By Kshvid News Desk
Barring a couple of games, it is safe to say that the 2022 Asia Cup has belonged to the batters. Pretty much like every other T20 tournament around the world, big totals have been posted and chased down successfully by the teams. But that didn’t stop some of the best bowlers in the world in the shortest format from lighting up the tournament with some magnificent bowling displays.
Here, we take a look at the four best spells, not in any particular order, to have been bowled in the 2022 Asia Cup. Once again, rather than looking at the wickets taken and runs conceded, the amount of impact it had on the outcome of the game will be given precedence.
Fazalhaq Farooqi – 3/11 vs Sri Lanka
One of the lesser talked about spells in this tournament was that of Fazal Farooqi against Sri Lanka in the opening game. The Afghanistan fast bowler took a superb 3/11 from his 3.4 overs against the eventual champions of the competition.
Farooqi opened the bowling for the Afghans and provided the breakthrough in the very first over of the game. He trapped Kusal Mendis leg before on the 5th ball of the over with a beautiful in-swinger. Although the umpire gave it not out initially, Afghanistan took a good review and overturned the decision.
The left-arm fast bowler once again found vicious swing from the surface and dismissed Charitha Asalanka the very next delivery with a big booming inswinger to make it two wickets in two balls. He came back in the last over to pick up the wicket of the set Chamika Karunaratne. His spell was the starting point in what was a decent campaign for Afghanistan.
Shadab Khan – 4/8 vs Hong Kong
Pakistan and Shadab Khan had a field day with both bat and ball against minnows Hong Kong in their group stage encounter. Shadab finished with scarcely believable figures of 4/8 in his 2.4 overs.
The leg-spinner came into the attack only in the 7th over, by which time Hong Kong lost their top three. Shadab put the associate nation in further trouble as he picked up a wicket on only his second ball, shattering the stumps of Aizaz Khan with a wrong-un.
In his second over, he bowled Arshad Mohammad with another wrong-un. He didn’t let the Hong Kong tail last long as he came back and picked up two wickets to end the innings.
Hardik Pandya – 3/25 vs Pakistan
Hardik Pandya displayed one of the best all-round performances by an Indian in recent memory and showed why he is an integral part of the setup. Playing it against arch-rivals Pakistan was even more joyous for the Indian fans as Hardik took 3/25.
India needed a wicket as there was a good partnership building between Rizwan and Iftikhar and Hardik was on hand to provide it as he sent back Iftikhar. In his next over, he came back to dismiss the set Mohammad Rizwan with a short ball. His third casualty was the left-hander Kushdil Shah as he hit one straight to deep point.
Hardik knew the pitch had extra bounce when bowled short, which played to his strengths and he employed it pretty well, getting all his wickets with the same delivery. He broke the back of Pakistan’s middle-order with three crucial wickets while he finished off the game with the bat as well, hitting the winning runs for India.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 5/4 vs Afghanistan
Bhuvneshwar had a pretty tough time in the Asia Cup, particularly at the death. But he was as brilliant as ever in the powerplay, which was evident in India’s victory over Afghanistan in the Super 4. Bhuvneshwar took astonishing figures of 5/4 in his four overs.
He dismissed Hazratullah Zazai for a duck on the 4th ball of the innings, beating the batsman with the incoming delivery and trapping him in front of the stumps. His second wicket on the last ball of the over was the best of the match as he castled Rahmanullah Gurbaz with another inswinger that swung a mile to rattle the stumps.
Kumar was also among the wickets in his second over, finding the outside edge of Karim Janat, who edged it to Kohli at slip. he picked up his fourth wicket in the same over, trapping Najibullah Zadran plumb in front. He picked up another wicket in his next over to complete his 5-fer. It was truly an exhibition of pure swing bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar as he finished as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker.
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