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The best bowling figures in T20 matches


Best_Bowling_Figures_T20_IPL_CricketWest Indian pacer Alzarri Joseph zoomed into the record books last Saturday with a remarkable display for the Mumbai Indians against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The 22-year-old Antiguan made his Indian Premier League debut highly special, as he lit up Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium by returning a match-winning 6/12. This toppled an IPL record that had stood for 11 years – Sohail Tanvir’s 6/14 in the first edition in 2008 were the league’s previous best figures.

Besides being the best ever in IPL history, Joseph’s figures are now the eighth-best in T20s, the fourth-best by a pace bowler, and the best by a bowler from the West Indies. On that note, here is a look at the ten best bowling figures in the shortest format of the game.

6/5 by Arul Suppiah (Somerset) v Glamorgan, Cardiff, 2011

Hosts Glamorgan were bundled out for just 98 en route to a five-wicket defeat in this South Group clash of the Friends Life T20. All ten wickets fell to spin, with six of them to left-armer Suppiah, who came into the attack when Glamorgan were 72/4 after 11 overs. Suppiah removed Chris Cooke off his fifth ball, before taking two in two balls in each of his next two overs to complete his fifer. He duly ended with an analysis of 3.4-0-5-6, bettering the mark set by Tanvir.

6/6 by Shakib Al Hasan (Barbados Tridents) v Trinbago Red Steel, Bridgetown, 2013

The inaugural Caribbean Premier League saw Shakib destroy the Red Steel batting line-up at the Kensington Oval. The Bangladeshi all-rounder did the star turn with his left-arm spin, beginning with the key scalp of Ross Taylor off his very first ball. He did not look back, and proceeded to collect five more wickets – including three in his third over – to finish with 6/6 from four overs. Chasing a minuscule target of 54, the Tridents survived a scare before winning by four wickets.

6/7 by Lasith Malinga (Melbourne Stars) v Perth Scorchers, Perth, 2012-13

‘Slinga’ Malinga’s brilliance headlined a rain-hit affair in the Big Bash League. After Stars skipper Shane Warne elected to field on a lively WACA pitch, the Sri Lankan fast bowler got into the act with the wickets of Marcus North and Marcus Stoinis in his first spell. He returned in the tenth over when the Scorchers were 53/5, and polished off the innings to return figures of 4-1-7-6 and send the total crashing to 69. The Stars sped to victory by 24 runs on the D/L method.

6/7 by Kyle Jamieson (Canterbury) v Auckland, Auckland, 2018-19

Seamer Jamieson replicated Malinga’s return to set the stage for Canterbury’s five-wicket win over Auckland in this Super Smash fixture on New Year’s Day. Jamieson struck off his second ball to get rid of Sean Solia, and followed it up with the wickets of James Vince and Mark Chapman in his second over to leave the score at 25/4. His final over produced three more wickets in the space of four balls. Canterbury achieved their target of 111 with 14 balls to spare.

6/8 by Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka) v Zimbabwe, Hambantota, 2012

Facing a challenging target of 183, the Zimbabwean batsmen bore the brunt of an incisive performance from Mendis in the opening game of the 2012 World T20. Zimbabwe were steadily placed at 37/0 in the sixth over, when the off-spinner began to unleash havoc on the way to figures of 4-2-8-6, in the process breaking his own record for the best figures in T20Is – he had taken 6/16 against Australia at Pallekele just a year earlier. Sri Lanka went on to win by 83 runs.

6/9 by Phaphama Fojela (Border) v Easterns, East London, 2014-15

The 2014-15 CSA Provincial T20 Challenge witnessed the best T20 figures on South African soil. Replying to Border’s 138/8, the Easterns batsmen ran into Fojela, who immediately signalled his intent with wickets in each of his first two overs, which led to the score becoming 13/2 in the fourth over. The paceman dealt the knockout blow in his second spell, taking four of the last five wickets to fall, as the total nosedived from 91/5 to 96 all out in the space of 11 balls.

6/11 by Ish Sodhi (Adelaide Strikers) v Sydney Thunder, Sydney, 2016-17

Before Jamieson’s 6/7, the record for the best T20 figures by a New Zealander was held by leg-spinner Sodhi, who bamboozled Sydney Thunder at the Sydney Showground Stadium. After the Strikers posted 178/5, the hosts were 81/3 after 11 overs when Sodhi accounted for Carlos Brathwaite off the first ball of his second over. This set the tone for an implosion, as Thunder were dismissed for 101 in 15.3 overs, with Sodhi aptly taking his sixth wicket to finish the game.

6/12 by Alzarri Joseph (Mumbai Indians) v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Hyderabad, 2019

After Kieron Pollard’s 26-ball 46* carried the Mumbai Indians from 65/5 to 136/7, Joseph found success with his very first ball in the IPL when he castled the dangerous David Warner to make the score 33/2. This was a sign of the things to come, as Joseph sealed the game in favour of the visitors with the best bowling figures in the history of the IPL. The last seven balls in his splendid return of 3.3-1-12-6 brought four wickets, as the Sunrisers went from 88/5 to 96 all out.

6/14 by Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals) v Chennai Super Kings, Jaipur, 2008

The record that changed hands to Joseph was held for nearly 11 years by Tanvir, who was instrumental in the Royals’ title triumph in the inaugural edition of the IPL. The Pakistani left-arm pacer’s awkward action condemned the Super Kings to 109 in this league match, paving the way for the Royals’ eight-wicket win. Tanvir’s 6/14 were then the best figures in T20 matches, going past Sanjeeva Abeywardene’s 6/15 for Panadura against Sri Lanka Air Force in 2005-06.

6/14 by Deepak Punia (Services) v Haryana, Delhi, 2014-15

Punia’s medium pace made the difference in this North Zone match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Palam A Stadium, as Services prevailed by a margin of 15 runs. Chasing 142 for victory, Haryana lost their first three wickets to Punia to get reduced to 40/3 after seven overs. Later, with the equation reading 29 runs from 16 balls with five wickets left, Punia struck twice in two balls in his third over, before rounding things off with his sixth wicket in the final over.

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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