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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2012 T20I bowling nominees: Sixes and fours

Plenty of big hauls for cheap in our list of T20 nominees

Abhishek Purohit
Abhishek Purohit
Sunil Narine picked up the crucial wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka v West Indies, final, World Twenty20, Colombo, October 7, 2012

Sunil Narine took three in the World Twenty20 final  •  Getty Images

Sunil Narine
3 for 9 vs Sri Lanka
World Twenty20 final, Colombo

The decisive blow that put West Indies on the path to World Twenty20 glory came when Narine had Mahela Jayawardene, mis-hitting a reverse-pull to point on 33. Jayawardene had knocked Pakistan out of the semi-final with a series of reverse hits but Narine wasn't about to crack. As the asking rate kept climbing, he continued to remain near impossible to hit for runs. Nuwan Kulasekara gave West Indies a scare but Narine returned to dismiss him, and in his next over he removed the last man, Lasith Malinga, to get the parties started in the Caribbean.
Saeed Ajmal
4 for 23 vs England
third T20I, Abu Dhabi

England's tormentor in the Tests was all over them in the T20s too, taking four of the five wickets to fall to the Pakistan bowlers in this match. The full Ajmal repertoire was on display: Craig Kieswetter holed out to long-on, Jonny Bairstow lost his off stump as he tried to cut a quicker one, Jos Buttler fell over trying to sweep and went lbw, and Samit Patel was stumped after being beaten by a doosra. It was another matter that Pakistan's batsmen were to let Ajmal down - not for the first time.
Ajantha Mendis
6 for 8 vs Zimbabwe
World Twenty20, Hambantota

Mendis marked his return to the Sri Lanka side by returning figures of 4-2-8-6, the best in T20 internationals, beating his own 6 for 16 against Australia in 2011. Mendis tore through hapless Zimbabwe, taking three wickets in his first spell and returning to take three more. He served up deliveries that held their line, ones that turned in, the carrom ball, and the googly from the back of the hand, leaving Zimbabwe befuddled and ultimately defeated.
Lasith Malinga
5 for 31 vs England
World Twenty20, Pallekele

Malinga had had a quiet World Twenty20 till this game, but he sprang to life here to end England's defence of their title, ripping out the top order with three wickets in four balls, and then returning to take his best T20I figures (also the third-best by a Sri Lankan). Luke Wright cut one to backward point, Jonny Bairstow was done by a slower delivery, and Alex Hales was pinned by an inswinging yorker next ball. In his second spell, Malinga had Jos Buttler hooking to long leg, and bowled Samit Patel for 67, to end England's last, faint hope.
Ajantha Mendis
4 for 12 vs West Indies
World Twenty20 final, Colombo

It was an unreal start to the World Twenty20 final: West Indies, Chris Gayle and all, took 17 deliveries to score their first run off the bat. Causing the confusion was Mendis, who eventually had his man when he trapped Gayle leg-before for 3 off 16. Marlon Samuels, playing a blinder, blitzed Lasith Malinga for three sixes. Mendis responded with three more wickets, of Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell. Too bad the spell was lost in the din of West Indies' title win.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar
3 for 9 vs Pakistan
first T20I, Bangalore

Bhuvneshwar's debut international spell did not earn India a win, but it announced the arrival of a talented young swing bowler (from the state that produced Praveen Kumar). Moving the ball alarmingly both ways, Bhuvneshwar set up Nasir Jamshed and Umar Akmal with away-going deliveries before bringing two back in sharply to bowl them. Ahmed Shehzad was lured into his dismissal the old-fashioned way, driving and edging a pitched-up outswinger. 4-0-9-3 on debut against Pakistan: scarcely gets better for an India bowler.
Steven Finn
3 for 16 vs New Zealand
World Twenty20, Pallekele

Finn kept England alive in the World Twenty20 Super Eights. New Zealand never fully recovered from the impact of his early spell. Bowling with excellent pace and control, he claimed the best figures by an England bowler in World Twenty20s. Martin Guptill was trapped in front, Brendon McCullum was caught at third man, and in the 17th over, Ross Taylor was taken at deep midwicket.
Yuvraj Singh
3 for 19 vs England
first T20I, Pune

After being dropped from the India Test squad yet again, Yuvraj showed once more why he is indispensable in limited-overs formats. Alex Hales and Luke Wright had muscled 68 in seven overs for the second wicket, but Yuvraj's introduction in the ninth over transformed the game. In his first over he gave away five singles. In his next he had Wright caught at long-off. In his third, Hales was bowled, and two balls later England captain Eoin Morgan was caught at long-on. The triple-blow sucked out the momentum from the England innings.
Harbhajan Singh
4 for 12 vs England
World Twenty20, Colombo

It was some comeback. Out of the Indian side for more than a year, Harbhajan, playing only because India rested three frontline players, took the best figures by an Indian in T20Is. He produced a wicket-maiden to start, and soon the guile of old was on display. Flight, quicker ones, doosras, topspinners. England collapsed from 39 for 2 to 60 for 9, and were in danger of being dismissed for the lowest T20I score. For one night in Colombo, Harbhajan turned back the clock.
Jacques Kallis
4 for 15 vs Zimbabwe

World Twenty20, Hambantota
The great allrounder keeps serving reminders that he can be a force even in the shortest format. In Hambantota, Kallis broke the back of Zimbabwe's batting with discipline, variation and supreme experience, taking four wickets to send them crashing out of the World Twenty20 red-faced. Zimbabwe had recovered from 16 for 3 to 51 for 3 when Kallis intervened. He was on a hat-trick at one point, and by the time he was done, Zimbabwe were 77 for 8. It was Kallis' best T20I showing, and the fourth-best by a South African.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo