R Ashwin was on fire in Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) face-off versus Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in match 39 of the IPL 2022 edition, on Tuesday evening (April 26) at the MCA Stadium, Pune. While the wily spin-bowling all-rounder was promoted at No. 3 in RR’s innings, where he scored a 9-ball 17, his real contribution via his primary job, i.e. with the ball in hand.
Ashwin returned with a match-winning spell, 4-0-17-3, as the Sanju Samson-led RR franchise defended their modest total, 144 for 8, by 29 runs after being asked to bat first. Courtesy of his spell, the 35-year-old off-spinner became the eighth bowler overall to enter the 150-wicket club in IPL. In addition, he joined Harbhajan Singh to become only the second off-spinner to take 150 scalps in the premier tournament.
Dwayne Bravo leads the list of most wickets in IPL (181). Lasith Malinga occupies the second slot (170) with Amit Mishra (166), Yuzvendra Chahal (157), Piyush Chawla (157), Ashwin (152), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (151) and Harbhajan Singh (150) following suit. Sunil Narine (149) and Jasprit Bumrah (135) complete the top ten.
Thus, Ashwin is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in IPL among spinners and the off-spinner with most scalps to date. He surpassed Harbhajan’s tally during RR’s 29-run win over RCB.
Talking about the clash, RR rode on Riyan Parag’s 56 and Samson’s 27 to post 144/8. RCB bowlers Md Siraj, Josh Hazlewood and Wanindu Hasaranga returned with two scalps each. In reply, Faf du Plessis & Co. were dismissed for 115 in 19.3 overs with Ashwin and Kuldeep Sen (4 for 20) shining for the Royals.
The one-time winners RR are now the table toppers with 12 points and a healthy NRR (+0.561).