T20 cricket has always attracted viewers for its explosive nature as boundaries and runs scored at an exorbitant rate.
Although it has always been known as the game of the batsmen; bowlers do their fair share too. There are many bowling performances that fans enjoyed as much as a good batting performance.
The Financial Express takes a look into some of the best bowling performances ever in the shortest format of the game. The below list is not necessarily ranked best to worst.
Umar Gul - 5/6 vs New Zealand, 2009
Not only this was the first 5-wicket haul in World T20, but also the first 5-wicket haul in T20Is.
In a must-win super 8 game for survival, Gul showcased one of the best exhibitions of reverse swings as the Kiwi batsmen had no clue. He picked up Scott Styris in his first spell and then took care of the whole lower order in his second.
The monstrous performance of 3-0-6-5 restricted the Kiwis on 99 runs and led Pakistan to an easy win.
Ajantha Mendis - 6/8 vs Zimbabwe, 2012
The same as Umar Gul’s one, this was the first 6 wicket-haul in T20Is. In the opening game of the edition, Zimbabwe started good chasing 181.
But then Mendis happened. He took all 4 wickets of the Zimbabwean top order and later picked up 2 more to attain a figure of 4-2-8-6, which was the best bowling figure in T20I for a long time.
Rangana Herath - 5/3 vs New Zealand, 2014
This was a historical bowling spell in Sri-Lankan T20 cricket history. In the unannounced quarter-final against New Zealand at Chattogram, Sri Lanka put up a measly total of 119. They needed something magical to take them to the semis.
And cometh the moment, cometh the man. By taking advantage of the pitch, Herath took the whole Kiwi batting line-up except the openers out of the game.
And what did it cost? 3 runs only. An astonishingly exceptional bowling figure of 3.3-2-3-5 stands out among one of the best bowling performances ever.
James Faulkner - 5/28 vs Pakistan, 2016
In a must-win game to survive, Australia put up 193 runs on the scoreboard. Pakistan was replying well until Faulkner spearheaded through their batting lineup.
He dismissed in-form Sharjeel and well-set Latif and picked up 3 more to secure the win. Although it helped them little in the tournament, the performance can easily make it to the list of top bowling performances.
Mitchell Santner - 4/11 vs India, 2016
In the tournament opener against host and hot-favourite India, 126 was all New Zealand could gather. However, this small score proved to be enough, thanks to some controlled and accurate bowling by the Kiwi spinners.
Santner did the main damage by dismissing Rohit, Raina, Dhoni and Hardik at the cost of only 11 runs, thus making a memorable win for New Zealand.