Leicester, Aug 8: Leicestershire captain Colin Ackermann, a batting
all-rounder, spun webs around the Birmingham Bears batsmen to register
the first seven-wicket haul in Twenty20 cricket, in a T20 Blast game here. Ackermann created history with his off-breaks that accounted for seven Birmingham batsmen for the cost of just 18 runs on Wednesday.
The South African introduced himself into the attack in the third over of Birmingham's chase of 190, and made an immediate impact by getting rid of Michael Burgress for 10, but his real heroics came in the 14th and 16th overs of the game, when he snared six wickets to send the visiting side crashing from 118/3 to 134/9. Ackermann's victims included Will Rhodes, Liam Banks, Alex Thomson, Sam Hain, Henry Brookes and Jeetan Patel.
His seventh wicket helped him surpass Malaysia's Arul Suppiah, the previous record-holder for the best figures in T20 cricket, who took 6/5 for Somerset against Glamorgan in 2011, an ICC report said. Ackermann himself was in disbelief at the enormity of what he'd achieved. "Never in a million years did I expect to set a bowling record – I'm a batting all-rounder," he exclaimed after his side wrapped up a 55-run win.
"It was the first time it has turned at Grace Road, so I tried to use my height
and get a bit of bounce. Even if it turns a couple of centimetres, it's an
advantage. I tried to get the batters to hit into the biggest part of the field into
the wind and just mix my pace up a little," he said. Jeetan Patel, the opposition captain and an experienced off-spinner himself, heaped praise on Ackermann.
"It was a fantastic performance," Patel said. "The little bit of spin that he could get, and from the height that he has, it becomes very hard for the batters. But you can’t take away from what a great spell of bowling it was or the performance from Leicestershire." Patel himself didn't enjoy a good outing, getting hit for 42 runs in three overs,
without a wicket against his name.
"He hit a better length for longer than me and asked the ball to do stuff, whereas my own bowling was a little bit too full and a bit predictable," he said. "It was my spell that probably put them in the ascendancy." (UNI)