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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2021 ODI bowling nominees: Shakib, Shamsi and Sam Curran get among the wickets

A maiden five-for and four-fors aplenty among our nominees

Himanshu Agrawal
Shakib Al Hasan struck three times inside his first five overs, Bangladesh v West Indies, 1st ODI, Mirpur, January 20, 2021

Shakib Al Hasan struck three times inside his first five overs  •  AFP via Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan
4 for 8 vs West Indies
first ODI, Mirpur

In his first appearance for Bangladesh after his ban, and on his way to the cheapest four-for in the team's ODI history, Shakib feasted on a weakened West Indies. He first teased Andre McCarthy with a loopy delivery that went on to hit the stumps and then had Jason Mohammed stumped with one that turned away. For his third wicket, Shakib bowled another ball that came on with the angle, trapping Nkrumah Bonner in front. At the end of his first spell his figures were 7-2-8-3. He then returned in the 33rd over to bowl Alzarri Joseph, skittling West Indies out for 122.
Trent Boult
4 for 27 vs Bangladesh
first ODI, Dunedin

Boult set things up by swinging the new ball away from Tamim Iqbal before rapping him on the legs with a straight one. Three balls later he had Soumya Sarkar loft to cover though he was cramped for room. The early damage done, Boult then wiped out the tail: first a good-length ball drew Hasan Mahmud forward, only for it to shape away and knock back off stump, then a leading edge off Taskin Ahmed ballooned to mid-on as Boult went slightly fuller. New Zealand chased 132 with ease to set the tone for a 6-0 sweep across formats.
Prasidh Krishna
4 for 54 vs England
first ODI, Pune

What started as a horror debut for Prasidh - he was tonked for 22 in his third over by Jonny Bairstow - was salvaged in epic fashion. Bairstow and Jason Roy piled up 131 in 14 overs in pursuit of 318, but Prasidh had Roy caught fending to point in his fourth over. He then got Ben Stokes with an offcutter, before returning to dismiss Sam Billings and Tom Curran, as England conceded their strong start to finish at 251 all out. Prasidh picked up the best figures by an Indian male bowler on ODI debut.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz
4 for 30 vs Sri Lanka
first ODI, Mirpur

Sri Lanka were set a very gettable 258, but Miraz triggered a collapse. He accounted for Danushka Gunathilaka in the fifth over, caught and bowled, to end an attacking cameo. Then he was instrumental in Sri Lanka slipping from 82 for 2 to 102 for 6, taking three wickets. The first was when Kusal Perera's off stump was uprooted by a quick delivery. In his next over Miraz spun one into Dhananjaya de Silva, who was bowled when the ball deflected off his pad. It was then Ashen Bandara's turn to lose his middle stump attempting a leg-side heave.
Dushmantha Chameera
5 for 16 vs Bangladesh
third ODI, Mirpur

Chameera's rapid pace and round-arm action fetched him his first five-for. In the course of it, he reduced Bangladesh to 28 for 3 chasing 287. He first angled one across Mohammad Naim to have him caught at slip, before getting one to rise at Shakib Al Hasan, who popped it up to square leg. He then showed some variety, getting Tamim Iqbal caught behind with a slower ball. That first spell of 3 for 11 in six overs nearly sealed the deal, but for good measure, when Chameera returned, he had Mehidy Hasan caught and Taskin Ahmed bowled, both beaten by pace.
Chris Woakes
4 for 18 vs Sri Lanka
first ODI, Chester-le-Street

The standout among Woakes' four wickets was the one where he angled the ball in before it seamed away to catch Dasun Shanaka's outside edge. There were two scrambled-seam deliveries in the lot as well: Pathum Nissanka pulled a long hop to midwicket, and Dhananjaya Lakshan edged one to slip. In between Woakes he broke a 99-run stand by getting Wanindu Hasaranga off a short ball.
Sam Curran
5 for 48 vs Sri Lanka
second ODI, The Oval

Curran's exhibition of swing got him a five-for at his home ground and took England 2-0 up in the ODI series. He struck with his second delivery, pinning Kusal Perera on the back leg from a good length. Two balls later, Curran went fuller to right-hander Avishka Fernando, trapping him with one that came in sharply. He repeated that trick from over the wicket to Pathum Nissanka, who was bowled off an inside edge to a full delivery. Curran's next two wickets were miscued pulls off short balls: Hasaranga sent one to deep square leg to end a 65-run recovery stand, and Chamika Karunaratne nicked to the keeper.
Saqib Mahmood
4 for 42 vs Pakistan
first ODI, Cardiff

One of many players rushed in to fill in for Covid casualties, right-arm quick Mahmood stepped up in his first ODI in a year. Two wickets came off the first three balls of the match. DRS overturned a leg-before verdict against Imam-ul-Haq; and big fish Babar Azam edged to slip. Mahmood then reduced Pakistan to 26 for 4 when he trapped Saud Shakeel in front. Pakistan had just managed to cross 100 when Mahmood struck again, getting Faheem Ashraf to nick one while cramped for room.
Mitchell Starc
5 for 48 vs West Indies
first ODI, Bridgetown

A sharp return catch off Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed's off stump sent cartwheeling, and Nicholas Pooran's pad pinged at 144kph - these were Starc's first three strikes, with West Indies at 19 for 4 in pursuit of 257. Taken off after five overs, he came back to catch the outside edge of an aggressive-looking Kieron Pollard, squaring him up with a good-length ball. And Starc proved too hot to handle for the No. 10, Akeal Hosein, who was rapped with an inswinging yorker at 143kph. Five wickets for Starc came inside his first six overs as Australia cruised home.
Tabraiz Shamsi
5 for 49 vs Sri Lanka
second ODI, Colombo

Shamsi picked up his maiden ODI five-for in a year in which he finished as the joint leading highest wicket-taker in T20Is. He got appreciable turn even with a wet ball in this rain-hit game, running through Sri Lanka's middle and lower orders. His wicket of the day came when he bowled Dushmantha Chameera - the tossed up ball dipped and turned in, with Chameera stranded too far down the track. Charith Asalanka and Akila Dananjaya fell trying to attack Shamsi, Dhananjaya de Silva was caught down the leg side off one that turned into him, and Dasun Shanaka found deep square leg off a short ball spinning in.

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo