Kallis and Morkel excel at IPL
Jacques Kallis and Morne Morkel were the big winners as the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League concluded at the weekend with the Kolkata Knight Riders snatching the title from the Chennai Super Kings in a thrilling final.
The Knight Riders chased down the daunting target of 191 set by the Super Kings, the two-time champions, with Kallis playing the anchor role to near perfection as he scored 69 off 49 balls to add another crown to the awesome CV of the world's greatest all-rounder.
Kallis scored 409 runs (the 11th most) and claimed 15 wickets (13th most) at an economy rate of just 7.46 to state his claim as the best all-rounder in the IPL.
Morkel won the Purple Cap for being the leading wicket-taker in the competition, taking 25 wickets in his 16 matches, at an average of just 18.12 and a more than useful economy rate of just 7.19, seeing off mystery spinner Sunil Narine (24 wkts), who was named as the Player of the Tournament for his heroics for Kolkata.
While Narine's tournament ended with the trophy, Morkel's finished with frustration as the tall fast bowler was inexplicably dropped by the Delhi Daredevils for their do-or-die semi-final against the Super Kings.
The extent of the hole left in Delhi's attack was soon apparent as CSK opener Murali Vijay scored a sensational century and the log-leaders folded to an 86-run defeat.
While the performances of Kallis and Morkel were the highlight from a South African perspective, the form of countrymen AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Albie Morkel, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy was also outstanding.
De Villiers produced what was judged to be the best individual performance of the tournament when he plundered 47 not out off just 17 balls to take the Bangalore Royal Challengers to a target of 182 against the Deccan Chargers. The fact that he took 23 runs off a Steyn over obviously tipped the vote in his favour.
South Africa's limited-overs captain was one of the most destructive batsmen in the competition, plundering 319 runs at an average of 39.87 and a strike-rate of 161.11, the third best out of those batsmen who scored more than 200 runs.
The spectacular onslaught did little to damage Steyn's reputation though, with the fast bowler delivering searing pace, accuracy and tremendous skill in practically every outing for the Chargers.
Steyn took 18 wickets in 12 matches and was sixth in the Purple Cap standings. He was third in the bowling averages for those who took at least 10 wickets with 15.83 and his economy rate of 6.10 was the second best of all bowlers who delivered more than 40 overs.
Albie Morkel chipped in throughout the Super Kings' campaign with bat and ball and earned his pay with 13 wickets at an economy rate of 7.77 and a batting strike-rate of 157.35.
Du Plessis also shone for Chennai in his first IPL season, setting the early pace in the race for the Orange Cap as he scored 398 runs at an average of 33.16 and a strike-rate of 130.92.
But an untimely illness and the return of Australian veteran Mike Hussey put paid to Du Plessis' season after 13 matches.
The left-handed Duminy was one of the best finishers in the competition, topping the averages as he was dismissed just three times in nine innings and scored 244 runs for an average of 81.33 and a strike-rate of 128.42. He was also superb in the field, but was probably under-bowled a bit by the Chargers.
David Miller struck the ball well when given the chance in six innings by the Punjab Kings XI, while off-spinner Johan Botha kept the runs down for the Rajasthan Royals.
Wayne Parnell only played six matches for the Pune Warriors, but was the third most economical bowler in the competition out of those who delivered at least 20 overs, conceding just 6.09 runs to the over.
SOUTH AFRICAN STATISTICS
Jacques Kallis (KKR) - 409 runs at 25.56, SR 106.51 2x50s; 15 wickets @ 26.86 ER 7.46
Morne Morkel (DD) - 25 wickets @ 18.12 ER 7.19
Albie Morkel (CSK) - 107 runs @ 15.28 SR 157.35; 13 wickets @ 29.61 ER 7.77
Faf du Plessis (CSK) - 398 runs @ 33.16 SR 130.92 3x50s
AB de Villiers (RCB) - 319 runs @ 39.87 SR 161.11 3x50s
JP Duminy (DC) - 244 runs @ 81.33 SR 128.42 2x50s; 12-104-1 ER 8.66
David Miller (PK) - 98 runs @ 32.66 SR 130.66
Dale Steyn (DC) - 18 wickets @ 15.83 ER 6.10
Johan Botha (RR) - 9 wickets @ 33.00 ER 7.24
Roelof van der Merwe (DD) - 2 wickets @ 30.00 ER 6.00
Wayne Parnell (PW) - 5 wickets @ 25.60 ER 6.09
Rusty Theron (DC) - 8-66-2 33.00 ER 8.25
Alfonso Thomas (PW) - 14-109-3 36.33 ER 7.78
Herschelle Gibbs (MI) - 81 runs @ 40.50 SR 92.04 1x50
Marchant de Lange (KKR) - 10-107-3 35.66 ER 10.70
Robin Peterson (MI) - 32 runs @ 10.66 SR 106.66; 8-70-3 23.33 ER 8.75
Richard Levi (MI) - 83 runs @ 13.83 SR 113.69 1x50
Davey Jacobs (MI) - 1 innings, 0 runs off 10 balls, 1 catch.
*Gulam Bodi (DD), Kyle Abbott (PK), Charl Langeveldt (RCB) & Rilee Rossouw (RCB) did not play a game in this year's IPL.