Suppiah the unlikely record-breaker: Andrew Hignell

With the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Umar Gul and Dirk Nannes appearing this summer in the Friends Life t20, it is the name of one of those international stars which might have been put forward as the bowler most likely to create a new world record in the domestic 20-over competition.

Meanwhile, even the most diehard of Somerset fans might have thought twice before putting up the name of Arul Suppiah as the record breaker, especially given the fact that the Malaysian-born batsman and part-time left-arm spinner only took two wickets in the competition in 2010.

But, on Tuesday July 5 at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff, it was indeed Suppiah who took a world record 6 for 5 against the Glamorgan Dragons as the home side nosedived from 72 for 4 to 98 all out – their second lowest total in the competition. Suppiah entered the attack in the 12th over, and in the course of the next twenty minutes duly created a name for himself in cricket’s history books.

His record-breaking sequence began with a couple of singles before, from his fifth delivery, Chris Cooke chipped the ball to cover. In Suppiah’s next over Jim Allenby was caught at short third man by James Hildreth and, next ball, James Harris edged to Marcus Trescothick at slip.

In his third over, Suppiah struck again as Robert Croft was caught at slip by Trescothick. Simon Jones was then bowled by Suppiah’s next delivery as the Somerset man – the third spinner to appear on the night after Murali Kartik and Max Waller – completed a sequence of five wickets at a cost of just one run from 12 balls.

His efforts meant that Glamorgan were on 91 for 9 with just two overs left in the innings, which because of rain had been reduced to an 18-over-per-side contest. Alex Jones and Dean Cosker duly took the score to 98 before Suppiah claimed his sixth victim with his 22nd and final delivery, with Jones stumped by Jos Buttler as he advanced down the pitch.

Another interesting curio about this game at the Swalec Stadium is that all fifteen wickets in the contest fell to slow bowlers, as besides Suppiah’s six-wicket haul left-armer Kartik and leg spinner Waller also took a pair of wickets each for Somerset, while for Glamorgan veteran off spinner Croft bagged three with left-arm spinner Cosker and off spinner Alviro Petersen also claiming one apiece.

Suppiah’s figures beat the previous best in any Twenty20 cricket worldwide, recorded by Pakistani left-arm paceman Sohail Tanvir who took 6 for 14 for Rajasthan against Chennai at Jaipur in 2008, as well as comfortably beating the previous best in English domestic Twenty20, the 6 for 21 taken by Andrew Hall for Northants Steelbacks against Worcestershire Royals at Northampton in 2008.

About Andrew Hignell

Andrew Hignell was born in Gloucester, but raised and educated in Cardiff. He has supported Glamorgan Cricket since the early 1970s and was appointed the Club’s Statistician in 1982 and since 2004 has been their 1st XI scorer. Andrew has a doctorate in geography and taught for eighteen years before becoming Glamorgan’s scorer. Andrew has written over a dozen books on cricket and he is also the Secretary of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians.
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