Asian cricket fans are always blessed to witness a new bowling sensation during every edition of the Asia Cup. Similarly, we have come up with 10 of those outstanding bowlers who took the most wickets in Asia Cup 2023. A significant testing task for the bowlers was the occasional rain in Sri Lanka during the match, which could lead to injury concerns.
Nonetheless, let us put light on the Asia Cup 2023 best bowlers!
Top 10 Bowlers Who Took Most Wickets in Asia Cup 2023
Here’s the table that includes the top 10 bowlers who were part of the most wickets in Asia Cup 2023:
|Bowler||Country||Matches Played||Maidens||Wickets Taken||Best Figures||Economy||Average||Strike rate|
|Matheesha Pathirana||Sri Lanka||6||1||11||4/32||6.61||24.54||22.27|
|Dunith Wellalage||Sri Lanka||6||2||10||5/40||4.26||17.9||25.2|
|Shaheen Shah Afrid||Pakistan||5||3||10||4/35||5.73||23.5||24.6|
|Maheesh Theekshana||Sri Lanka||5||1||8||3/69||5.15||29.12||33.87|
Let’s break down the performance of these 10 bowlers in the recently concluded Asia Cup:
1. Matheesha Pathirana
Sri Lanka’s young rising star, Pathirana, is a T20 specialist who played in significant T20 leagues like IPL. Without premium fast bowlers like Chameera and Kumara, Pathirana had a huge responsibility to lead the Lankan bowling unit.
A genuine wicket-taker didn’t disappoint as Matheesha topped the list of bowlers who took the most wickets in Asia Cup 2023. Despite economy on the higher side (6.61), he gave his captain crucial wickets in the middle overs and at the death.
He took 11 wickets in 6 innings, with his best figures (4/32) coming against Bangladesh during the Group B encounter.
2. Mohammad Siraj
The rise of Mohammad Siraj in ODI cricket has been praiseworthy. His consistent, economical spells throughout Asia Cup 2023 allowed other bowlers to take wickets when batters were in charge.
During Asia Cup 2023, Siraj maintained an exceptional economy (4.63) and an outstanding strike rate (12.20). The best of Siraj came in the all-important Asia Cup 2023 final, where he destroyed Sri Lankan batters through his classic seam swing.
He registered figures of 6/21 as Sri Lankans were bowled for a mere 50 runs on the board. Siraj’s 10 wickets in 5 innings made him a vital player for India during the Asia Cup 2023.
3. Dunith Wellalage
It was up to Sri Lanka’s young left-arm spinner Wellalage to step up for his country without reliable Hasaranga. Wellalage stamped his authority during the Super 4s encounter against the mighty Indian side. Though in a losing cause, his all-round performance (5/40: bowling figures, 42* runs off 46 balls) made him the Player of the Match.
He had a fantastic economy (4.26) and a sound average (17.90) during Asia Cup 2023. He got wickets of world-ruling batters like Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, and Babar Azam in his first-ever international tournament.
With Hasranaga’s inclusion for World Cup 2023 still unsure, Sri Lanka can count on Wellalage as their leading man.
4. Shaheen Shah Afridi
Pakistan star Shaheen Afridi is the best new ball bowler in the world. Cricket fans wholeheartedly watch his initial spell as his in-swingers do the talking. His best figure, 4/35, came against India in a wash-out Group A match. Shaheen was nearly unplayable as he controlled his seam swing substantially.
Alas! Shaheen lost his bowling partners Naseem and Haris due to injury. Therefore, his marathon effort against Sri Lanka during Super 4s proved second-best as Pakistan failed to reach another Asia Cup final. Shaheen ended the Asia Cup 2023 campaign with 10 wickets.
5. Kuldeep Yadav
Indian wizard Kuldeep Yadav was ready to play his first major tournament after being left out of Asia Cup 2022 and T20 World Cup 2022. His magical spell against arch-rivals Pakistan destroyed Pakistani batters as they were bowled out for just 128 runs.
During Asia Cup 2023, Kuldeep had the best economy (3.61), the lowest average (11.44), and a brilliant strike rate (19.00). Thus, seeing him in the list of bowlers who took the most wickets in Asia Cup 2023 is not surprising. Kuldeep’s form is pivotal to the Indian cause as the World Cup 2023 approaches.
6. Haris Rauf
Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf is improving regularly, especially after becoming a good-length bowling expert. Haris is one of the fastest bowlers in the world and, resultantly, had one of the best strike rates (16.66) and average (13.33).
It took Haris Rauf only 4 innings to take 9 wickets. After an embarrassing defeat against India in Super 4s, Rauf suffered an injury and was ruled out of the Asia Cup 2023. With him and Naseem not in playing 11 for the last Super 4s encounter, Pakistan could not restrict Sri Lankan batters despite giving a challenging target of 252 in 42 overs.
7. Taskin Ahmed
Since remodeling his action, Taskin Ahmed has been a different beast in limited-overs cricket. He bowls quick and challenging lines & length that can trouble any batter. Bangladeshi quickly took 9 wickets in 4 innings, making him a worthy candidate in the chart of bowlers who grasped the most wickets in Asia Cup 2023.
Taskin’s best bowling figures (4/44) came against Afghanistan during a Group B match in a high-scoring game. He had a satisfactory strike rate (22.33) and a sound average (19.11) right through the tournament.
8. Maheesh Theekshana
Theekshana was the only front-line Sri Lankan bowler in the playing 11 as his other partners were injured. Theekshana led the Sri Lankan bowling attack from the front and took critical wickets during Asia Cup 2023. He took 8 wickets at an economy rate of 5.15.
Even with a hamstring injury, Maheesh continued to bowl in a do-and-die game against Pakistan during Super 4s, which ultimately proved vital to Sri Lanka’s road to the final. 1/42 bowling figures in 9 overs aided Sri Lanka to restrict Pakistan on a batting pitch.
9. Shoriful Islam
Left-arm fast bowler Shoriful Islam has been a new addition to Bangladesh’s bowling attack. He is the preferred new ball bowler for his side. He took 7 wickets in 4 matches. Shoriful’s better line and length bowling helped him to sustain brilliant economy (4.51) and average (18.71).
During an essential Group B encounter against Afghanistan, he registered bowling figures of 3/36 in 9 overs on the batting paradise pitch at Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore. He could swing the ball during his initial spell and presented his captain with the necessary wickets during the middle phase of the innings.
10. Naseem Shah
Next comes Naseem Shah, who has been the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan since making a debut in limited-overs cricket in the previous Asia Cup. Naseem is an undisputed wicket-taker who can swing the ball both ways at will.
Had he not encountered a shoulder injury, he could have comfortably finished above in this list of bowlers who took the most wickets in Asia Cup 2023. Naseem’s outswingers and inswingers were troublesome for Indian batters during the Group A game, as he completed his bowling spell with 3/36 figures. Hopefully, he will be back for the World Cup 2023 as cricket fans await his classical swing bowling.
Sri Lanka’s Matheesha Pathirana got the most wickets (11) in the Asia Cup 2023. The top 10 wicket-takers of the tournament include 3 from Pakistan, 3 from Sri Lanka, 2 from India, and 2 from Bangladesh.
The bowlers list with the most wickets in Asia Cup 2023 includes 7 fast bowlers and 3 quality spinners. Mohammad Siraj had the best bowling figures (6/21) and strike rate (15.80), while his countryman, Kuldeep Yadav, had the best bowling average (11.44).