Chris Morris has been one of the best bowling lynchpins in T20 cricket.
South African all-rounder Chris Morris called time on his playing career on Tuesday, January 11. The 34-year-old was a giant in the T20 format, taking part in lucrative leagues across the globe.
Chris Morris holds the record for receiving the highest bid at an IPL auction. Rajasthan Royals (RR) shelled out a whopping ₹16.25 crore at the IPL 2021 Auction to secure his services.
Chris Morris – an IPL favorite
Apart from two separate stints with RR, Morris also represented Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. Morris has always been in heavy demand among the IPL franchises owing to his immaculate death bowling skills and finishing abilities with the bat.
With 95 wickets from 81 games in the IPL, Morris has been one of the standout overseas bowlers in the T20 league. Blessed with the ability to bowl at any stage of the innings, Morris made a big impact for every IPL side he represented across the years.
Here, we take a look at Chris Morris’ three best spells in the marquee T20 league:
#3 3/19 against CSK in 2020 (RCB)
Chris Morris’ RCB debut was a memorable one in IPL 2020 (Picture Credits: IPL).
Having missed the first five games of IPL 2020 due to injury, Chris Morris finally donned the RCB colors against CSK. Batting first, the Royal Challengers piled on 169/4, led by skipper Virat Kohli’s sublime unbeaten 90.
Their defense got off to an excellent start as Morris bowled a tidy first over, conceding just four runs. He then sent down a three-run over in the innings’ 10th. CSK were well behind the asking rate, but still had enough batting prowess to come.
Despite MS Dhoni’s dismissal and the equation reading 64 needed off the last four overs, the job wasn’t done yet for RCB. Morris then returned to send down two excellent overs, getting rid of Ambati Rayudu, Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja to close the contest.
Apart from finishing with figures of 3/19, Morris also accounted for a direct hit run-out, sending back the well-set Narayan Jagadeesan earlier in the innings.
#2 4/26 against RR in 2020 (RCB)
Chris Morris put in a masterclass in Dubai against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020 (Picture Credits: IPL).
Chris Morris returned to the Dubai International Stadium a week later, this time against the Rajasthan Royals. On a hot afternoon and on a good batting track, the South African delivered the goods once again with the ball for RCB.
The Royals got off to a flyer, courtesy of a 50-run stand between Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes. Morris prized out the latter in the last over of the powerplay before returning to have a telling impact on the contest.
With Steve Smith looking in sublime touch and Jos Buttler waiting to launch a big assault, Morris was called upon to break the stand. He responded with the massive wicket of Buttler. The South African would then dismiss Smith for 57 and trap Jofra Archer lbw in the final over to finish with figures of 4/26.
The 178-run target was then overhauled, thanks to a stunning AB de Villiers blitz as RCB clinched a thriller. Had it not been for Morris’ spell, though, the target could have been a lot higher and the result could have been different.
#1 4/23 against KKR in 2015 (RR)
Chris Morris bowled the Royals into the playoffs of IPL 2015 with a game-changing four-wicket haul (File Picture courtesy IPL).
Arguably the most defining spell of his IPL career, Chris Morris bowled the Rajasthan Royals into the playoffs in 2015. The Royals hosted the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a virtual knockout clash at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, with a playoff spot up for grabs.
Batting first, the RR were led by a Shane Watson ton that powered them to 199/6. Morris then took over and prized out opposition skipper Gautam Gambhir in the first over. KKR, however, fought back owing to a counter-attack led by Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell.
RR needed a wicket to open the contest and Morris led the way with consecutive ones. Bowling the 14th over, Morris dismissed the dangerous Russell for 37 before prizing out Suryakumar Yadav off the very next delivery to break the back of KKR’s batting unit.
An Umesh Yadav assault out of nowhere stretched the game into the final over, which Chris Morris was entrusted with bowling. He took out Shakib Al Hasan off the first delivery before a barrage of yorkers waltzed the Royals across the finish line by nine runs. Morris’ best ever bowling return in the IPL saw RR through to the playoffs in 2015.
Also read: 3 best Chris Morris knocks in the IPL.