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ESPNcricinfo Awards 2020 T20I bowling winner: when speed is what you need, get Lockie

The T20I bowling winner stymied the West Indies with pace, pace and more pace

Debayan Sen
Ferguson had Shimron Hetmyer edge one to the keeper  •  Getty Images

Ferguson had Shimron Hetmyer edge one to the keeper  •  Getty Images

When you look back on match-altering performances with the ball in the game's shortest format, you would typically assess the bowler's performance on trickery, subtlety, changes of pace and the like. On a rain-affected evening at Eden Park, Ferguson turned that conventional wisdom on its head, producing a spell where the only variety was in how often he exceeded the 150kph mark on the speed gun, taking five wickets to set up an exciting win for New Zealand.
When stand-in captain Tim Southee handed Ferguson the ball, West Indies openers Andre Fletcher and Brandon King had raced to 55 in three overs, chancing their arm cleverly on a pitch spiced up by a couple of rain interruptions. Ferguson's first ball produced another three runs. But over the next 12 balls, West Indies lost five wickets for one, with two Southee strikes sandwiched between three for Ferguson.
His mode of operation was simple - fast, good-length and cramping the batsmen for room. After Kieron Pollard and Fabian Allen put together a fighting stand, just around when Ferguson had finished his third over for figures of 3 for 8, he returned to get Allen and Keemo Paul, in an over where he also conceded a six, a four, and three wides for bouncing one past keeper Tim Seifert.

Key moment

The slide was set in motion with a fast length delivery that went through the defence of Fletcher as he went for a swipe across the line, but the key wicket came four balls later. Shimron Hetmyer, visibly uncomfortable with the pace and bounce that Ferguson was generating off the surface, looked to back away and thrash Ferguson through the off side, but only got a feather edge through to Seifert. Until Pollard and Allen came together a couple of overs later, the West Indies batsmen appeared mesmerised, apparent when Nicholas Pooran fell leg-before to a full toss that he didn't seem to spot out of Ferguson's hand.

The numbers

2 Number of New Zealanders to have taken five wickets in an innings in a men's T20I. Ferguson became the second; Southee claimed 5 for 18 against Pakistan, also at Eden Park, all the way back in 2010.
18 The number of balls in Ferguson's four-over spell that West Indies batsmen were not in control of.

What they said

"It's a crazy ground to play at. It just happens like that for bowlers. I put a lot of work in to make sure my body can bowl full on. I don't swing the ball, so pace is my thing."
Lockie Ferguson
"Didn't face him. Smart boy."
Kieron Pollard, who only faced two Ferguson deliveries during his 75 not out off 37 balls

The closest contender

Yuzvendra Chahal, 3 for 25 vs Australia, first T20I, Canberra
Chahal won the game for India, and his performance perhaps made headlines more than it might otherwise have done because he entered the second innings as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja, whose unbeaten 44 from 23 balls hauled India across to 161. Australia were going along nicely at 56 without loss when Chahal lured captain Aaron Finch into a false shot to strike for the first time. The critical wicket of Steven Smith was plucked out thanks to an acrobatic effort from Sanju Samson, and then Matthew Wade top-edged a swipe across the line as Australia failed to arrest the slide that Chahal began, eventually falling short by 11 runs.