Best Bowling Figures in T20 Cricket

Syazrul Idrus the Malaysia seamer is the first bowler to take a seven-for in T20Is and also the best figures in all T20 cricket.

Best Bowling Figures in T20 Cricket
Dillip Mohanty

Written by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Fact checked by: Umaima Saeed

(Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2023-12-08

5 minutes read

In the format dominated by the batters due to shortened overs, not just boundaries but excellence with the ball in hand is what makes T20 cricket exciting. A good bowler holds the power to control the proceedings of a match in their team’s favour. Let’s have a look at some of the excellent bowling performances in the history of T20 cricket.

Syazrul Idrus Malaysia Bowler_1.jpeg

BEST BOWLING FIGURES

IN T20 CRICKET

BOWLERFIGURESFORAGAINSTYEARFORMAT
SYAZRUL IDRUS4-1-8-7MALAYSIACHINA2023T20I
COLIN ACKERMANN4-0-18-7LEICESTERSHIREBIRMINGHAM BEARS2019T20
ARUL SUPPIAH3.4-0-5-6SOMERSETGLAMORGAN2011T20
PETER AHO3.4-1-5-6NIGERIASIERRA LEONE2021T20I
SHAKIB AL HASAN4-1-6-6BARBADOS TRIDENTSTRINIDAD & TOBAGO RED STEEL2013T20
LASITH MALINGA4-1-7-6MELBOURNE STARSPERTH SCORCHERS2012T20
KYLE JAMIESON4-0-7-6CANTERBURYAUCKLAND2019T20
DEEPAK CHAHAR3.2-0-7-6INDIABANGLADESH2019T20I
DINESH NAKRANI4-1-7-6UGANDALESOTHO2021T20I
AJANTHA MENDIS4-2-8-6SRI LANKAZIMBABWE2012T20I
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Malaysian medium pacer Syazrul Idrus has the World record for the best bowling figures in T20 cricket. During the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia B Qualifier tournament in July 2023, he dismissed 7 Chinese batters to dismiss them for just 23 in 11.2 overs, later winning the game by 8 wickets.

Idrus bettered Netherlands allrounder Colin Ackermann’s figures of 7-18 that the latter achieved in a T20 Blast fixture back in 2019. Playing for Leicestershire, Ackermann became the first man in the history of T20 cricket to take 7 wickets in an innings. He picked up 3 wickets in an over twice on the way to the magical figures.

Colin Ackermann Leicestershire Bowling.jpegIn the long list of bowlers who have picked 6 wickets in an innings, left-arm spinner Arul Suppiah in 2011, broke Sohail Tanvir’s record for best T20 figures by taking 6 scalps against Glamorgan. Nigerian medium pacer equalled the record against Sierra Leone in 2021.

Bangladesh’s legendary allrounder Shakib Al Hasan took 6 wickets in a Caribbean Premier League fixture back in 2013, Sri Lankan superstar Lasith Malinga in Big Bash League (2012), New Zealand’s premier fast bowler Kyle Jamieson also achieved the feat in 2019 during the domestic T20 competition. Deepak Chahar in the same year achieved the feat for India playing against Bangladesh. Uganda’s Dinesh Nakrani has the best figures for his country with Ajantha Mendis topping the list for Sri Lanka with his 6-wicket haul against Zimbabwe in 2012.

BEST BOWLING FIGURES

IN T20 INTERNATIONALS

BOWLERFIGURESFORAGAINSTYEAR
SYAZRUL IDRUS4-1-8-7MALAYSIACHINA2023
PETER AHO3.4-1-5-6NIGERIASIERRA LEONE2021
DEEPAK CHAHAR3.2-0-7-6INDIABANGLADESH2019
DINESH NAKRANI4-1-7-6UGANDALESOTHO2021
AJANTHA MENDIS4-2-8-6SRI LANKAZIMBABWE2012
JJ SMIT4-1-10-6NAMIBIAUGANDA2022
ABINASH BOHARA3.4-0-11-6NEPALMALDIVES2023
NASRULLA RANA4-1-12-6HONG KONGPAPUA NEW GUINEA2023
AJANTHA MENDIS4-1-16-6SRI LANKAAUSTRALIA2011
OBED MCCOY4-1-17-6WEST INDIESINDIA2022
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In April 2018, ICC granted T20I status to all its member nations creating a huge spike in the number of T20 international fixtures. Malaysia’s Syazrul Idrus has the best-ever bowling figures in the format but it was Ajantha Mendis who back in 2011 became the first bowler to take a 6-wicket haul in T20Is. He repeated the feat next year in the T20 World Cup against Zimbabwe.

Deepak Chahar, the Indian medium pacer was leading the attack in a series decider against Bangladesh at Nagpur when India was defending 174. He broke the back of the Bangladeshi batting order and created history.

Deepak Chahar Bowling T20i.jpegLeft-arm medium pacer, Uganda’s Dinesh Nakrani dismissed 6 Lesotho batters during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Africa Qualifier fixture. In 2022, Namibian allrounder JJ Smit scored 71 in 35 balls batting first and then ran through the Uganda lineup with thrilling figures of 6/10 also taking 2 catches in the game.

Nepal’s Abinash Bohara achieved the feat in the Asian Games Cricket competition held in Guangzhou. Defending a big total of 212 against Maldives, Nepal registered a huge 138-run win. The same year in a tri-series played in Malaysia, Hong Kong’s Nasrulla Rana bowled a remarkable spell of 4-1-12-6 against Papua New Guinea while defending a low score of 89/9. P.N.G snatched victory by just 1 wicket and 8 balls in hand. West Indies’ opening bowler Obed McCoy put the Indian batting order to test taking 6/17 at Basseterre in 2022 in a winning cause.

BEST BOWLING FIGURES

ON T20I DEBUT

BOWLERFIGURESFORAGAINSTYEAR
KHIZAR HAYAT2-0-4-5MALAYSIAHONG KONG2020
ANKUSH NANDA2.3-0-6-5LUXEMBOURGTURKEY2019
ELIAS SUNNY4-1-13-5BANGLADESHIRELAND2012
HASSAN MEHMOOD3.5-0-14-5SWEDENDENMARK2021
REO SAKURANO-THOMAS4-0-17-5JAPANINDONESIA2022
GHULAM AHMADI4-2-5-4GERMANYNORWAY2021
BURHAN NIAZ4-1-8-4BELGIUMMALTA2021
BARINDER SRAN4-0-10-4INDIAZIMBABWE2016
NOOR AHMAD4-0-10-4AFGHANISTANZIMBABWE2022
MINIRU KPAKA4-0-11-4SIERRA LEONENIGERIA2021
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Malaysian off-spinner Khizar Hayat has the best bowling figures on his T20I debut as he became the third bowler to take a fifer on debut after Bangladesh’s Elias Sunny, Luxembourg’s Ankish Nanda and Swedish Hassan Mehmood. Japan’s Reo Sakurano-Thomas is the latest bowler to achieve the feat in 2022.

Khizar Hayat Malaysia Bowler.jpeg

Another off-spinner, Germany’s Ghulam Ahmadi had a brilliant start to his career with 2 maidens and 4 wickets against Norway in 2021. Ahmadi became only the third bowler in the world to bowl 2 maidens on debut.

Belgium’s fast bowler Burhan Niaz was just 17 years old when he made his debut and picked up 4 wickets against Malta in 2021. Indian left-arm seamer Barinder Sran also had a dream debut against Zimbabwe in 2016 when he and Jasprit Bumrah put a complete stop to the Zimbabwean batter’s scoring rate and kept the total down to 99/9 with the Indian openers chasing the total down without a dent inside 14 overs.

Afghanistan’s teenage sensation Noor Ahmad also got off with flying colors against Zimbabwe taking 4 wickets in a series dead rubber where the Afghan atalan defended 125 runs thanks to Noor’s effort. Miniru Kpaka from Sierra Leone bowled the first change on debut and dismissed 4 Nigerian batters to take his team to victory.

BEST BOWLING FIGURES

IN T20 CRICKET BY INDIAN BOWLERS

BOWLERFIGURESFORAGAINSTYEARFORMAT
DEEPAK CHAHAR3.2-0-7-6INDIABANGLADESH2019T20I
ARZAN NAGWASWALLA4-2-13-6GUJARATRAILWAYS2023T20
RAVI TEJA4-0-13-6HYDERABADCHHATTISGARH2023T20
DEEPAK PUNIA4-1-14-6SERVICESHARYANA2015T20
SWAPNIL SINGH4-0-19-6BARODASAURASHTRA2015T20
ARZAN NAGWASWALLA3.3-0-19-6GUJARATMAHARASHTRA2021T20
VENKATESH IYER4-0-20-6MADHYA PRADESHRAJASTHAN2022T20
RISHI DHAWAN3.5-0-23-6HIMACHAL PRADESHJAMMU & KASHMIR2021T20
YUZVENDRA CHAHAL4-0-25-6INDIAENGLAND2017T20I
RASIKH SALAM4-0-31-6JAMMU & KASHMIRCHHATTISGARH2023T20
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Right-arm medium pacer Deepak Punia became the first Indian to take 6 wickets in a T20 playing for Services against Haryana in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament on March 26, 2015. The very next day, Baroda’s Swapnil Singh became the 2nd Indian to take a 6-wicket haul with his magical performance against Saurashtra in the same tournament.

