ESPNcricinfo Awards 2023 Men's T20 leagues bowling nominees: strikers from the subcontinent
5 for 12 vs Quetta Gladiators
Multan were missing bowling mainstays Josh Little and Shahnawaz Dahani in this game, but right-armer Ihsanullah, just out of his teens, made sure it didn't affect the bottom line. He came on in the sixth over, with Quetta on 37 for 2, and his third ball had Sarfaraz Ahmed, beaten for pace, chopping on. In his next over, Ihsanullah had big fish Jason Roy caught mistiming one, and next ball, got Iftikhar Ahmed pinned lbw. Another two wickets followed when he came back on: a ripper outside off that Umar Akmal edged, and one at near 150kph that took the top of Naseem Shah's off stump. Quetta finished on an under-par 110, which Multan easily chased.
4 for 30 vs Rajasthan Royals
Ellis played only twice for Punjab Kings in 2022 but the following year he was keeping Kagiso Rabada out of the XI. In this game, Royals were chasing 198 to win and had got to 57 for 2 with their best batters, Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson, at the crease when Ellis stepped on the brake. He caught and bowled Buttler off an inside edge, and five overs later, Samson went, caught trying to send one flat over the fence. In the 15th over, Riyan Parag skewed a cross-seam delivery off the splice trying to go big and was caught, and later that over, Ellis bowled Devdutt Padikkal with a skiddy length ball. There was some fight left in the Royals still, but they fell just short in the end.
4 for 29 vs Mumbai Indians
Though Punjab Kings had 214 on the board, Rohit Sharma and Cameron Green gave Mumbai a quick start in the chase, and Suryakumar Yadav threatened to take the game away when he made a fifty off 23 balls. Arshdeep, who had got rid of Ishan Kishan in the second over, came back in the 18th, when Mumbai were looking at getting 40 off 18, and got Suryakumar off a low full toss. In the last over, with 16 needed, Arshdeep got Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera bowled off back-to-back balls, sealing the game for Punjab.
4 for 29 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Chahal's performance, which came in a game his side lost, was a standout for the way he nearly clinched a win for Royals, only to have it slip away. When he came on in the 18th over of the chase, two wickets under his belt, Sunrisers needed 44 off 18. Cue the wickets of Rahul Tripathi, who miscued a slow turner, and Aiden Markram, beaten on the reverse sweep, for just three runs. That took Chahal level with Dwayne Bravo as the leading wicket-taker in IPL history. Sunrisers needed 41 off 12 - which they managed to get thanks to some glorious hitting by Glen Phillips off Kuldeep Yadav in the 19th.
3 for 9 vs Seattle Orcas
MLC final, Dallas
In the final of the inaugural Major League Cricket tournament, Rashid Khan nearly had Nauman Anwar lbw in the third over off a wrong'un, but lost the wicket on review. He had his man first ball of his next over, though, fizzing one past the batter for a stumping. First ball of his next spell, Rashid struck again, this time netting Heinrich Klaasen, who hadn't got going yet. Fours and sixes were scored regularly when Rashid wasn't on, but when he came back in the 18th over, his last, he shut the run-making down like he had flipped a switch. With his last ball of the game, he despatched Imad Wasim, finishing with an economy rate of 2.5 in a game where the next tightest bowler went for over six an over.
4 for 27 vs St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Right-arm fast bowler Irshad struck early in this game. After Andre Fletcher raised the tempo with a clutch of fours in the fourth over, Irshad came on in the fifth and had him glove a sharp one outside off behind first ball. Next ball, Corbin Bosch poked at another hard-length effort ball and was out for a duck. Two deliveries later, Ambati Rayudu tried to glide Irshad behind and popped a catch up to deep third. 3 for 1 to Irshad, who also gave away only three runs in his next over and then came back in the 15th, just after Imad Wasim had sent George Linde back (caught Irshad) to reduce Patriots to 98 for 6. Irshad was taken for a six and a four that over but had the last laugh when he got rid of Joshua da Silva fifth ball with a slower delivery.
4 for 20 vs Jaffna Kings
Jaffna Kings were shot out for 89 in this match, largely thanks to Rajitha. Of the seven batters who fell for single-digit scores, he accounted for four, all in the top six. It started third ball of the innings, with Rahmanullah Gurbaz slicing one to backward point. Then, first ball of the third over, Rajitha was in it again, getting a thin edge off one that squared Nishan Madushka up. Two balls later, it was 7 for 4, when Shoaib Malik was undone by a straight one that nipped back to hit off. David Miller managed to hit a four off the last ball of the over, but the next over Rajitha bowled, Miller chipped the second delivery back to the bowler to make it 21 for 5. Jaffna eventually managed to scrape together another 68 runs, but that was far too small a target and Galle Titans got there inside 14 overs.
4 for 19 vs Northern Superchargers
The Hundred, Leeds
Manchester Originals put up a stiff 182 in a game shortened to 90 balls by rain, but Northern Superchargers set off optimistically in pursuit, getting to 49 at the required two runs a ball before Pakistan leggie Mir struck, slipping a slider through Matthew Short's defence. Two balls on, he repeated the dose, beating Tom Banton in flight to get another bowled. Superchargers weren't quite charging anymore, and Mir hobbled them further in his next five-ball stint, when Adam Hose reverse-swept one to backward point. Harry Brook counterattacked with three fours off Paul Walter, and took Mir for a massive six when he came back on, but three balls later, he was gone, teased by one floated outside off that he mistimed to long-off. Superchargers were 80 for 4 with about two-thirds of their deliveries gone; they duly finished 40 short.
6 for 9 vs Jaffna Kings
LPL Eliminator, Colombo
With their progress in the tournament on the line, B-Love Kandy batted first and made 188. Turned out they could have taken it easy: Hasaranga, their strike bowler, who finished on top of the wicket-takers' table in the tournament, came on after the powerplay and razed Jaffna's house to the ground in 20 balls spread over the rest of the innings. He took two wickets (Dunith Wellalage and Chris Lynn) in three balls in the seventh over, and another two in the 13th, by which point Jaffna were six down and needed 88 off 42. In the 18th over, Hasaranga applied the coup de grace: two more. The pick of the wickets was the third, a big-turning legbreak that beat David Miller and bowled him. Kandy went on to win the game, and another two to take the title.
4 for 25 vs Hobart Hurricanes
Fresh off his 3 for 28 in Perth's win against Melbourne Stars the previous week, Behrendorff was to the fore in this game too. He took wickets off consecutive balls in his first over, getting Ben McDermott with unsettling bounce and Sam Hain lbw with a late inswinger. Tim David hit a couple of fours off him but Behrendorff won the contest, having David edge an attempted paddle-pull to a catcher. The fourth wicket came off the last ball of Behrendorff's spell - a slower one on off that got top-scorer Nikhil Chaudhary to mistime it onto his stumps.