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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2022 Associate bowling nominees: Meiyappan's hat-trick, and Watt's big secret

Our Associate bowling contenders had several tricks up their sleeves at the T20 World Cup

With the threat of rain hanging over their heads, Mark Watt kept Scotland ahead of any possible DLS target with an economical spell and three West Indies wickets  •  ICC via Getty Images

With the threat of rain hanging over their heads, Mark Watt kept Scotland ahead of any possible DLS target with an economical spell and three West Indies wickets  •  ICC via Getty Images

Mark Watt
3 for 12 vs West Indies
T20 World Cup, Hobart

One of the worst kept secrets on the Associate scene in 2022 was Scotland left-arm spinner Watt's penchant for taking wickets with 24-yard deliveries darted in a second earlier than the batter expects. Given an opportunity on the World Cup stage, Watt decided to deploy his weapon against a Test nation. After keeping it up his sleeve in the first over of the chase, he unleashed it for the first time in the eighth over and bowled Brandon King with one that slid through to hit the top of off stump. He then got Alzarri Joseph to nick an edge to the keeper with a flatter delivery before making it three wickets with 24-yarders in the 17th over, against Odean Smith, whose timing was thrown off, resulting in a skier to long-on.
Karthik Meiyappan
3 for 19 vs Sri Lanka
T20 World Cup, Geelong

UAE lost in lopsided fashion on the night, but a sparkling silver lining was produced by 22-year-old legspinner Meiyappan's hat-trick in the 15th over. Each of those wickets was better than the one before. It began with flat and wide delivery that Bhanuka Rajapaksa skied for a catch at the boundary. Then a googly angled across Charith Asalanka produced a thin edge to the keeper. The best was saved for last, when another googly drew Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka onto the front foot prodding forward, only for the ball to sneak between bat and pad to light up the stumps.
Paul van Meekeren
3 for 29 vs Zimbabwe
T20 World Cup, Adelaide

Cleverly mixing up his outswingers with one that went straight on, van Meekeren bowled opener Wessly Madhevere off his third ball. A much bigger scalp came in the 12th over when van Meekeren used his height to generate extra bounce to get Sean Williams to top-edge a catch to deep square leg. He capped his day with the final ball of his spell, getting Ryan Burl to drag on, and Zimbabwe went on to fold for 117.
Brandon Glover
3 for 9 vs South Africa
T20 World Cup, Adelaide

A key part of Netherlands' vaunted pace attack on their qualifying journey a few years earlier, Glover had slipped into the background by the time the team landed in Australia and was left out of the starting XI for the entire opening round in Geelong. But given a chance in the Super 12s, he took wickets on every occasion, culminating in this dazzling show against South Africa. He removed two dangerous batters, Rilee Rossouw and David Miller - the latter was dismissed when Roelof van der Merwe pulled off the catch of the tournament by running back nearly 20 yards from short fine leg to square leg to take a blinder.
Fred Klaassen
2 for 20 vs South Africa
T20 World Cup, Adelaide

Same game, but a very different spell stylistically to the one produced by Glover. In an era where most teams are reluctant to let bowlers have extended spells to avoid batters locking in on them, Klaassen was the one who dictated terms to South Africa in a three-over spell with the new ball. The left-arm quick bowler set the tone for Netherlands in the field, taking the key wicket of Quinton de Kock while tying down captain Temba Bavuma, getting a quickly rising required run rate to heap pressure on South Africa. Klaassen then came back for his final over in the 13th and made it count by despatching Aiden Markram to keep the Dutch believing in an upset.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna