25 June 2014
ICC Cricket World Cup Top Ten: All Round Performances
Even though cricket is a team sport, every now and then a player takes command of a match with both bat and ball to lead his team to victory.
Andy Bichel stunned England at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 with one of the best all-round performances ever seen at the tournament.
In this feature, we take a look at the top ten performances by an all-rounder from the ten ICC Cricket World Cups.
1: Andy Bichel (7-20 and 34*) Australia v England, 2003
England got off to a flyer in a do-or-die game at the 2003 tournament before Andy Bichel stepped up with one of the greatest individual performances in ICC Cricket World Cup history.
Coming into the attack with England at 60-0, Bichel picked up three wickets in eight balls on his way to the best world cup figures against a full-member nation – 7-20.
In pursuit of a meagre 205 to win, Australia crashed to 135-8 and looked set for defeat – until Bichel smashed 34 off 36 balls to get Australia home with two balls to spare.
2: Duncan Fletcher (69* and 4-42), Zimbabwe v Australia, 1983
Playing in its first ever One Day International (ODI), no one gave Zimbabwe a hope against an Australia side full of world-class performers. Teetering on the brink of collapse at 94-5, Zimbabwe captain Duncan Fletcher staved off the express pace of Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillee and Rodney Hogg to lead Zimbabwe through to a respectable total of 239-6.
In response, Australia looked to be cruising towards a comfortable victory at 61-0 – until Fletcher inserted himself into the bowling attack.
Needing quick wickets, Fletcher picked up four wickets with his medium-fast bowling to leave Australia at 133-4. Australia never recovered from Fletcher’s onslaught and fell 13 runs short to hand Zimbabwe a famous victory.
3: Aravinda de Silva (3-42 and 107) Sri Lanka v Australia, 1996
Even though Sri Lanka took the 1996 tournament by storm, not many people expected it to trouble Australia in the final.
Australia looked set for a huge total at 137-1 until the wily off-spin of Aravinda de Silva was introduced into the attack. With the ball sliding on from the Lahore pitch, de Silva picked up the trump scalps of Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting before adding Ian Healy to his impressive haul.
Chasing 242 to win, Sri Lanka were in trouble at 23-2 when de Silva came to the crease. Playing one of the greatest ICC Cricket World Cup final knocks of all time, de Silva calmly stroked an unbeaten 107 to see Sri Lanka home by seven wickets.
4: Gary Gilmour (6-14 and 28*), Australia v England, 1975
In the first-ever ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final, Australia’s Gary Gilmour took England apart with a fine display of pace bowling. After 12 overs of pinpoint accuracy, hooping swing and unerring line and length, Gilmour finished with 6-14 to leave England in tatters at 93 all out.
Having done his job with the ball, Gilmour could have been forgiven for putting his feet up as the batsmen knocked off the small target.
But he was soon back in the thick of the action as Australia slumped to 39-6. In danger of being knocked out of the tournament, Gilmour went on the attack to top-score for Australia with 28 not out to see Australia through to a final showdown against the West Indies.
5: Ian Botham (53 and 4-31) England v Australia, 1992
In one of the biggest clashes of the round-robin phase of the 1992 tournament, England needed a special performance to topple world champion Australia. The side got it from Ian Botham.
Batting first, Australia seemed to be cruising towards a commanding total at 145-4 before Botham turned the match. The slide began when he bowled Australia captain Alan Border and followed up with the wickets of Ian Healy, Peter Taylor and Craig McDermott in quick succession.
Botham’s spell destroyed Australia’s chances of a big total and it was soon all out for 171.
Opening the batting for England, Botham erased any chance of an Australian victory by compiling a steady 53 runs. When he was dismissed, England was 1-107 and on its way to a big victory.
6: Neil Johnson (76 and 3-27) Zimbabwe v South Africa, 1999
Zimbabwe needed something special to beat its African neighbours in 1999 - and got it from batsman Neil Johnson.
Johnson was one of the standout performers at the 1999 tournament, and South Africa found out why when he resisted the world class attack of Shaun Pollock, Alan Donald, Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener to hit 76 at the top of the order.
With 234 to defend, Zimbabwe needed quick wickets and Johnson obliged by picking up top-order maestros Gary Kirsten, Kallis and Hansie Cronje. From there South Africa crumbled to 185 all out to hand Zimbabwe its first and only ICC Cricket World Cup victory over its African counterpart.
7: Michael Vaughan (3-39 and 79) England v West Indies, 2007
Playing in the final Super Eight match of the 2007 tournament, England had little response to an onslaught from Chris Gayle, Devon Smith and Marlon Samuels – until the little-used off-spin of Michael Vaughan came into the attack.
With a score of 350 plus looking likely, Vaughan put the clamps on the run rate and picked up the key wickets of Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo in his three wicket haul.
Chasing 301 to win, the normally sedate Vaughan went on an all-out attack against the West Indies bowling. When he departed for 79 off 68 balls, England was on 154 off 26 overs and on its way to a famous victory.
8: Lance Klusener (52* and 3-21) South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1999
In South Africa’s opening match of the 1999 tournament, Lance Klusener set the tone for its campaign with a bruising all-round display to defeat the previous champion, Sri Lanka.
Coming in at number nine with only 115 runs on the board, Klusener pasted the Sri Lanka attack to all parts of the oval in his match-turning knock of 52 off 45 balls.
With only 200 to defend, South Africa needed some Klusener magic with the ball and got it when he ran through the Sri Lanka lower order to secure an 89 run victory.
9: Yuvraj Singh (113 and 2-18) India v West Indies, 2011
After losing to South Africa and tying with England early in the tournament, India needed a win over the West Indies to confirm a top-qualifying spot in the 2011 quarter-finals.
Despite losing regular wickets throughout the innings, Yuvraj Singh stood firm to bring up 113 runs and help see India through to 268.
The flamboyant West Indies’ top order raced through to 154-2 and looked set for an upset victory when Yuvraj Singh came to the bowling crease. In four short overs, he picked up the wickets of Devon Thomas and Andre Russell with his left-arm spin to extinguish any hope of a West Indies victory.
10: Mohammad Azharuddin (54* and 3-19) India v Australia, 1987
Playing against a powerful Australia side, India was well placed when Mohammad Azharuddin came to the crease at 178-4.
In a punishing cameo, Azharuddin put the Australia bowlers to the sword as he drove India to a competitive 289, ending on 54 not out.
India fans would have been nervous when the little-used medium pace of Azharuddin was introduced into the attack with Australia still a chance at 182-5. In four forgetful overs for Australia, Azharuddin picked up career best figures of 3-19 to ensure victory for the home side.
Who do you think will produce the match-turning all-round performances in 2015? Join the conversation and let us know on one of our official channels with #cwc15