Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar claimed a sensational six-wicket haul (6 for 30) to help Australia beat New Zealand by 64 runs in the third T20I in Wellington and stay alive in the five-match T20I series.
Agar’s figures are the best by an Australian in the T20I format. The previous best bowling figures in T20Is by an Australian were also registered by Agar, who took 5 for 24 against South Africa in Johannesburg in February 2020.
His performance on Wednesday included three wickets in an over as the visitors dominated New Zealand in the third T20I.
The 27-year-old spun the match completely in Australia’s favour by sending back three Kiwi batsmen in the 13th over. He had Glenn Phillips (13) caught at long-on while Devon Conway (38) was taken at deep midwicket.
Agar then had James Neesham (0), who had earlier conceded 60 runs in four overs, caught behind first ball to make it three in three. The left-arm spinner added the scalps of Mark Chapman, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, too, as New Zealand sunk to defeat in the third T20I.
Four bowlers before Ashton Agar to have taken six-wicket hauls in T20Is
With his effort of 6 for 30, Ashton Agar became only the fourth bowler to claim six wickets in a T20I. It was the fifth instance of a bowler doing so in the shortest format of the game. Here’s a look at the other bowlers who have achieved the feat before Ashton Agar.
#1 Deepak Chahar (6 for 7 vs Bangladesh in 2019)
Indian medium-pacer Deepak Chahar holds the record for the best bowling figures in T20Is. He picked up 6 for 7 against Bangladesh in Nagpur in November 2019.
Batting first, India put up 174 for 5 on the board, courtesy fifties from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. In response, Bangladesh were held to 144 despite Mohammad Naim’s brilliant 48-ball 81, as Deepak Chahar ran through the Bangladesh batting lineup.
Chahar provided India the early breakthroughs by having Liton Das (9) caught at the boundary and Soumya Sarkar (0) at mid-off.
His third wicket was that of the well-set Mohammad Mithun for 27 when the batsman mistimed a slower ball to long-off.
Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Aminul Islam all perished cheaply to Chahar’s guile as the Indian pacer created history, registering the best-ever figures in T20Is.
India won the match by 30 runs and with it the series 2-1.
#2 Ajantha Mendis (6 for 8 vs Zimbabwe in 2012)
Before Chahar, the record for the best bowling figures in T20Is was in the name of Ajantha Mendis, the former mystery bowler from Sri Lanka. He picked up six wickets for eight runs in the 2012 T20 World Cup group game against Zimbabwe in Hambantota. Incredibly, two of his four overs were maidens.
After Sri Lanka posted 182 for 4 batting first, with good contributions all around, Mendis’ magic rolled over Zimbabwe for exactly 100.
Mendis broke the opening stand of 37 by cleaning up Vusi Sibanda (11) with one that held its line. Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor was then stumped first-ball, done in by a carrom ball.
Hamilton Masakadza, who was looking good on 20, was bowled by a googly. Mendis had his fourth when Elton Chigumbura (19) was bowled by one that sneaked through his defence.
Prosper Utseya and Kyle Jarvis stood no chance against a rampant Mendis as he registered remarkable bowling figures.
#3 Ajantha Mendis (6 for 16 vs Australia in 2011)
Ajantha Mendis picked up his first six-wicket haul in T20Is in the second match of the two-game series against Australia in Kandy in August 2011.
Batting first, Sri Lanka were restricted to 157 for 9 despite Mahela Jayawardene’s 63-ball 86. Brett Lee and John Hastings claimed three wickets apiece as Australia seized the initiative.
In reply, Australia were in cruise control at 71 for no loss in the sixth over. However, Shane Watson, who made a belligerent 57 off 24 balls, with five sixes, perished going for his sixth, slog-sweeping Mendis straight to long-off.
David Warner (16) was then brilliantly caught on the fence courtesy some superb relay work from Angelo Mathews and excellent backing up by Jayawardene.
Shaun Marsh was foxed and stumped for a duck as 71 for no loss became 73 for 3. Steven Smith, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson were cleaned up soon as Australia succumbed to Mendis.
Australia were eventually restricted to 149 for 9 as Sri Lanka stole victory by eight runs.
#4 Yuzvendra Chahal (6 for 25 vs England in 2017)
Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal completes the list of bowlers with six-wicket hauls in T20Is. He claimed 6 for 25 in India’s 75-run triumph over England in the third T20I of the three-match series in Bengaluru in February 2017.
India posted an imposing 202/6 on the back of smashing half-centuries from Suresh Raina (63 off 45) and MS Dhoni (56 off 36). Yuvraj Singh blasted 27 off ten balls.
Bowling with the new ball, Chahal sent back Sam Billings for a first-ball duck, caught in the slips off an inside edge, which lobbed up off the pad.
Later, when Eoin Morgan (40) and Joe Root (42) were leading England’s fightback, Chahal dismissed both. He first got Morgan to top-edge a sweep and, next ball, trapped Root lbw with one that hurried on to him.
Soon thereafter, Chahal sent back Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan as the England lower order crumbled.
From 119 for 2, the visitors lost eight for eight and were all out for 127 in 16.3 overs; India clinched the T20I with a comprehensive win.