5 memorable bowling performances at the ICC T20 World Cup that don't fade away
- Five of the best performances from bowlers in the ICC T20 World Cup.
For a while after the inception of T20 cricket, batsmen ruled the roost. They still do, to a large extent. However, the art of bowling has come a long way in the shortest format of the game.Bowlers are a lot more skilful now, employing both conventional and unconventional techniques to outsmart the batsmen. They have different strategies for different phases of the game powerplays, consolidation overs and death overs.They have different lengths in their armoury to bowl to the batsman. If the batsmen are capable of the Dilscoop and the ramp shots and the reverse sweeps, the bowlers are capable of fast yorkers on the edge of the white marker, slow-ball bouncers, leg-cutters, off-cutters and knuckle balls. Some are even capable of bowling fast inswinging yorkers while some can bowl deliveries which take an eternity to reach the batsman.All of this has made the contest a lot more even. And the ICC T20 World Cup offers a classic case of the underdogs fighting back after years of intimidation. Over the five editions and in the ongoing edition, the bowlers have come up with some scintillating spellsand have given the spectators plenty to cheer about.While it is hard to separate or rank the very best bowling performances given the nature of T20 cricket and the small margins, we try to pick five bowling spells that were so sublime in execution and impact that they will always be remembered. These are performances that don't fade away, not unlike the Axe Signature line of body perfumes.Extra points have been awarded for tough opposition, bowling conditions and pressure. So without any further ado, here's the list!
#1 Rangana Herath 3.3-2-3-5, Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, 2014, Chittagong
On a track that was slow and had some turn, Sri Lanka were scuttled out for just 119 runs in the Group 1 match. Trent Boult was excellent with figures of 3-20, and the Sri Lankans could never really get going in their innings.
However, any hopes New Zealand had of chasing down the small total vanished fast. Rangana Herath got Brendon McCullum stumped in the fourth over, and the procession started after that. Herath ran through New Zealand’s middle order getting Ross Taylor, Jimmy Neesham and Luke Ronchi in the 6th and 8th overs. He finished with unbelievable figures of 5-3, Boult being the fifth wicket, which ended the innings on 60. Herath's heroics gave Sri Lanka a thoroughly unexpected win by 45 runs.
Interestingly, these are not Sri Lanka’s best bowling figures at the World Cup; Ajantha Mendis delivered figures of 6-8 against Zimbabwe in 2012 in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. However, Herath takes the pie for delivering while defending a small total, against a better team, and away from home. Lots of checks there!