35-year-old Ex-RCB and KKR pacer becomes first player to reach 150 T20I wickets
His record now stands at an impressive 151 wickets in 118 T20I matches, with an exceptional bowling average of 22.96.
New Zealand's seasoned pacer Tim Southee has etched his name into the annals of cricket history as on January 12, at Auckland's Eden Park, Southee achieved a monumental feat in the cricket world by becoming the first-ever cricketer to claim 150 wickets in the T20 International (T20I) format.
This historic achievement came during the first T20I match against Pakistan, propelling New Zealand to a commanding 46-run victory and setting the tone for the five-match series.
The 35-year-old right-arm pacer's journey to this landmark was nothing short of spectacular. In a match-winning spell, Southee claimed four crucial wickets for just 25 runs in four overs, demonstrating his prowess and experience in the shortest format of the game. His remarkable ability to strike at crucial moments was evident as he first dismissed Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed, and later returned to take two more wickets in the 18th over, including debutant Abbas Afridi, marking his 150th T20I wicket.
Southee's record now stands at an impressive 151 wickets in 118 T20I matches, with an exceptional bowling average of 22.96 and an economy rate of 8.11, including two five-wicket hauls. This milestone places him ahead of renowned international players like Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh and Afghanistan's Rashid Khan in the T20I wicket-takers list.
Tim Southee will be key for the Kiwis in the near future
The match itself was a testament to New Zealand's cricketing prowess, with contributions from Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell complementing Southee's efforts. The Black Caps set a daunting target of 227 runs for Pakistan. Despite a spirited chase led by former Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who scored a brisk 57 from 35 balls, the visitors could not overcome the challenge posed by New Zealand's bowling attack.
Southee's achievement is not just a personal milestone but also a reflection of New Zealand's strength in the shorter formats of the game. His journey in T20Is has been marked by consistent performances and an ability to adapt to different conditions and opponents, making him one of the most feared bowlers in the format.
As the series progresses, Southee's role will be crucial for New Zealand, especially with the T20 World Cup on the horizon. His experience and skill will be vital for the team's success in the upcoming matches and beyond. Tim Southee's journey to 150 T20I wickets is a story of dedication, skill, and an undying passion for the game, inspiring a generation of cricketers and leaving an indelible mark in cricket history.