The Best T20 Bowler
Umar Gul, the hero for Pakistan in the T20I World Cup 2009, recently bid farewell from all-formats of cricket after his team Balochistan’s elimination during the National T20 Cup that took place in Pakistan. He is considered to be the best T20 fast bowler for Pakistan till now. Moreover, he still ranks number 1 in ICC all time T20 rankings for the bowlers.
Also, Read – Picking Pakistan’s All-Time Test XI
However, Umar Gul best performance in T20 format was during the T20I World Cup of 2009, where he led the Pakistan’s bowling unit in the absence of Muhammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar and steered Pakistan to their only T20 World Cup title. In that World Cup edition, Umar Gul achieved some staggering stats:
Umar Gul was the top wicket-taker in 2009 T20 World Cup edition where he took 13 wickets in 7 games that he played for Pakistan. He was also the top wicket-taker for Pakistan in 2007 T20I World Cup edition. This depicts his consistency and prowess as a bowler in T20 format. Additionally, most of the wicket which he took during his T20I career are through Lbw and Bowled.
During the T20I World Cup 2009, Umar Gul conceded runs with a mere economy rate of 6.44, which is a special figure considering the fact that he used to deliver his 4 overs spell in the final overs of the match when batsman try to hit every delivery out of the park. However, his ability to ball yorker at will did not allow the batsmen to free their arms and score easily.
Among the fast bowlers who played at least two games in the T20I World Cup 2009, his strike rate was the second best with the figure of 11.3, only below LPM Simmons from Windies who had a strike rate of 6. This represents how threatening Umar Gul was for the batsmen during T20I World Cup 2009.
5 wickets haul
He was the only bowler in 2009 T20 World Cup to take 5 wickets in an innings. Umar Gul took five wickets against New Zealand while conceding only 6 runs in his 3 overs and was awarded the player of the match in that game. Taking 5 wickets in just 18 balls is undoubtedly some bowling figures.
He also had another 5 wickets haul against South Africa in 2013 T20I match where he took 5 wickets in only 2.2 overs or 14 balls!
In the World Cup 2007, Pakistan remained short of becoming the T20I champion by the margin of one boundary. However, Pakistan became T20I champion in the very next edition of year 2009 T20I World Cup. This could not have been achieved without the remarkable bowling performance by Umar Gul who was the top wicket-taker in both editions of 2007 and 2009. However, his career could have seen many more achievements like these in all-formats, had his injury in 2012 not surfaced. Nevertheless, he still is one of the best T20 bowlers till now.
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