ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2022 men's T20I bowling nominees: Arshdeep swings it for India, Raza upsets Pakistan

Shaheen Afridi, Sam Curran and Brandon Glover also make it to our shortlist

Bhuvneshwar Kumar took career-best T20 figures of 5 for 4 against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup  •  AFP/Getty Images

Bhuvneshwar Kumar took career-best T20 figures of 5 for 4 against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup  •  AFP/Getty Images

Fazalhaq Farooqi
3 for 11 vs Sri Lanka
Asia Cup, Dubai

Fazalhaq Farooqi set the foundation of Afghanistan's demolition of eventual champions Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Asia Cup. He struck in consecutive balls in the first over to remove Kusal Mendis with one that angled in and then trapped Charith Asalanka lbw with a length ball that zipped in. He followed it up with a maiden in his second over, helping Afghanistan seize control from the very beginning. Farooqi returned at the death to wrap up the innings, getting Chamika Karunaratne to drag one on back to the stumps and finishing with career-best T20 figures.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar
5 for 4 vs Afghanistan
Asia Cup, Dubai

Virat Kohli's comeback century grabbed the headlines on the day, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced an equally masterful performance with the ball, deflating Afghanistan with figures of 4-1-4-5. With the fourth delivery of the innings, he shaped the ball back into the left-hander Hazratullah Zazai and pinned him in front. Two balls later, he cleaned Rahmanullah Gurbaz up with an incoming delivery to leave Afghanistan at 2 for 1. In his second over, he took two more wickets: getting Karim Janat to edge an outswinger to slip and trapping Najibullah Zadran lbw with an inswinger. Bhuvneshwar got his five-for when Azmatullah Omarzai chipped a slower knuckle ball to short cover to finish his quota with a wicket maiden.
Gareth Delany
3 for 16 vs West Indies
T20 World Cup, Hobart

Two-time champions West Indies' qualification into the Super 12s was hanging by a thread and legspinner Gareth Delany crushed all their hopes with a superb spell of flight that helped Ireland land a spot in the main event. Just when West Indies seemed a bit settled after a sedate start, Delany broke a 44-run stand by removing Evin Lewis with a tossed-up delivery. He then dismissed Nicholas Pooran with a wider one, and had Rovman Powell hole out at deep midwicket in the 17th over. West Indies could only manage 146 and Ireland chased it down with nine wickets to spare.
Arshdeep Singh
3 for 32 vs Pakistan
T20 World Cup, Melbourne

A month before, Arshdeep Singh was facing vile abuse on social media for dropping a catch in crunch moments of an Asia Cup game against Pakistan. But in his first World Cup game, in front of a 90,000-plus crowd at the MCG, Arshdeep produced a spell for the ages. He removed Babar Azam with a peach of an inswinger with his first ball and then sent back Mohammad Rizwan with a searing bouncer to leave Pakistan at 15 for 2 after four overs. Arshdeep came back at the death to remove Asif Ali for 2 to finish with a spell that was key in restricting Pakistan to 159 for 8, which India then chased down in a last-ball thriller.
Sikandar Raza
3 for 25 vs Pakistan
T20 World Cup, Perth

The 2022 men's T20 World Cup saw a number of upsets, but Zimbabwe sprung the biggest of them all. Pakistan, one of the tournament favourites, were stunned by a red-hot Sikandar Raza, who used his variations to help defend a modest 130. Pakistan were sitting comfortably needing only 51 from the final seven overs with seven wickets in hand when Raza returned for his third over, having conceded just 11 from his first two. After Shadab Khan hit him for a six, Raza got him to miscue a knuckle ball to long-off and pinned Haider Ali in front with his next delivery. In the 16th over, he added one more to his tally by having Shan Masood stumped down leg side off a wide. The spell broke Pakistan's confidence, and Zimbabwe emerged winners in a thrilling finish.
Trent Boult
4 for 13 vs Sri Lanka
T20 World Cup, Sydney

The match will be remembered for Glenn Phillips' brilliant one-man show with the bat, but Trent Boult produced some magic of his own in the powerplay to contribute to New Zealand's big win. He claimed two wickets in his first over, having Kusal Mendis caught behind off an outside edge before bowling Dhananjaya de Silva for a duck. In his second over, he had Charith Asalanka edge a knuckleball to backward point, which left Sri Lanka at 8 for 4 after four overs in the 168-run chase. Sri Lanka were barely in the game when he returned for his final over and he got Dasun Shanaka, the innings' top scorer, out with a short ball to finish with his best figures in T20 cricket.
Lungi Ngidi
4 for 29 vs India
T20 World Cup, Perth

After missing the previous game, against Bangladesh, Lungi Ngidi was brought back for the India match and he justified his selection with a hostile spell, tearing into the top order in his first two overs. On a favourable surface for fast bowlers at the Optus Stadium, he came into the attack in the fifth over and instantly made an impact, catching Rohit Sharma himself off a well-directed short ball. Four balls later, he got KL Rahul to nick to slip with another shorter delivery. His bouncer did the trick twice more in consecutive overs when Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya mistimed their pulls and were caught at the boundary by Kagiso Rabada. By the end of his third over, Ngidi had taken 3 for 17 and India were 49 for 5.
Shaheen Shah Afridi
3 for 14 vs South Africa
T20 World Cup, Sydney

In a must-win match against South Africa, Shaheen Shah Afridi turned up in true fashion, stifling the opposition's top order with a frugal spell. He dismissed Quinton de Kock for a duck in the first over of a DLS-adjusted chase of 142 from 14 overs. In his next over, his pace and bounce proved too much for Rilee Rossouw, who top-edged a catch to deep third man. Afridi's figures at that point were 2-0-2-2. South Africa recovered from these strikes, but Afridi returned in the 11th over to dismiss Heinrich Klaasen and reduce them to 94 for 5. South Africa eventually fell 34 runs short of the target.
Brandon Glover
3 for 9 vs South Africa
T20 World Cup, Adelaide

All South Africa had to do was beat Netherlands - whom they had never lost to in any format at that point - to ensure a spot in the World Cup semi-final. But Netherlands, a team with several players from South Africa, weren't ready to let go of this one easily. In a chase of 159, South Africa were already struggling to get going, and Glover dented their progress further by removing the set Rilee Rossouw with a legcutter. With South Africa needing 48 off 30 balls with six wickets remaining, Glover returned to bowl a match-turning over. He got the in-form David Miller to top-edge one to Roelof van der Merwe - who ran back from short fine leg to complete a brilliant catch - and followed it up by getting Wayne Parnell to nick one behind. Two overs of Glover was all it took to crush South Africa's World Cup hopes and they went on to lose by 13 runs.
Sam Curran
3 for 12 vs Pakistan
T20 World Cup final, Melbourne

The spell that set up England's T20 World Cup win. Left-arm seamer Sam Curran played a crucial role with the ball in the powerplay and the death overs alike, finishing with an economical spell that made him the Player of the Final. He drew first blood in Pakistan's nervy start, getting Mohammad Rizwan to chop onto his leg stump, and conceded only five runs in his two overs in the powerplay. Curran returned at the death and had both Shan Masood and Mohammad Nawaz caught in the deep, finishing with remarkable figures of 3 for 12 across four boundary-less overs.

Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo