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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2013 ODI bowling nominees: Saeed strikes, Mitch monsters

Seamers, swingers, spinners and out and out speed demons - all in the ODI bowling shortlist

Abhishek Purohit
Abhishek Purohit
Shahid Afridi appeals for an lbw, West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Gros Islet, April 25, 2011

Afridi: that's Mr Allrounder to you  •  AFP

Saeed Ajmal
5 for 24 vs India
third ODI, Delhi

Ajmal's five-wicket haul was the best performance by a Pakistan spinner in India. He displayed his full range, getting his first three wickets leg-before with different types of deliveries. Suresh Raina was trapped with a flighted one, R Ashwin went back to a quicker ball, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had no clue about a doosra. Ravindra Jadeja found out how hard it was to hit out against Ajmal, holing out to long-on to give the bowler his fifth.
Nuwan Kulasekara
5 for 22 vs Australia
third ODI, Brisbane

High-quality inswing bowling from Kulasekara sent Australia plummeting to 74 all out, the lateness of the movement making him almost unplayable. The deliveries that bowled Michael Clarke and Moises Henriques began about a metre outside off stump, and only began to move when the batsmen were already committed to the stroke. George Bailey offered no stroke first ball to a delivery he believed to be passing safely outside off stump, but it swerved in to strike him plumb in front.
Ravindra Jadeja
5 for 36 vs West Indies
Champions Trophy, The Oval

When Jadeja was brought on in this Champions Trophy match, West Indies had marched to 92 for 1 in 17 overs, and Johnson Charles was timing everything he hit. India were staring at a big chase, but Jadeja turned the game. Some spun and some didn't. Most were headed for the stumps, but at different speeds. Five of them got wickets, two lbws, including Charles, and one bowled. West Indies went from 103 for 1 to 182 for 9, and India into the semi-final.
Shahid Afridi
7 for 12 vs West Indies
first ODI, Georgetown

This had to be one of the great all-round performances in ODIs. Having taken no wickets in six previous ODIs, Afridi quashed all doubts about his bowling with the second best one-day figures of all time. After pulverising 76 runs off 55 balls, he was brought on only as the sixth bowler, but there was no stopping him. His mix of legspinners, quick sliders, the occasional googly and even the odd offbreak proved too much for West Indies, who went from 41 for 3 to 98 all out.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe
4 for 22 vs Sri Lanka
third ODI, Pallekele

Tsotsobe kept a struggling South Africa alive in the series, helping them beat Sri Lanka at home for the first time in close to 20 years. He took three early wickets in a six-over spell in which he extracted bounce and produced seam movement. Tillakaratne Dilshan spooned a catch to cover, Kumar Sangakkara chased one that moved away, and Upul Tharanga, undone by Tsotsobe's bounce, edged to slip. Sri Lanka were 16 for 3, and South Africa were in control for the first time in the series.
Mitchell Johnson
4 for 46 vs India
third ODI, Mohali

Australia and India scored 3596 runs in 11 innings over six games in this series. Even in conditions so cruel for bowlers, Johnson roughed up the Indians twice with pace and bounce, prompting Sachin Tendulkar, at his retirement press conference, to predict that the fast bowler would be a factor in the Ashes. In Mohali, Johnson reduced India to 154 for 6. Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja fell to short deliveries, while Yuvraj Singh went first ball, fishing at one that left him from back of a length.
Rubel Hossain
6 for 26 vs New Zealand
first ODI, Mirpur

Rubel became only the second Bangladeshi, after Mashrafe Mortaza, to take six wickets in an ODI, his hat-trick turning the game on its head. New Zealand needed 86 off 60 with seven wickets remaining when Rubel, having already dismissed Ross Taylor, began his third over. Corey Anderson, who had swung four sixes, missed a slog at a slower one. Brendon McCullum sliced the next delivery to backward point, and James Neesham was strangled down the leg side off the hat-trick ball. Fittingly, Mashrafe caught Grant Elliott to end the game and give Rubel his sixth.
Dale Steyn
6 for 39 vs Pakistan
second ODI, Port Elizabeth

Bowling like the poison-tipped spearhead he is, Steyn took six wickets with little support from the other end. He bowled Nasir Jamshed fifth ball with a full one and claimed Mohammad Hafeez for the 15th time in 28 innings with a short one that was nicked behind. Steyn then came back to puncture Pakistan at the end and claim his best ODI figures. South Africa, however, lost by one run.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo