The 2015 Cricket World Cup has given us some memorable moments to cherish    Getty Images
The 2015 Cricket World Cup has given us some memorable moments to cherish Getty Images

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 might have had a bit of an anti-climactic ending, but there were numerous unforgettable instances throughout the tournament. Shiamak Unwalla picks the 10 most memorable moments of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: The CricketCountry XI

1. Shapoor Zadran hits a boundary to win Afghanistan their first World Cup match: In what was undeniably the most romantic moment of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Afghanistan were down and out at 97 for seven before Samiullah Shenwari played one of the finest innings of the 2015 World Cup to score 96. He was out with 19 runs still needed to win. Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan hung on for dear life, before Shapoor hit the winning boundary in the final over to award Afghanistan their maiden World Cup win. Afghanistan erupted in joy, and the cricketing world erupted with them. READ: An interview with an Afghanistan cricket fan

Afghanistan were not strangers to offering some memorable moments in the World Cup either; Hassan’s famous “Rambo” look and his so-bad-it’s-good cartwheels at taking a wicket became the talking point of Afghanistan’s bowling; as did Shapoor’s marathon run-up, hair billowing in the breeze. All these little quirks left an endearing mark in the hearts of millions of fans, both Afghans, and otherwise. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Top five controversies

2. Kane Williamson wins Chappell-Hadlee Trophy with a one-wicket win and a six: The first match that New Zealand and Australia played against each other was not just a World Cup match; the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy was also on the line. After Trent Boult’s fifer helped New Zealand rout Australia for 151, Mitchell Starc overcame Brendon McCullum’s onslaught and bowled a thunderous six-wicket spell to reduce New Zealand to 146 for nine. Trent Boult, the No. 11 managed to survive the final two balls of the 23rd over, and Williamson ended the match with a six off the first ball of the next over from Pat Cummins as New Zealand came from the brink to pull off a spectacular win. Trent Boult, Brendon McCullum star as New Zealand overcome spirited Australia by 1 wicket

3. Shahid Afridi asks for a review on a wide ball: There are some people who refuse to tread the beaten path. Shahid Afridi is one such man. While most sides were judicious with their usage of reviews, Afridi seemed oblivious of the fact that teams get only one review. Against West Indies, he chose to ask for a review when the ball went for a boundary off Darren Bravo’s pads and the umpire signalled four wides. Trust “Lala” to do something like this! ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Top 10 innings

4. Wahab Riaz bowls a spell from hell to Shane Watson: Wahab Riaz had made a name for himself with his five-wicket haul against India in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, but he earned the respect and admiration of even Shane Watson after bowling with fire and venom in Pakistan’s quarter-final loss to Australia. While Wahab was batting, Mitchell Starc taunted him for his inability to get bat on ball. This proved to be a mistake, as Wahab took that to heart and came out to bowl one of the most hostile spells of sheer pace, getting the ball to zip past Watson’s helmet on numerous occasions. Wahab went a step further and applauded Watson’s feeble attempts to duck and avoid the ball. The keen contest culminated in Watson mis-timing a pull shot down to fine leg, but Rahat Ali dropped an easy catch when a wicket might have brought about a Pakistan victory. Wahab Riaz s terrifying spell against Australia

5. Rubel Hossain sends off Virat Kohli: Way back in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 the opening encounter was between India and Bangladesh. Virat Kohli had scored an excellent century in that match. At one point in his innings, Kohli had played the ball back to the bowler, Rubel Hossain, who proceeded to stare him down. Not one from backing away from a fight, Kohli immediately mouthed off to Rubel, asking him to go back and bowl. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Top 10 spells

Clearly, Rubel remembered that slight. When India played Bangladesh in the quarter-final, Rubel removed Kohli early and immediately set off in manic celebration. He had to be restrained by his teammates as he seemed keen on going up to Kohli to give him a piece of his mind. Rubel Hossain’s celebration at Virat Kohli’s wicket

6. Mashrafe Mortaza and Taskin Ahmed re-define the chest-bump: In the same quarter-final between India and Bangladesh, Taskin Ahmed and Mashrafe Mortaza engaged in a celebration that could likely revolutionise the way wickets are celebrated. Cricket World Cup finals XI: Players who were outstanding on the day of finals

The duo celebrated the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane by jumping and bumping their chests against each other in a manly display of machismo that would have been impressive had they not got greedy. After a successful chest bump the first time around, they did it again. Unfortunately, the ensuing chest bump was a bit too forceful, and both men landed on their buttocks in what was ultimately a clumsy display of gamesmanship.

7. Grant Elliott and Dale Steyn‘s Freddie-Binga moment: New Zealand may not have the tag of “chokers” despite never making it past the semi-final round, but the truth is that they were forever the bridesmaids and never the brides. All this changed when Grant Elliott hammered Dale Steyn for six over long-on in the semi-final. Grant Elliott did his selectors a favour in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 semi-final against South Africa

The loss was felt deeply by the Proteas, many of whom broke down on the field. Morne Morkel was shedding tears unabashedly, as were AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis. Dale Steyn lay down on the pitch with his hands on his head in sheer dejection. Seeing this, Elliott, who was celebrating, went up to Steyn and offered his hand to hoist the bowler up. The image gained immediate cult status, and was likened to the Andrew Flintoff’s display of friendly support to Brett Lee after the iconic Edgbaston Test of the 2005 Ashes. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: The Associate XI

8. Michael Clarke‘s tearful farewell and tribute to Phillip Hughes: Michael Clarke had made known his decision to retire at the end of the World Cup a couple of days prior to the final. He could not possibly have asked for a better farewell, as he scored a superb 74 in the small chase but was out just before the winning runs could be hit. He walked off the field for one last time in ODIs, tears in eyes, to a raucous standing ovation from the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) audience. Afterward at the post-match presentations he paid a tribute to the late Phillip Hughes when he said that Australia “played the World Cup with 16 members.” Clarke went on to say, “Tonight is dedicated to our little brother Phil Hughes.” Michael Clarke ODI retirement: Battered, bruised, but not beaten

9. New Zealand, gracious in victory and defeat: New Zealand were an unstoppable juggernaut right till the final, going unbeaten in the tournament for eight matches in a row. Despite this fact, the team remained humble and acknowledged their foes even in their defeat. Elliott’s gesture to Steyn was a mere culmination of that grace. Top 10 batsmen in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

The Black Caps’ humility did not end with their winning streak either. In the final, Brad Haddin gave a send-off first to Martin Guptill and later, with the other Australians, to Elliott after the batsman had scored a terrific 83. Even Daniel Vettori was not spared the Australian sledging. Brendon McCullum chose not to comment on that, instead commending Australia on their win. He even chose not to announce any Kiwi retirements as that would steal Australia’s thunder. Top 10 bowlers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

10. N Srinivasan booed, Sachin Tendulkar cheered: The award ceremony of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was graced by some popular personalities and an unpopular one as well. Mark Nicholas was introducing the dignitaries on stage, and as soon as he took the name of former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) head and current International Cricket Council (ICC) chieftain N Srinivasan, there was resounding and collective booing from the MCG audience. It must be noted that the audience in question were predominantly Australian and New Zealand supporters, but there were a number of Indians in the mix as well. Srinivasan did his best to keep a straight face even as he was collectively insulted on one of the biggest cricketing stages in the world. Top 10 fielders in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

The reverberating boos changed to deafening cheers in a moment though, as the man after Srinivasan happened to be a certain Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. The moment Tendulkar’s name was taken the MCG roared, this time in appreciation. Some things truly never change. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)