phase, taken 69 wickets with an economy rate of 9.3, and ranked 5th on our best death bowlers list. His dot ball% is 30.6, and it takes 5.2 balls for batters to hit him a boundary. You can read here the top five spells of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in IPL so far.

4. Chris Morris


Another South African t20 great, Chris Morris, is ranked 4th in this list. He is one of the best non-Indian pacers to play in the IPL. Time and time again, he has shown a pinnacle of death bowling. He has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket just before the IPL 2022 auction.

He has been so consistent in the IPL. 58% of his total wickets came in death overs only. 

He has bowled 97 overs in this phase and has taken 55 wickets, an excellent economy rate of 8.56 

Bowlers struggle to have an economy rate of 9 in the t20s, and he has below 9 in death overs shows how accurate he has been there. His dot ball% is 31.6, and it takes 6.2 balls for batters to hit him a boundary, which is fantastic for a fast bowler.

3. Jasprit Bumrah


The modern-day great Yorker king Jasprit Bumrah is in 3rd place in this prestigious list of bowlers. He has been the best pacer Indian pacer in this toughest league. His pinpoint Yorkers have dethroned many great batsmen. Find here what makes Bumrah the most dangerous in his business.

Bumrah has played a vital role in 2 of the titles of MI in 2017 and 2020, where he took a total of 47 wickets with an economy of 7, which is mind-boggling. 

He has bowled a total of 154 overs in the 17-20 overs phase and has taken 63 wickets with an excellent economy of 8.74. His dot ball % is 32.7, and it takes 6 balls for batters to hit him a boundary. You can find here the best bowling performances from Jasprit Bumrah in IPL.

2. Dwayne Bravo

Dwayne Bravo CSK

One of the t20 greats, Dwayne Bravo, who has played leagues worldwide, has showcased his skills in IPL at his best. He is the current joint-highest wicket-taker in IPL, with Malinga at 170 wickets. 

A skillful bowler with great dipping slower-ones and sharp yorkers did wonders for CSK. He has won the Purple Cap award 2 times in 2013 & 2015. In 2013 he took 32 wickets which is the highest in a season. Find here the top five bowlers with most wickets in a single season of IPL.

He has bowled 174.3 overs in death overs and grabbed 92 wickets with an economy of 9.75. His dot ball% is 30.8, and it takes 5.1 balls for batters to hit him a boundary. 

1. Lasith Malinga


When we hear the word death bowling, the first picture that strikes our mind is the great Lasith Malinga. The Picasso of Death Bowling. He is the highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL. 

He is the ambassador of toe-crushing yorkers; time and time again, he has shown the world his abilities and amazed the whole world.

Lasith Malinga has been the most impactful player of Mumbai Indian to date. He has bowled 152.5 overs in death and has taken 90 wickets with a mind-boggling economy rate of 7.82. His dot ball% is 34.9, and it takes 7.5 balls for batters to hit him a boundary, which is some extraordinary feat.

Find out the most insane Malinga spells in IPL history.

Thanks for reading. Hope you liked it.

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