T20I cricket is a fast-paced game. Often a contest between a batter and an opposition bowler defines the game’s result. Since it is a 20-over game, batters always look for scoring opportunities right from the first ball. One bad over can ruin the bowling figures of a bowler. But Afghanistan has recently produced world-class bowlers who have made their mark on the international T20 platform. Let us have a look at the Top 10 Bowling Figures by Afghanistan Bowlers in T20I-
1. Rashid Khan (2-1-3-5)
Rashid Khan produced one of the most magical bowling spells against Ireland in 2017 in Greater Noida. Batting first, Afghanistan rode on Najeeb Tarakai’s 90 to post 184/8. In the 2nd innings, the Irish batters were completely choked by Rashid. He took 5 wickets in the space of 10 balls to end up with the figures of 5/3 in 2 overs, including a triple-wicket maiden.
2. Karim Janat (4-0-11-5)
In the 2nd T20I against the defending T20 World Champions West Indies in 2019 in Lucknow, Afghanistan didn’t have many runs on the board. They managed to crawl to 147/7 in 20 overs. In the 2nd innings, medium-pacer Karim Janat completely outfoxed the West Indians. He never allowed any opposition batter to get going and ended up taking 5 wickets in exchange for just 11 runs.
3. Samiullah Shinwari (4-0-13-5)
In 2013, Afghanistan played against Kenya in a World T20 Qualifier match in Sharjah. Batting first, Noor Ali Zadran and Najibullah Zadran helped Afghanistan post 148/9 and gave their bowlers something to defend. But Samiullah Shinwari was going to do something to prove this total enough. With his Right-Arm Leg-Break, he accounted for 5 Kenyan batters and recorded the figures of 5/13 in 4 overs. Undoubtedly, he was declared the Man of the Match.
4. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (4-0-20-5)
In the T20 World Cup 2021 match, Scottish batters had no answers to Mujeeb’s bowls and were dismissed as a pack of cards. Batting first, Afghanistan piled up 190/4. In the 2nd innings, Mujeeb got rid of 4 top-order batters and then got Mark Watt out bowled to claim 5 for 20 in 4 overs. For his spell, he was given the Man of the Match award.
5. Rashid Khan (4-0-27-5)
Rashid Khan has surely graduated from Hogwarts School sometime in his life. Against Ireland in Dehradun in 2019, he produced another merciless spell, probably a once-in-a-lifetime spell. Batting first, Afghanistan rode on Mohammad Nabi’s blitz to post 210/7. In the 2nd innings, Rashid Khan took 5 wickets in 9 balls. What’s noteworthy is that he took a double-hattrick (4 wickets in 4 consecutive balls) split into two overs to become the first one to do so in T20I.
6. Rashid Khan (2.2-0-9-4)
Rashid Khan again did what he does best – making a joke out of the opposite batters. In the match against Scotland in the 2021 T20 World Cup, Afghanistan posted 190/4 after batting first. Rashid Khan then joined Mujeeb Ur Rahman in destroying the Scottish batters. Rashid picked up 4 opposition batters in exchange for just 9 runs. He shared 9 wickets with Mujeeb.
7. Mohammad Nabi (2.2-0-10-4)
Every time Afghanistan plays against Ireland, Mohammad Nabi has to do something special. In the Desert T20 Challenge Final 2017 in Dubai, Ireland elected to bat first after winning the toss. But they soon found Nabi all over them as he picked up 4 wickets (including those of dangerous William Porterfield and Paul Stirling) for 10 runs in 2.2 overs to skittle out Ireland on a meager 71. Afghan openers completed the formality to win the final by 10 wickets.
8. Rashid Khan (4-0-12-4)
Rashid Khan was on fire again, this time against Bangladesh in Dehradun in 2018. Bangladesh won the toss and decided to set the target. They didn’t know that they were opening Pandora’s box. Rashid Khan tormented Bangladesh batters and picked up 4 of them, giving just 12 runs. In the process, he also took 3 wickets in 5 balls. Bangladesh was stopped at 134/8. Afghanistan eventually won the match by 6 wickets and 7 balls to spare.
9. Samiullah Shinwari (4-0-14-4)
Samiullah Shinwari was at his best against Canada in 2012 in Dubai. Batting first, Shinwari smashed a 34-ball-61 (6x4, 3x6). Afghanistan posted a competitive 174/8. In the 2nd innings, Shinwari took the job in his hand and blew away the Canada middle-order as he registered the figures of 4/14 in 4 overs.
10. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (4-0-15-4)
In a game against Bangladesh in 2019 in Dhaka, Mohammad Nabi smashed an unbeaten 54-ball-84 to help Afghanistan post 164/6. Mujeeb took the reins of the match from Nabi and then dictated the proceedings, as he got rid of 4 opposition batters, conceding just 15 runs in 4 overs. Afghanistan prevailed by 25 runs.