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Cricket | IPL

Steyn, Morkel produce brilliant displays



South African fans are gleefully anticipating Dale Steyn joining Morne Morkel in the same team for the ICC World T20 later this year after the two fast bowlers produced the outstanding individual performances in last week's IPL action.

Delhi Daredevils spearhead Morkel is still at the summit of the Purple Cap standings for most wickets with 18 in nine matches, and he produced one of the most brilliant overs in IPL history at the weekend, taking one for three in the 19th over against the Rajasthan Royals.

The Royals needed just 15 runs from two overs, with nine wickets in hand and two set batsmen at the crease before Morkel's incredible over.

The Daredevils eventually snatched an astonishing victory by just one run and have extended their lead on top of the IPL log to three points over the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Morkel finished with one for 26 against Rajasthan, and also bowled superbly against the Mumbai Indians, with one for 21 in four overs, to rebound from a slightly-expensive return of one for 34 against the Pune Warriors.

The tall fast bowler's wickets have come at a rate of one every 11.6 deliveries, which is the fifth-best strike-rate in this year's IPL.

The Deccan Chargers have won just one of their eight matches to prop up the table, but it has not been due to any lack of performance on behalf of Steyn, who has taken 11 wickets at an economy rate of 5.66.

His exceptional two for 10 in four overs against the Mumbai Indians at the weekend will probably remain the best bowling performance of the season, but it was sadly in a losing cause as the Chargers were defending just 100.

South Africa's leading batsman in the competition, Faf du Plessis, played just one game last week, scoring 29 off 20 balls for the Chennai Super Kings against the Kings XI Punjab to take his runs tally to 331, the fourth highest.

Titans teammate AB de Villiers played one of the most stunning innings of the season when he plundered 59 not out off just 23 balls for the Royal Challengers Bangalore against the Rajasthan Royals, but South Africa's limited-overs captain was out for a first-ball duck in his next innings, caught off Jacques Kallis as the Challengers lost their crunch game against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Knight Riders had their match against the lowly Deccan Chargers washed out, but scored an emphatic 47-run win over Bangalore, with Kallis being one of their heroes as he scored 41 off 27 balls and then claimed the key wickets of De Villiers and Virat Kohli to finish with two for 31 in his four overs.

JP Duminy is playing alongside Steyn for the last-placed Chargers and now boasts the highest batting average (129.00) in the competition after innings of 26 not out and 25 not out, both off 24 deliveries, last week.

Robin Peterson announced his talents to the world with strong displays with both bat and ball following his belated inclusion in the Mumbai Indians team.

In an effort that was reminiscent of his crucial innings against India during the World Cup, the left-hander blasted 16 not out off seven balls to help Mumbai come back from the dead and snatch victory against the Kings XI Punjab, and then claimed three for 37 as they conceded 207-5 against the Delhi Daredevils.

The Pune Warriors finally included Alfonso Thomas in their line-up and they were glad they did as he bowled six overs for 41 runs in his two matches, while the Chennai Super Kings must be relieved Albie Morkel is back from South Africa after attending Louis Vorster's funeral as the allrounder took three for 29 against the Kings XI.

David Miller must have earned himself more starting time for the Kings XI as he scored 34 not out off 17 balls and 19 off 15 in his two innings last week, while paceman Rusty Theron will be hoping for more action after taking two for 37 for the Chargers against Pune in his one appearance.

Richard Levi will be desperate for runs after he was bowled first ball by a fast Steyn in-swinger in his only innings, leaving him with just 83 runs in six innings.

Marchant de Lange (KKR), Gulam Bodi (DD), Roelof van der Merwe (DD), Kyle Abbott (KXIP), Herschelle Gibbs (MI), Davy Jacobs (MI), Wayne Parnell (PW), Johan Botha (RR), Charl Langeveldt (RCB) and Rilee Rossouw (RCB) will all be kicking their heels in frustration after not seeing any action in the last week.

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