ODI bowling nominees January 10, 2017

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

Four players from a certain team feature in our shortlist of the best ODI bowling performances of 2016

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Kane Richardson
5 for 68 v India
fourth ODI, Canberra

India's bowlers had failed to defend 309, 308 and 295 in successive games and the series was lost before their batting finally got a chance to chase one down, when they were set 349 in Canberra. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli scored centuries and put on 212 for the second wicket after Richardson had removed a dangerous-looking Rohit Sharma for 41 in the eighth over. India were within 72 runs of winning, with 75 balls and nine wickets remaining, when John Hastings removed Dhawan and MS Dhoni in four balls. Richardson returned for a final spell and got Kohli to balloon one to mid-off first ball, sending India into a panic. Richardson took a wicket in each of his four overs in the spell. India lost their last nine for 46 runs, putting Australia 4-0 up.

Sunil Narine
6 for 27 v South Africa
Tri-Nation series, Guyana

Narine's return to ODI cricket was marred by controversy before the game, when senior players Darren Sammy, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo questioned how he had been picked despite not participating in West Indies' domestic 50-over competition. On the field, it didn't matter. Narine trapped Hashim Amla lbw minutes after Carlos Brathwaite had broken the 52-run opening stand in the tenth over. Narine came back 25 overs later to account for Rilee Rossouw, who had steadily built a platform for South Africa to launch from. The wicket turned out to be the first in a collapse of 7 for 28 (of which Narine took five). South Africa were dismissed for 188 and went on to lose the game.

After this, the deluge: Tahir gets his first wicket of seven, Andre Fletcher © AFP

Imran Tahir
7 for 45 v West Indies
Tri-Nation series, St Kitts

After being humbled earlier in the tri-series, South Africa hit back by setting West Indies 344 to win. The openers got the chase off to a good start - 69 in 8.5 overs, before Tahir had Andre Fletcher caught in the deep. West Indies lost wickets regularly, but that didn't mean safety for South Africa against a long batting line-up. West Indies needed just above ten per over at the start of the 34th over, with Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder at the crease and Carlos Brathwaite still to come. Tahir trapped Holder lbw off the first ball, hit Brathwaite's stumps with a googly off the next, and got Pollard to hit the last ball of the over straight to deep midwicket to put their chase to rest. Tahir ended up taking the last six West Indian wickets, to finish with the best ODI figures for a South African.

Mitchell Marsh
3 for 32 v West Indies
Tri-Nation series final, Barbados

Marsh brought Australia into the final with the bat, and won it for them with the ball. Set 271 for victory, West Indies started solidly before the 49-run opening stand was broken in the 11th over. Over the next 12 overs they lost three wickets and managed to score only 28, thanks to Marsh's masterful first spell of 6-1-7-3. He used the grip off the pitch and mixed slower balls with short ones and yorkers to stifle West Indies' top order, Darren Bravo in particular, so effectively that the loss of momentum could not be normalised by West Indies' lower-order hitters later in the game.

Worth shouting about: Faulkner gets Mathews for a duck © Associated Press

James Faulkner
4 for 38 v Sri Lanka
first ODI, Colombo

On a sluggish pitch, Sri Lanka's No. 3, Kusal Mendis, had put on a steady 79-run stand for the third wicket with Dinesh Chandimal. But their work came undone when Faulkner got Mendis to miscue a pull off the first ball of the 30th over, and had Angelo Mathews driving uppishly to covers for a duck, four balls later. His double-wicket maiden put a spoke in Sri Lanka's wheel, and he never let them truly recover, returning at the death to take two more wickets while conceding a combined six runs off the 48th and 50th overs.

John Hastings
6 for 45 v Sri Lanka
fourth ODI, Dambulla

Australia needed a win to seal the ODI series after a humiliating whitewash in the Tests. They started by reducing Sri Lanka to 31 for 3 in nine overs. Among those wickets was that of Kusal Mendis, one of Sri Lanka's best batsmen over the course of Australia's tour, removed cheaply by Hastings. Sri Lanka's recovery - 84 runs between Dhananjaya de Silva and Angelo Mathews for the fourth wicket - suffered a minor setback when Mathews had to retire hurt. It was further hobbled when Hastings got de Silva to miscue a pull to midwicket moments later. Australia then struck with another two quick wickets, and Hastings returned in the death to claim the last four - including Mathews - ensuring Sri Lanka's innings folded on 212.

Googled 'im: Mishra got two in a row with wrong'uns in Vizag © Associated Press

Amit Mishra
5 for 18 v New Zealand
fifth ODI, Visakhapatnam

After entertaining thoughts of ending a miserable tour with a series victory in the ODIs, New Zealand came undone when they folded for 79 chasing 270, losing their last eight wickets for 16 runs. Amit Mishra took five of those for seven runs. After starting off with some nervous half-trackers, he found rhythm, to go with some bounce, and got an outside edge off an attempted cut from Ross Taylor. His next two wickets were deliveries that spun in from outside off on a good length, finding their way through the gates of BJ Watling and Jimmy Neesham. Two misguided swipes from the tail then gave Mishra a five-for, and the Man-of-the-Series award.

Amila Aponso
4 for 18 v Australia
second ODI, Colombo

Sri Lanka had done well - they had set Australia 289 to chase and got rid of their explosive opening duo of David Warner and Aaron Finch. But they still had to contend with Steven Smith and George Bailey. Aponso accounted for both, getting Smith in his opening spell, which read 3-0-3-1, before returning to strangle, and ultimately end, Bailey's innings in a second spell that saw him concede no boundaries at a time when Australia were looking to force the pace. Aponso then took the last two wickets - including that of designated finisher James Faulkner, whom he had kept quiet - to seal the win for Sri Lanka.

That's a wrap: Ball took the last wicket in the match, finishing with a five-for © Getty Images

Jake Ball
5 for 51 v Bangladesh
first ODI, Mirpur

Bangladesh were headed for a remarkable victory after being set 310 by England. Opener Imrul Kayes had scored a century, and combined with Shakib-al-Hasan to bring Bangladesh down to needing 39 runs to win off 52 balls, with six wickets in hand. Shakib's arms cramped up at this point, and Ball - who had taken the first two wickets in the innings - capitalised by bowling him a short one. Shakib couldn't put enough power into his pull shot, and the ball found midwicket's hands. New batsman Mosaddek Hossain couldn't handle the short delivery he received from Ball first up, and dragged it on. The panic from the double breakthrough sent Bangladesh into collapse mode: they lost six wickets for 17 runs, with Ball picking up the last wicket.

Mashrafe Mortaza
4 for 29 v England
second ODI, Mirpur

Mortaza took it upon himself to defend a modest total of 238, one he had helped set with his 44. He got James Vince cutting uppishly straight to backward point, got Jason Roy trapped plumb playing across, and had Ben Stokes' stumps shattered - all inside ten overs, leaving England tottering on 26 for 4. A rogue 45-run tenth-wicket stand between Adil Rashid and Jake Ball threatened to take the easy win away, like in the first match, but Mortaza returned and promptly put an end to any such foreboding, bowling a full cutter that Ball only managed to sky to Nasir Hossain.

Click here for the ODI batting shortlist

Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo