T20I bowling nominees January 23, 2019

The spellbinders

ESPNcricinfo staff
These ten bowlers spun, seamed and swung their way into our shortlist

Shadab Khan's two wickets in an over in the third T20I against New Zealand was crucial to turning the match Pakistan's way © Getty Images

Click here for the T20I batting shortlist

Shadab Khan
2 for 19 v New Zealand
third T20I, Mount Maunganui

Shadab was the key to turning a tight game (and tied series) in favour of Pakistan. New Zealand had started to get a hold of the chase of 182, but he stopped them in their tracks with a two-wicket, three-run over: Anaru Kitchen was deceived into being stumped, and Martin Guptill caught going after a floater outside off. New Zealand didn't quite recover, ending 18 short.

Ashton Agar
3 for 27 v New Zealand
final, Tri-series, Auckland

Australia chalked up their 13th win in a row in finals against New Zealand on the back of Agar's career-best T20I figures. He scooped the core out of the opposition's batting, taking the wickets of Kane Williamson and Mark Chapman in the eighth over with tossed-up teasers, and then accounted for Colin de Grandhomme in the tenth, keeping the team total down to 150.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
5 for 24 v South Africa
first T20I, Johannesburg

With this performance, Bhuvneshwar became the first Indian to take a five-for in each international format. He got two wickets with knuckleballs in the Powerplay, and when South Africa needed to go big or go home in the 18th over, with 50 still needed, he was having none of it, taking three wickets in the over - another came via a run-out - setting the seal on a masterclass of controlled, constricting limited-overs bowling.

Billy Stanlake: six feet six inches of nope © AFP

Billy Stanlake
4 for 8 v Pakistan
Tri-Series, Harare

Stanlake put a stake in Pakistan's heart with a wicket in each over of his opening spell, which he bowled through. At the end of it, the batting team's figures were an inglorious 26 for 4, their top four having been undone by Stanlake's sharp bounce off a good length. His 4 for 8 was the most economical performance by an Australian in T20Is. Pakistan were kept to 116, which Australia polished off inside 11 overs.

Kuldeep Yadav
5 for 24 v England
first T20I, Manchester

On his first international appearance in England, Yadav rampaged through the home side's formidable batting much like how they themselves have dismantled records in recent times. Jason Roy was done for length and Alex Hales bowled by a loopy straight one. That was followed by the coup de grace: Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root in the 14th over, two of them stumped. And top scorer Jos Buttler beaten in flight in the 18th to put the cherry on top of what turned out to be an eight-wicket win.

Joe Denly
4 for 19 v Sri Lanka
only T20I, Colombo

After 3172 days out of the national side, Joe Denly's return ran to fairy-tale script. Opening the bowling in Sri Lanka's chase of 188, he got rid of Kusal Mendis with the final ball of his first over, then removed Niroshan Dickwella in his second, and claimed another two wickets in the final over of the innings to finish with career-best T20I figures and the Man-of-the-Match award.

Joe Denly came back from a 384-match break from internationals to take career-best T20I figures of 4 for 19 © Getty Images

Shaheen Afridi
3 for 20 v New Zealand
second T20I, Dubai

New Zealand started with a six off the first ball and flew to 50 by the end of the Powerplay, but Afridi sucked the spark out of them with his first over, which yielded just three runs and accounted for Glenn Phillips. New Zealand managed only 40 runs in the next eight overs, and Afridi returned to get rid of Kane Williamson, who had stuck around for a slow 37, in the 18th, and Tim Seifert in the final over, keeping Pakistan's target to a manageable 154.

Imad Wasim
3 for 20 v Australia
first T20I, Abu Dhabi

In his first international game in almost a year, Wasim put the hurt on Australia in his first over, bowling both openers. Then, after Faheem Ashraf and a run-out had taken care of the next two batsmen, Wasim despatched Alex Carey to reduce Australia to an ignominious 22 for 5 from which there was no coming back, setting off on his Cristiano Ronaldo celebration in the wake.

Krunal Pandya
4 for 36 v Australia
third T20I, Sydney

In the final match of the series, with India 0-1 down, the "other Pandya" made the decisive contribution, chipping away at Australia, who played into his hands with their excessive caution against Kuldeep Yadav. Pandya, bowling flatter than Yadav, got rid of D'Arcy Short and Ben McDermott lbw in the tenth over, then accounted for Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey, and finished with the best T20I figures by a spinner in Australia.

Shakib al Hasan
5 for 20 v West Indies
second T20I, Dhaka

Shakib took only the third five-wicket haul by a Bangladesh bowler in T20Is, in a comfortable win, levelling the series at one apiece with one left to play. West Indies had blazed to 59 inside the Powerplay when Shakib struck for the first time, getting Nicholas Pooran to top-edge a sweep. Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo fell to top edges too, both in the 11th over. Carlos Brathwaite was the fourth wicket, off a sharp stumping, and Fabian Allen followed in Shakib's next over, reducing West Indies to 138 for 7.

Click here for the T20I batting shortlist

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