Giant paceman Mohammad Irfan recorded the greatest ever spell of T20 bowling in history.
Opening the bowling for the Barbados Tridents against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at Bridgetown, Barbados, the Pakistan left-arm paceman put his best foot forward to help his side defend their mediocre score of 147. Standing seven foot one inch tall, Irfan sent down 23 dot balls in a row as the Patriots batsmen struggled to lay bat on ball.
Irfan started with two wicket maidens, with Chris Gayle (first ball of the innings) and Evin Lewis both caught behind by Nicholas Pooran to leave the Patriots struggling on 7-2 in the third over. When Brandon King managed a mishit single off the last ball of Irfan’s four-over spell, it was the first runs scored off his bowling.
That single was arguably the first time a Patriots batsman had laid bat on ball off his bowling, as Gayle had gloved a catch to the keeper, while Lewis seemed unhappy to have been given out caught behind.
All things considered, it had been an incredible and truly unforgettable spell of bowling by the Pakistan paceman.
Chris Gayle is turned inside out as Irfan moves one away late, with the batsman gloving a catch to the keeper.
Brandon King slashes at the second ball, there is an appeal for caught behind but he is given not out.
King is beaten by the next four balls.
– Wicket maiden
Leg byes off the first and third balls of the over.
Evin Lewis pulls at the fourth ball and is given out caught behind, but claims not to have edged the ball.
Devon Thomas leaves the fifth ball and is beaten off the last ball.
– Wicket maiden
Devon Thomas is beaten with the first five balls before leaving the last ball of the over.
King misses the first five balls, before toe-ending the last ball to mid-off for a single.
– One run off the over
Irfan finished his power spell of bowling with the astonishing figures of 4-3-1-2 (econ 0.25), including an incredible 23 dot balls.
Disgraced Aussie skipper Steve Smith bowled the next over, and the Patriots wrested back the power by taking 10 runs from the over. Smith first bowled a full toss down legside that ran for four to gift the Patriots five wides, and the next ball he pitched short on off stump, which Thomas slammed for four.
With the chokehold on the Patriots broken, the Tridents couldn’t halt the flow of runs and went on to lose by six wickets with seven balls to spare.
Irfan’s last international outing for Pakistan was on a one-day international against England at Leeds on 1 September, 2016. He has taken 10 Test wickets (four Tests), 83 ODI wickets (60 matches) and 15 T20I wickets (20 matches). He also has 97 T20 wickets under his belt from 86 matches.
Photo: Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images