Yuzvendra Chahal Bowling_1.jpegIn 2017, leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal playing in familiar conditions at Bangalore picked up 6 wickets against a strong England lineup. It is the first-ever 6-wicket haul for India in the format. Deepak Chahar later repeated this against Bangladesh in 2019 and has the best T20 figures for any Indian bowler.

Himachal Pradesh allrounder Rishi Dhawan also achieved the feat in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy with Gujarat bowler Arzan Nagwaswalla also repeating the feat in the same season.
In the next season of the tournament, Madhya Pradesh and India all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer achieved the feat as the seventh bowler of the team against Rajasthan. In the current season (2023/24) two more Indians have added their names to the list with Jammu & Kashmir pacer Rasikh Salam taking 6 wickets against Chhattisgarh, Hyderabad’s T Ravi Teja also picked up a 6-wicket haul against the same opposition.

Gujarat’s Nagwaswalla created history becoming the only Indian bowler to take 6 wickets in an innings twice. He is also only the third bowler in the world after Shakib Al Hasan and Ajantha Mendis to achieve the remarkable record.

BEST BOWLING FIGURES

IN T20 WORLD CUP MATCHES

BOWLERFIGURESFORAGAINSTYEAR
AJANTHA MENDIS4-2-8-6SRI LANKAZIMBABWE2012
RANGANA HERATH3.3-2-3-5SRI LANKANEW ZEALAND2014
UMAR GUL3-0-6-5PAKISTANNEW ZEALAND2009
SAM CURRAN3.4-0-10-5ENGLANDAFGHANISTAN2022
AHSAN MALIK4-0-19-5NETHERLANDSSOUTH AFRICA2014
ADAM ZAMPA4-0-19-5AUSTRALIABANGLADESH2021
MUJEEB UR RAHMAN4-0-20-5AFGHANISTANSCOTLAND2021
MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN4-0-22-5BANGLADESHNEW ZEALAND2016
JAMES FAULKNER4-0-27-5AUSTRALIAPAKISTAN2016
LASITH MALINGA4-0-31-5SRI LANKAENGLAND2012
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The T20 World Cup, a biennial event is the pinnacle of T20 international cricket as the best teams in the world compete for the coveted title. Giving a match-winning performance is a dream for every bowler.

Ajantha Mendis leads this chart as well being the only bowler to take 6 wickets in an innings, a feat. he achieved against Zimbabwe playing in the home World T20 in 2012. Two other Sri Lankans have their names etched in the list with Rangana Herath and Lasith Malinga having fine fifers against big teams New Zealand and England respectively.

Ajantha Mendis Sri Lanka Bowler.jpegPakistani fast bowler Umar Gul bowled his heart out in the 2009 World T20 taking 5 wickets against New Zealand. It was the first-ever 5-wicket haul in the tournament’s history. He also finished as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament taking Pakistan to their first and only T20 World Cup title.

Ahsan Malik’s five wickets against South Africa from the 2014 edition are the best bowling figures by a player from any associate nation in the T20 World Cup. Two left-arm seamers – Mustafizur Rahman and James Faulkner were the only bowlers to take a fifer in the 2016 edition. If 2016 belonged to the pacers, then the next edition played in 2021 had two spinners namely Adam Zampa and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to take 5 wickets in an inning. The 2022 edition saw eventual champion England’s left-arm seamer take a fifer against Afghanistan.

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Dillip Mohanty

Dillip Mohanty

Dillip has over two decades of experience in creating sports content. As the Sports Editor of SportsBoom, Dillip brings in a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Dillip has worked with leading sports broadcasters and sports web content portals in Asia. He is an adept storyteller and has a special liking for data stories. He has a keen interest in data analysis and uncovering insights from large datasets. He loves to tell the story with rich and compelling data visualisation.

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