ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2019 Associate bowling nominees: we'll do it with yorkers

Toe-crushers were the preferred weapons of destruction of most of our nominees

Khan touch this: Ali Khan's 5 for 46 were also his career-best figures  •  Peter Della Penna

Khan touch this: Ali Khan's 5 for 46 were also his career-best figures  •  Peter Della Penna

Ali Khan
5 for 46 v Namibia
World Cricket League Division Two, Windhoek
Though Khan removed both openers inside the first five overs, Namibia cruised through much of the chase and USA looked like they were heading to their second straight defeat to start the tournament. With the hosts needing a very manageable 14 off 12 balls, with four wickets in hand, USA's yorker specialist produced a magical 49th over, ripping out three wickets. USA pulled off a smash-and-grab victory thanks to Khan's stunning maiden five-wicket haul, and were back on course to secure ODI status.
Nosaina Pokana
5 for 14 v Oman
World Cricket League Division Two, Windhoek
With just one win from four matches, Papua New Guinea needed an extremely lopsided result over previously undefeated Oman to have any hope of staying above Canada on net run rate for fourth place and for the last ODI status slot at Division Two. Enter Pokana with his new-ball swing, defending a total of 221. After bowling Jatinder Singh with the first ball of the chase, Pokana had four more batsmen caught behind in the Powerplay to leave Oman 23 for 6 on the way to being bowled out for 76. PNG reclaimed ODI status by four runs on net run rate.
Hamza Tahir
5 for 38 v Oman
World Cup League Two, Aberdeen
Oman had already thumped tri-series hosts Scotland by eight wickets a few days earlier and were well positioned once again at 65 for 1, chasing a target of 224. Left-arm spinner Tahir's persistence, coming on after the Powerplay, finally paid off in the 19th, when he dislodged Jatinder Singh, getting him to edge to slip. Tahir then sank the chase upon his return in the 27th, inducing a false slog from Aqib Ilyas. Two more edges to slip were followed by a slog caught at the boundary to cap Tahir's maiden ODI five-for in a strong bounceback win.
Rohan Mustafa
4 for 18 v Ireland
T20 World Cup Qualifier, Abu Dhabi
Mustafa factored in eight of ten dismissals on the night for UAE, who had been depleted by anti-corruption suspensions. He struck first with a zippy offbreak in the tenth over, when Harry Tector essentially yorked himself for 2. Then Mustafa had captain Gary Wilson caught slogging to the leg-side boundary in the 12th. After running Paul Stirling out for 72 with eight balls to go, Mustafa accounted for four more wickets off his bowling in the final over - bowled, lbw and two run-outs - in a remarkable one-man show to set up a memorable win over a Test nation.
Bilal Khan
4 for 23 v Hong Kong
T20 World Cup Qualifier, Dubai
Defending a modest total of 134 on a high-scoring pitch with the sixth and final spot in the T20 World Cup up for grabs, Khan devastated Hong Kong's hopes with the new ball. He clean-bowled their best batsman, Nizakat Khan, with a full delivery second ball of the chase, then produced two more yorkers in his next over to trap Hong Kong captain Aizaz Khan lbw and bowl Waqas Barkat. With one over held back for the death, another yorker cleaned up Nasrulla Rana to put Oman back in the T20 World Cup.
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Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna