Three leggies, two oldies, and a pile of wickets

ODI bowling nominees


January 22, 2019

Also: an unstoppable New Zealander

Boult: so good, he’s on our list twice © Getty Images

Click here for the ODI batting nominees

Trent Boult

5 for 17 v Pakistan
third ODI, Dunedin




Trent Boult was impressive across formats in 2018. This particular performance, where he ripped through Pakistan’s top order, reducing them to 2 for 3 in the fourth over, set the tone for his year. On what looked like a slow pitch, Boult mixed his lengths and pace well, pushing Pakistan dangerously close to posting their lowest-ever ODI score. Their highest partnerships of the match were for the ninth and tenth wicket, 20 and 22 respectively, which were also broken by Boult. Pakistan were shot out for 74, and New Zealand celebrated a 183-run win. Boult’s figures were the best by a New Zealand bowler in ODIs against Pakistan.

Tom Curran

5 for 35 v Australia
fifth ODI, Perth




England made up for their sobering Ashes performance with a spirited ODI series win after the Tests. With the series already won, they demoralised the hosts in front of a 50,000-odd Western Australian crowd in the fifth match, courtesy Curran’s performance. Australia looked on course in their chase of 260 but were bogged down after Marcus Stoinis was fifth out, for 87. Curran, playing his third ODI, then burst through the rest of Australia’s line-up with a shattering spell of reverse swing, removing Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc in three deliveries, and then going on to bowl Adam Zampa and Tim Paine, to make it 4-1 for the visitors.

Yuzvendra Chahal

5 for 22 v South Africa
second ODI, Centurion




No AB de Villiers, no Faf du Plessis, and a testing spell of wristspin in the middle overs. That’s all it took for India to batter South Africa by nine wickets in their own backyard. Chahal was the destroyer-in-chief, picking up his first ODI five-for. He found turn with his first ball of the day and then went about cramping South Africa’s scoring in tandem with his legspin partner Kuldeep Yadav. Chahal troubled the batsmen with his slower, tossed up deliveries, accounting for the big wickets of Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy, and came back to raze the tail, consigning South Africa to their lowest ODI total at home, which India went on to hunt down in 20.3 overs.

Kuldeep Yadav: sixes aren’t only for batsmen © AFP/Getty

Kuldeep Yadav

6 for 25 v England
first ODI, Nottingham




This performance was the crowning glory of Kuldeep’s already resplendent English summer. Much like his performance in his first T20I in England earlier that month, here he produced the fourth-best figures for India in ODIs – 6 for 25 – to restrict the hosts to 268. All India had to do to get the first breakthrough was to bring Kuldeep in to bowl, and move slip to leg slip. That yielded the wicket of Jason Roy. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were soon trapped in front. Just as Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes began to lead a recovery, Kuldeep got rid of both. David Willey was his sixth, as he finished with the best figures by a left-arm spinner in ODI history.

Adil Rashid

3 for 49 v India
third ODI, Leeds




Virat Kohli looked set to make a hundred in the series decider, on a dry pitch, after both of India’s openers had been dismissed. India seemed on track to post over 300 while the stand between Kohli and Dinesh Karthik was on, but Rashid broke in with a commanding spell, sending Karthik back with a flighted delivery that sneaked onto his stumps. He then bamboozled Kohli with a legbreak that ripped across from leg and rattled the off stump. Suresh Raina was dismissed in the same over, with another flighted one that the left-hander pouched to leg slip. Rashid’s spell turned out to be a match-winning one, with England getting to the target with overs and wickets to spare.

Akila Dananjaya

6 for 29 v South Africa
fifth ODI, Colombo




South Africa’s vulnerability to spin was exposed yet again, this time by Dananjaya, who took career-best figures on a slow turner. Stifled, South Africa’s line-up were shot out inside 25 overs for their lowest total in and against Sri Lanka. With Aiden Markram’s wicket off the fourth ball of the sixth over, Dananjaya flung open the floodgates: he took two more wickets in his next seven deliveries. Then, as Quinton de Kock went about repairs, the offspinner dismissed him with a beauty that turned past his outside edge to crash into the stumps. Two tailender wickets later, Dananjaya had shot the visitors out for 121.

Mashrafe Mortaza: scream for me, Providence © Getty Images

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

3 for 15 v Pakistan
Asia Cup, Dubai




India were facing arch-rivals Pakistan and Bhuvneshwar was under fire for his middling form. Before this game he had bowled 35.2 wicketless overs in ODIs, averaged 48.5, and had taken a wicket once every 61 balls in the Powerplay since the start of 2017. Remarkably, he found his rhythm on a flat, lifeless deck in Dubai. He drew an edge off Imam-ul-Haq in the third over and then cramped Fakhar Zaman, forcing a top edge, to make it 3 for 2. He also put the brakes on the scoring in the middle overs, especially during the 82-run stand between Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam, and Pakistan eventually hobbled to only 162.

Mashrafe Mortaza

4 for 37 v West Indies
first ODI, Providence




After a dismal start to their West Indies tour with a 0-2 drubbing in the Test series, Bangladesh roared back in the first ODI, with standout performances from their senior players. After Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan marshalled them to 279, the captain, Mortaza, produced a strong spell, accounting first for Evin Lewis, and then mopping up with the wickets of Jason Holder, danger man Andre Russell and Ashley Nurse in successive overs to finish with figures of 4 for 37, at an economy rate of well under 4.

Dale Steyn

2 for 18 v Australia
first ODI, Perth




It was the opening match of Australia’s home summer, with a lot having gone down in the months leading up to it, in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. Steyn wasted no time in making the most of the bouncy track against an under-strength Australian side at the new Perth Stadium, making the hosts slip to 4 for 2 when he removed Travis Head and D’Arcy Short for scores of 1 and 0. Steyn set the tone with match-winning figures of 7-1-18-2, keeping Australia down to 152. Australia ended up losing their seventh successive ODI – their worst streak in history.

Trent Boult

3 for 54 v Pakistan
first ODI, Abu Dhabi




Ross Taylor and Tom Latham had taken New Zealand to 266 in the teeth of an exceptional spell from Shaheen Afridi, after which a probing spell – including a hat-trick – from Boult ripped Pakistan apart in the chase. In the third over, he castled opener Fakhar Zaman, had Babar Azam edging to first slip, and Mohammad Hafeez pinned by an inswinger that struck him in line. The wicket made Boult the third New Zealander to achieve a hat-trick in ODIs, and on the back of his scintillating spell, New Zealand’s 12th successive win against Pakistan was comfortably sealed.

Click here for the ODI batting nominees

Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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