World T20 Top Five February 29, 2016

We will york you

In high-pressure World T20 matches, these bowlers used their cunning to get the better of batsmen

Umar Gul: it's all in the hands © AFP

Umar Gul
5 for 6 v New Zealand
The Oval, 2009
In a must-win match, you can expect magic from Pakistan. Gul's wizardry came via reverse swing and yorkers, flattening New Zealand for 99, and giving him the first five-for in T20Is. A superb catch by Shahid Afridi gave Gul his first wicket, but he needed little help for the rest: Peter McGlashan was yorked lbw, Nathan McCullum's leg stump expelled, James Franklin's middle stump pegged back, and Kyle Mills offered a simple catch to cover off a legcutter.

Sunil Narine: superstar support act © Getty Images

Sunil Narine
3 for 9 v Sri Lanka
Final, Colombo, 2012
Given Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy's performances in the match, Narine's 3 for 9 was at best a supporting act, but it was one that put pressure on a line-up comfortable against offspin. In his first over, he beat Kumar Sangakkara three times. He then picked up Mahela Jayawardene, the top scorer, and had Nuwan Kulasekara, caught at the boundary just when he was threatening to take the game away from West Indies.

You just can't get past Lasith Malinga on his day © AFP

Lasith Malinga
5 for 31 v England
Pallekele, 2012
England, the unlikely world T20 champions, were facing the world's best bowler in the format, in his territory. It could only go one way: in the space of four balls, in his first over, Malinga took three wickets. He returned in the 14th over, whereupon Jos Buttler hooked one to long leg to give him wicket No. 4. So irresistible was he that top scorer Samit Patel was cleaned up with a full toss, sending England out of the tournament.

Dale Steyn: no choke here © Getty Images

Dale Steyn
4 for 17 v New Zealand
Chittagong, 2014
With South Africa needing to defend 29 in the last three overs to remain in the hunt for a semi-final spot, the jokes came thick and fast. Steyn took a wicket in the 18th, but Luke Ronchi and Ross Taylor eased the pressure with three fours in the 19th, which meant New Zealand needed seven off the final one. Steyn returned, and his over went: W, 0, 0, 4… three runs needed from two balls… W, run out.

Rangana Herath turned a walk-in-the-park chase into a nightmare for New Zealand © Getty Images

Rangana Herath
5 for 3 v New Zealand
Chittagong, 2014
Chasing 120 with Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum in your batting line-up? No sweat. But wait, here's Herath. His rocket throw runs out Guptill, and after that show of athleticism, he falls back to plain old flight, big turn, and deception with faster ones. New Zealand are 30 for 5 and Herath still has an over to go. When he returns, he runs out Kane Williamson and takes another wicket. "What I realised was, we needed wickets, and I put the ball in the right place," he says. So crafty.

Nishi Narayanan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments