ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: 14 most memorable bowling moments

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 by was the tournament for batsmen. But in the end it was bowlers, who made the difference. Quite evident from the fact that the man-of-the-match in the final was James Faulkner and the man-of-the-tournament was Mitchell Starc. Rohan Sengupta lists out the memorable bowling moments in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. (Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: 21 most memorable batting moments)

  

1: Sohail Khan and Mohammed Shami shine with the ball in the high voltage India-Pakistan match

Mohammad Shami celebrates after dismissing the dangerous Misbah-ul-Haq
Mohammad Shami celebrates after dismissing the dangerous Misbah-ul-Haq

It was the high-voltage clash between India and Pakistan. India were cruising at 273 for two in 45 overs, with Virat Kohli batting on 107 and Suresh Raina blazing guns at 72. India would have not settled for anything in less than 330. But it was Sohail Khan’s comeback spell that denied it. He bowled three overs, gave away only 19 runs and picked up the important wickets of Kohli, Raina, MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane. Sohail’s (10-0-55-5) spell helped Pakistan, restrict India to 300.

The chase wasn’t going to be easy but certainly possible. It was Mohammed Shami’s spell (9-1-35-4) that made the difference for the defending champions. He was fast, accurate and used the short-balls to good effect. Shami went on to be the standout performer for India throughout the World Cup, picking up 17 wickets.

 

  

2: Tim Southee demolishes the Englishmen in Wellington

Tim Southee manufactured unplayable swing that gave a torrid time to the visitors. Here, he celebrates the wicket of Ian Bell.
Tim Southee manufactured unplayable swing that gave a torrid time to the visitors. Here, he celebrates the wicket of Ian Bell.

It was a classic display of high quality swing bowling. Tim Southee had dismissed Ian Bell with a peach, which swung away, beat his outside edge and took the stumps off. But Moeen Ali was in no mood to get intimidated as he smacked the bowler for three consecutive boundaries.

Southee came back strong and with an inswinging yorker and cleaned up Ali. There was no looking back for the Kiwi speedster as he continued tormenting the English batsmen one after the other. In one of the best ever bowling spells in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) history, Southee finished with figures of 9-0-33-7. England were bowled out for 123 and later, New Zealand cruised to a comfortable victory.

 

  

3: A Boult and Starc show at Auckland

Trent Boult produced thunderbolts to dislodge the Australian batting order
Trent Boult produced thunderbolts to dislodge the Australian batting order

New Zealand reached the World Cup final and what was most impressive was their bowling. At one side you have Tim Southee and on the other end you have the left-arm pacer Trent Boult. In the group match at Auckland, Boult ripped the Australians apart with his ‘thunderbolts’. His line and length was dead accurate which gave the Aussies a torrid time. He finished with 10-3-27-5.

Australia had an off-day with the bat as the team got bundled out for 151. It looked a one-way traffic for New Zealand as Brendon McCullum had scored a 24-ball 50. The game was going away from Australia’s hand but Mitchell Starc had other script in his mind.

 

Mitchell Starc jubilant after dismissing New Zealand’s Tim Southee
Mitchell Starc jubilant after dismissing New Zealand’s Tim Southee

After McCullum’s departure, Starc was unstoppable. He mixed up the deliveries pretty well. At one end there were measured short-balls, at the other were toe-crushing yorkers at speed of over 90 mph. New Zealand soon tumbled as the Australian giant ran through their batting. The match which once looked to be a cake-walk went down to the wire. However, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson kept his nerves and smashed a six to seal the deal in the home-side’s favour. Starc’s spell of 9-0-28-6, went in vain but it was one lethal spell, in fact one of the best in the World Cup history.

 

  

4: UAE deceived by Ashwin mystery at Perth

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates another wicket with his teammates
Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates another wicket with his teammates

 

After having beaten Pakistan and South Africa, the match against UAE wasn’t going to be a difficult one for them. The Indian pacers started well but it was the Ravichandran Ashwin mystery that bamboozled the Emiratis. Ashwin bowled at good-length every time and the extra bounce at Perth helped him further. The UAE batsmen fell like ninepins and folded for 102. Ashwin finished with figures of 10-1-25-4. The chase as expected was quite easy.

 

 

5: When an unplayable Mohammad Irfan bounced out Zimbabwe at the Gabba

Mohammad Irfan bowled with pace and accuracy to help Pakistan to their first win in the tournament
Mohammad Irfan bowled with pace and accuracy to help Pakistan to their first win in the tournament

When skipper Misbah-ul-Haq guided Pakistan to 235, they had every reason to fear. The Zimbabwe had a good batting and chasing this total wouldn’t be a difficult task at all. A loss here and it would mean ‘goodbye’ to Pakistan’s chances of making it to the quarter-final.

Mohammad Irfan rose to the occasion and posed problems for the Zimbabwe batters. The seven foot one inch giant generated obnoxious bounce from the pitch at Brisbane and continued making life difficult for Zimbabweans. Left-armer Wahab Riaz, who had earlier scored an unbeaten 54 with the bat, too benefitted from Irfan’s spell and he too chipped in with four wickets for 45 runs.

Irfan was unplayable most of the times and ended up with 10-2-30-4. The win kept Pakistan’s hopes alive in the tournament.

 

 

6: Shami-Umesh set the game up for India against the unpredictable West Indies

Chris Gayle troubled by another Mohammed Shami bouncer
Chris Gayle troubled by another Mohammed Shami bouncer

For India, the threat was always going to be Chris Gayle. And the game was set-up in the first 10 overs. The Indian opening bowlers, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav bowled with a plan and troubled the West Indian batsmen with bounce and difficult length. West Indies were four wickets down for 38 at the end of 10 overs and back in the pavilion were Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Chris Gayle and Dinesh Ramdin. With the backbone of batting gone, the game was set up.

Shami finished with 8-2-35-3 and Umesh with 10-1-42-2, as West Indies were bowled out for 182. India managed a four wicket win to win their fourth match on a row in the World Cup.

 

 

7: Left-arm pace trio of Irfan, Rahat and Wahab, down South Africa at Auckland

Wahab Riaz sends back Imran Tahir
Wahab Riaz sends back Imran Tahir

It was once again a dismal batting performance by Pakistan and South Africa were set a chase of 232 in 47 overs by the Duckworth Lewis method. They began terribly when Quinton de Kock was dismissed by Mohammad Irfan in the second ball. However they recovered and were already 67 by the end of the 10th over.

Pakistan knew it that the only way they could win the game was to bowl out the strong South African batting. In a dramatic collapse, from 67 for one, South Africa collapsed to 77 for five and later 102 for six. The left arm trio of Irfan (8-0-52-3), Rahat Ali (8-1-40-3) and Wahab Riaz (7.3-2-45-3) ensured a Pakistani victory when they combined to bowl out South Africa for 202 in the 34th over. South African skipper AB de Villiers played a lone hand of 77 from 58, but couldn’t see his side through.

 

 

8: In the end Starc-Faulkner make the difference

Mitchell Starc shatters the stumps of Seekuge Prasanna
Mitchell Starc shatters the stumps of Seekuge Prasanna

The contest at Sydney Cricket Ground between Australia and Sri Lanka was like a seesaw ride. Sri Lanka were chasing 377 and they seemed to be quite under control for the same. In a match where 688 runs were scored in 96.2 overs, what stood out weren’t the frequent fours and sixes, but rather Mitchell Starc’s figures of 8.2-0-29-2.

Even James Faulkner came at crucial stages and ended up with figures of 9-0-48-3. He picked up the key wickets of centurion Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga. Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 312 in 46.2 overs and what made the difference was the combined bowling performance of Starc and Faulkner, who together bowled 104 balls, gave away 77 runs and picked up five wickets.

 

 

9: When Rubel delivered a knockout punch to the Poms

Rubel Hossain running straight towards his teammates after rattling the stumps of last batsman James Anderson
Rubel Hossain running straight towards his teammates after rattling the stumps of last batsman James Anderson

The win for Bangladesh against England created headlines that knocked the latter out of the World Cup. Bangladesh had posted a challenging total of 276 which England failed to chase. The hero was Rubel Hossain, who bowled with pace, accuracy and a lot of heart. He turned the tide by hitting timber twice in three balls when England needed 16 runs from 12 balls. The wickets he picked then were of big hitter Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

Earlier, he picked up the wickets of opener Ian Bell and English skipper Eoin Morgan. Rubel’s figures of 9.3-0-53-4, played a huge role in helping Bangladesh enter the final eight in emphatic style.

 

 

10: Holder-Taylor rout UAE

Jason Holder along with his teammates in joyous mood after the fall of a UAE batsman.
Jason Holder along with his teammates in joyous mood after the fall of a UAE batsman.

All West Indies needed was a win to qualify for the quarter-final. More than the opposition they were worried by the cyclone Pam which threatened to wash-out this match at Napier. Jason Holder did his bit. He won the toss and bowled first and combined brilliantly with Jerome Taylor. Holder finished with figures of 10-1-27-4, while Taylor bowled with figures of 8.4-0-36-3, as UAE were bowled out for 175. West Indies won by six wickets to seal their quarter-final spot.

 

 

11: Imran Tahir casts his spin magic against Sri Lanka

Imran Tahir celebrates in his own style after picking up the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne
Imran Tahir celebrates in his own style after picking up the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne

While preparing for the quarter-final game, the last thing that would be there on Sri Lankan batsmen mind would be bother about the South African spinners. It was a predominant Imran Tahir show on a two paced wicket that swung the game in Proteas favour. The bowler, who earlier got a five wicket haul against West Indies once again mixed his deliveries well, deceived the batsmen in flight and got the desired results. In a big game and in a tense atmosphere, the wily veteran spinner delivered the goods for his team, against a side that play spin very well. Tahir’s wickets included the prized scalps of Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawrdene, Thisara Perara and Lasith Malinga. He ended up with figures of 8.2-0-26-4. In the same match, JP Duminy (9-1-29-3) with his off-breaks picked up a hat-trick.

 

 

12: Wahab Riaz’s unforgettable spell against Australia

An animated Wahab Riaz has a go at Shane Watson
An animated Wahab Riaz has a go at Shane Watson

Unfortunately the bowling figures of Wahab Riaz will never tell the true story of one of the most devastating spells of ODI history. He got the wickets of David Warner and Michael Clarke. The thunderbolts he delivered to Shane Watson in his first spell were mesmerizing. He was fast, aggressive, and hostile. It was a nightmarish spell to say the least and Watson fended everything without any control. He got the fielding placements pinpoint and almost removed Watson, but Rahat Ali spoiled the party as he dropped a sitter at long-leg. Maxwell was dropped later by Sohail Khan at third-man and that summed up Pakistan’s and Wahab’s day. It ended in a defeat and Wahab ended up as the tragic hero.

 

 

13: When the much famed Indian batting was tested by the left-arm trio of Starc, Johnson and Faulkner

A completely pumped up Mitchell Johnson celebrates the wicket of Rohit Sharma
A completely pumped up Mitchell Johnson celebrates the wicket of Rohit Sharma

At the end of the day, the second semi-final clash was going to be a contest between the Indian batsmen and Australian bowlers. Chasing 329, India got off to a good start courtesy Shikhar Dhawan but after his departure, things took a drastic turn. Mitchell Johnson (10-0-50-2) was the architect of destruction as he dismissed Indian star batsman Virat Kohli with a brilliant bouncer and 15 balls later cleaned up opener Rohit Sharma. They hunted in packs as Mitchell Starc (8.5-0-28-2) and James Faulkner (9-1-59-3) ran through the batting as India folded for 233.

India’s World Cup campaign came to an end in the semi-final, as Australia made their way to the final for the seventh time.

 

  

14: Australian left arm pace-trio (Starc, Johnson and Faulkner) tear apart Kiwis to lift the World Cup

James Faulkner celebrates the dismissal of Grant Elliott
James Faulkner celebrates the dismissal of Grant Elliott

It just took three balls for Australia to drastically drift the final in their favour. In the very first over of the match, Mitchell Starc (8-0-20-2) cleaned-up the dangerous Brendon McCullum with a peach of a yorker. Starc, like in many occasions in this tournament, once again bowled an unplayable opening spell and Mitchell Johnson (9-0-30-3) supported him well. He deceived Kane Williamson with a cutter and got the important wicket.

Just when New Zealand looked that they had got back into the match, it was James Faulkner in the batting Powerplay who did the trick for Australia. He picked up the important wicket of Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson in the same over and later got the all important wicket of Grant Elliott.

James Faulkner’s figures of 9-1-36-3, won him the man-of-the-match in the biggest stages of all, the World Cup final.

 

  

(Rohan Sengupta is a sports freak who loves writing on cricket and football. A die-hard Manchester United and CR7 fan, you can follow him on @GarryDevilDada)