ESPNcricinfo Awards 2012 ODI bowling nominees: Narine puzzles, Perera strikes
6 for 44 vs Pakistan
second ODI, Pallekele
Perera's six-wicket haul helped Sri Lanka level the series. His efforts were all the more special because four of those wickets were of top-order batsmen; and one of them was a spectacular caught-and-bowled. In the process, he bagged the overall best bowling figures against Pakistan in one-dayers.
5 for 27 vs New Zealand
fifth ODI, Basseterre
Narine showed his temperament was as notable as his variations, spooking the New Zealand batsmen in the closing stages to engineer another West Indies victory. West Indies were defending 241 but Narine made it seem like 341, spinning webs around the New Zealand batsmen, giving away only 27 runs in his ten overs and taking five wickets.
5 for 28 vs Sri Lanka
CB Series, third final, Adelaide
An unwavering spell from McKay delivered the CB Series trophy to Australia in a tense final against Sri Lanka. As the injured captain Michael Clarke watched intently from the boundary's edge, McKay nipped out two of Sri Lanka's top four inside the first ten overs. McKay's figures were his best in international cricket, and they went a long way towards making sure Australia won the triangular series for the first time since 2005-06.
5 for 33 vs India
CB Series, Brisbane
Hilfenhaus played his first ODI in more than two years and made India's powerful top order wobble when he got rid of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli cheaply. Moving the ball at a good pace on a tight line, he then took three more to deliver a resounding win for Australia and take five wickets in an ODI for the first time.
5 for 42 vs Pakistan
first ODI, Sharjah
Starc ran through Pakistan's middle order and restricted them to 198, dismissing three of the four batsmen who made good starts. (And all his five victims were batsmen or batting allrounders.) After James Pattinson removed the openers, Starc made sure none of the Pakistan batsmen settled down: only four of them reached double figures, and Pakistan were all out in the 46th over.
4 for 29 vs West Indies
first ODI, Khulna
Making his ODI debut against a potent West Indies batting line-up, Gazi took the wickets of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, to follow up an impressive start to his Test career. Even though West Indies never looked set for a huge total, the spinners, led by Gazi, confined the visitors to 199.
4 for 27 vs Australia
second ODI, Kingstown
Narine's crafty spin guided West Indies to their first ODI victory over Australia since 2006, in a rain-affected match. His spin was tidy and intelligent, and his offbreaks received plenty of assistance from the pitch. In only his fifth ODI, Narine delivered a match-winning spell, which included the wickets of the Hussey brothers and Matthew Wade.
4 for 32 v Australia
second ODI, Abu Dhabi
Ajmal's dexterous bowling got him four big wickets and Pakistan a seven-wicket win. David Warner scratched around for 24 before Ajmal had him lbw. David Hussey was gone for a duck before he could understand the nature of the pitch. Michael Hussey anchored the innings till the 45th over but Ajmal got him bowled. And he then got Glenn Maxwell, who had hit two sixes, out stumped.
4 for 34 vs Pakistan
first ODI, Abu Dhabi
It can't be easy to pick up wickets in the first match you play on a tour after carrying drinks through a Test series, but Finn did, putting weeks of inactivity behind him to settle the first ODI of the series. He made full use of the assistance provided by evening conditions and a fresh breeze under the floodlights in an incisive new-ball burst of 4 for 20 in six overs. He took the first four Pakistani wickets, sending them slumping to 40 for 4, which more or less sealed England's victory.
4 for 42 vs Pakistan
fourth ODI, R Premadasa Stadium
Sri Lanka scored 243 in 50 overs and Pakistan were 176 for 4 at the end of 40 overs, and favourites to take the series lead. Then Perera intervened, replacing Nuwan Kulasekara, produced a hat-trick out of nowhere, and the match was over in the next four overs. He got the wickets of Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Sarfraz Ahmed, ran out Sohail Tanvir, and had Saeed Ajmal caught to wrap up proceedings.
Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo