It was only during the last seven editions of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup that astonishing bowling performances were witnessed to contradict the theory that T20 cricket is a format largely dominated by batsmen. Even though smaller boundaries and heavier bats have tipped the playing field in favor of the batters over the course of the game, some bowlers have managed to steal the show with some breathtaking performances.
There have been several bowlers who have taken more than five wickets during the ICC Men’s World T20 tournament, several of them playing a crucial role in their side’s victory. Sri Lankan bowlers dominated the list of the best bowling performances in the history of the T20 World Cup, with three of them making the list.
Ajantha Mendis – 6/8 vs Zimbabwe in T20 World Cup 2012
The mysterious Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis has been the best bowler in the history of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with figures of 6/8. The feat was achieved by him during the 2012 edition of the T20 World Cup against Zimbabwe. Mendis’ remarkable bowling performance led Sri Lanka to defend their total of 183 to register a thumping 82-run victory. It was the eighth largest margin of victory (in terms of runs) in the history of the ICC tournament. In terms of bowling figures, Ajantha Mendis’ 6/8 also represents the second-best bowling figures in T20 International cricket after India’s Deepak Chahar’s 6/7 in their match against Bangladesh in February of this year.
Rangana Herath – 5/3 vs New Zealand in T20 World Cup 2014
Rangana Herath, who is also a spinner in Sri Lanka, has the second-best bowling figures in the T20 World Cup. Sri Lanka crushed New Zealand for just 60 runs in Chattogram, thanks to Herath’s bowling figures of 5/3, when they were defending a paltry target of 120 against New Zealand. Sri Lanka gained a crucial win through the left-arm spinner’s contributions to the team’s journey to the semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2014 where they emerged as the winners by defeating India in the finale.
Umar Gul – 5/6 vs New Zealand in T20 World Cup 2009
Umar Gul, a fast bowler from Pakistan, holds the record as having the best bowling figures by any fast bowler at the International Cricket Council Men’s T20 World Cup. As a result of the former speedster’s 5/6 match figures at the Oval in 2009, Pakistan bowled out New Zealand for just 99 runs, ultimately winning the match comfortably by 6 wickets. Interestingly, with 13 wickets taken during that tournament, Gul was by far the highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Umar Gul is one of the only bowlers to feature twice (2007, 2009) in the top wicket-takers list of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup due to the impressive yorkers he bowls.
Ahsan Malik – 5/19 vs South Africa in T20 World Cup 2014
Ahsan Malik’s bowling figures of 5/19 against South Africa at Chattogram in 2014 are the best bowling figures that a player from an associate nation has achieved in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. As South Africa bowled first, Malik’s timely wickets kept them at 145 for the loss. Despite Malik’s dazzling performance, the Netherlands missed out on a prestigious victory by just six runs despite his brilliant performance.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman – 5/20 vs Scotland in T20 World Cup 2021
The Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman recorded his career-best bowling figures of 5/20 in a Twenty20 International match against Scotland in the Super 12 event of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2021. As a result of Muhammad Mujeeb’s spell, Afghanistan was able to skittle Scotland to their lowest T20I score of 60 and record a 130-run victory.
Mustafizur Rahman 5/22 vs New Zealand in T20 World Cup 2016
As the T20 World Cup 2016 drew to a close, New Zealand was faced with the challenge of Mustafizur’s guile. With a pitch that provided assistance to slower bowlers because of the Eden Garden pitch, the Kiwi batters struggled to score against Rahman’s clever pace variations at the Eden Garden. Even though Bangladesh lost the match, Mustafizur’s match figures of 5/22 were the best I’ve seen at Eden Gardens in Kolkata so far.
James Faulkner 5/27 vs Pakistan in T20 World Cup 2016
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2015, the first time overseas, the best bowling figures by an Australian were 5/27 by James Faulkner. A left-arm pacer achieved the feat against Pakistan at Mohali in 2016 by bowling complete innings. Furthermore, he also achieved his best match figures for an international cricketer during this process. Australia ended up winning the match by 21 runs as a result of his efforts.
Lasith Malinga 5/31 vs England in T20 World Cup 2012
Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga has the best bowling figures in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with 5/31. Sri Lanka won the final Super Eight match against England at Pallekele by 19 runs thanks to the performance of this player. In the ICC T20 World Cup 2012, Malinga is the only player to take five wickets, with his 5/31 haul the only one.
Best bowling figures in ICC T20 World Cup
|Ajantha Mendia||4||2||8||6||Sri Lanka||Zimbabwe||2012|
|Rangana Herath||3.3||2||3||5||Sri Lanka||New Zealand||2014|
|Umar Gul||3||0||6||5||Pakistan||New Zealand||2009|
|Ahsan Malik||4||0||19||5||Netherlands||South Africa||2014|
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman||4||0||20||5||Afghanistan||Scotland||2021|
|Mustafizur Rahman||4||0||22||5||Bangladesh||New Zealand||2016|
|Lasith Malinga||4||0||31||5||Sri Lanka||England||2012|
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