Bowlers in T20: The Impact Makers

A look at the top impact makers with the ball across all T20 cricket.



3 Highest Impact T20 International Bowling performances (Match Context):

These memorable performances are only within a match context.

1) TG Southee, 5-18 in 4 overs v Pakistan in Auckland, 2010 – Bowling IMPACT 8.78


New Zealand thrashed Pakistan in a T20 series in their backyard 3-0 (all with big margins) and in the first match, Pakistan had an excellent start – they were 51-1 after 5 overs and looked set to put on a big score. Yorker-specialist Tim Southee came on, and had taken 3 wickets before his second over was finished. By the time his spell was completed, he had taken two more wickets and given away hardly anything - Pakistan were 75-6 – all advantage gone. They managed 143 eventually but the Kiwis won comfortably by 5 wickets.

2) SJ Benn, 4-6 in 4 overs v Zimbabwe in Trinidad, 2010 – Bowling IMPACT 8.34


In the sole T20I of the Zimbabwe tour of West Indies in 2010, West Indies opened with left-arm orthodox bowler Sulaiman Benn, and Zimbabwe were soon 0-3, then 11-4 – all wickets taken by Benn (who finished for 4-6 eventually). Zimbabwe stuttered to 105 and then…guess what? A bizarre batting display saw West Indies just manage 79-7 in 20 overs, and Zimbabwe won by 26 runs. The Zimbabwe spinners actually outclassed the West Indian batsmen on a two-paced pitch, despite Benn’s amazing figures.

3) DL Vettori, 3-6 in 4 overs v Bangladesh in Hamilton, 2010 – Bowling IMPACT 8.14


In the only T20I of Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand in 2010, Bangladesh were 39-2 after 6 overs when Vettori came on. In the three overs he bowled consecutively, he changed the game, as Bangladesh were left reeling at 53-5 after 11 overs. Eventually, Bangladesh managed 78 and New Zealand finished off the match in their 9th over, winning by 10 wickets.

The following are the five highest impact bowlers in T20 Domestic matches across the world.


Sunil Narine – Currently making a serious mark in the IPL for KKR, 23-year-old Trini – Sunil Narine is actually the highest impact bowler in T20 domestic history (whatever the sample sizes of this format allow us to determine). Highly proficient in choking runs and squeezing out wickets from that.
Cliffe Deacon – The only fast-medium bowler in this highest impact list, this 31-year-old South African who plays predominantly for Eagles, has been surprisingly (or perhaps not that surprisingly) overlooked by the IPL.

Ganesh Gaikwad
– Pune Warriors had him last year but he has not played IPL yet. His ability to choke runs while picking a reasonable amount of wickets was on display in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy over the last three seasons. At 24, surely his career should just be beginning.

Devendra Bishoo
– The most lethal wicket-taker in T20 domestic cricket – this 26-year-old legbreak bowler from Guyana is another one whom IPL franchises should be falling over each other to sign up.

Samuel Badree – The most economical T20 domestic bowler by a distance. Not surprisingly again, yet to play in the IPL. Not a prolific wicket-taker but a perfect example of how that doesn’t matter that much in this format of the game.

It is indeed very interesting that 3 of the 5 highest impact T20 domestic bowlers in the world today are West Indian spinners. A sign of how thought-processes might have dramatically changed in the Caribbean in a very short span.

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