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13 December 201403:55

ICC Cricket World Cup Top Ten: Best Performances by Associate players

When thinking of the players and individual performances that have shaped ICC Cricket World Cup history, it can be easy to focus on superstars from cricket’s most established nations.

ICC Cricket World Cup Top Ten: Best Performances by Associate players - Cricket News

Kevin O'Brien hit the fastest World Cup century off just 50 balls during the 2011 tournament

But brilliant performances by players from Associate teams have also played a major part in the cricket’s biggest tournament and have been behind some of the most surprising results in World Cup history.

This month, we look at the Top 10 best performances by Associate nation players:

1: Kevin O’Brien, Ireland v England, 2011:
England and Ireland are two of sport’s oldest rivals, though most of their sporting battles have taken place outside of the cricket pitch.

Heading into their World Cup 2011 match at Bangalore, England was a clear favourite and looked in a good position after posting 327. It was talented Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien who turned the game on its head, smashing 113 from just 63 balls.

His two hours at the crease included the fastest century in World Cup history – off 50 balls – and featured half a dozen sixes and 13 fours. His innings took his team from 106-4 to 317-7 before he was run out, setting up a famous three-wicket victory achieved with five balls to spare.

2: Maurice Odumbe, Kenya v West Indies, 1996:
It took one of the greatest bowling performances ever seen by an Associate side for Kenya to topple two-time champion West Indies.

Kenya had been bowled out for 166 in Pune and needed a strong performance from its bowlers to defend the modest total. The pace bowlers set the tone, reducing West Indies to 35-4 before spinner Maurice Odumbe picked up the ball.

Odumbe collected the scalps of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams and Roger Harper in a spell of unplayable bowling to finish with 3-15 from 10 overs.

West Indies were bowled out for 93, giving Kenya its first one-day international victory. An honourable mention goes to Rajab Ali who picked up 3-17.

3: Niall O’Brien, Ireland v Pakistan, 2007:
Ireland entered the match needing some heroics from its players to achieve an unlikely victory over Pakistan and a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.

An excellent all-round performance in Kingston from the Ireland bowlers saw Pakistan bowled out for 132. The wickets were shared, but Andre Botha stood out with 2-5 from his eight overs.

A steady batting performance was still needed by Ireland to cap off a fairy tale victory and it was wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien who held strong while wickets fell around him.

O’Brien finished with 72 to put a win within reach, before Kevin O’Brien hit an unbeaten 16 to get his team across the line with three wickets in hand.

4: Collins Obuya, Kenya v Sri Lanka, 2003:
One of the greatest leg-spin bowling spells in ICC Cricket World Cup history dismantled Sri Lanka’s hopes of going through the pool stages of the 2003 tournament undefeated.

Playing at home in Nairobi, Kenya scored 210 thanks to a handy knock of 60 from opener Kennedy Otieno. Sri Lanka was cruising at 70-2 in reply and looked set for an easy victory before spinner Collins Obuya took the ball.

Obuya tore through the Sri Lanka batsman taking 5-24 off 10 overs, helping Kenya to a 53-run victory.

5: Austin Codrington, Canada v Bangladesh, 2003:
Playing in its first ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003, Canada was keen for a win in cricket’s biggest tournament.

Their chance came against Bangladesh, when some good batting saw Canada reach 180 – their highest one-day score to date. Jamaican-born fast bowler Austin Codrington ensured Bangladesh fell well short with a remarkable spell of bowling, taking 5-39 as Bangladesh was dismissed for 120, earning himself man-of-the-match honours in the process.

6: Jeremy Bray, Ireland v Zimbabwe, 2007:
Ireland’s first-ever match in the ICC Cricket World Cup also produced one of the team’s great innings.

Playing Zimbabwe in Kingston, Ireland scored 221 thanks to a century from Australian Jeremy Bray.Bray, who was born in Sydney before moving to Ireland to further his cricket career, scored 115 from 134 balls, including two sixes and 10 fours.

Ireland then fielded well, snaring three run-outs in the final three overs, to ensure the match ended in a tie.

7: Paul Stirling, Ireland v Netherlands, 2011:
Chasing 306 for victory against Netherlands at Kolkata, Ireland needed something special.

That magic was provided by opening batsman Paul Stirling who smashed 101 off 72 balls to propel his team to a six-wicket victory with 14 balls to spare.

His innings feature 14 fours and two sixes, while Stirling had already chipped in with the ball earlier in the match, taking 2-51.

8: John Davison, Canada v West Indies, 2003:
Born in Canada, John Davison moved to Melbourne as a young child and attended the Australian Cricket Academy in 1993. He returned to Canada to represent the country in cricket and hit headlines during the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup for his stunning innings against West Indies.

Playing in Centurion, Davison hit half a dozen sixes on his way to 111, scoring what was the fastest century in World Cup history at the time.

It was not enough to get his team over the line with West Indies winning by seven wickets, but Davison was named man of the match.

He followed that performance with 75 off 62 balls in Canada’s clash with New Zealand and finished the tournament as Canada’s leading run-maker and wicket-taker.

9: Shaukat Dukanwala, United Arab Emirates v Netherlands, 1996:
This was the first one-day international played between two Associate teams. Netherlands made a good start and were on track to register a significant total before off-spinner Shaukat Dukanwala took the ball.

Dukanwala produced a devastating spell of 5-29 to keep the Netherlands to 216.

His man-of-the-match performance set up a solid victory for United Arab Emirates, who passed the total with seven wickets in hand and 5.4 overs to spare.

10: William Porterfield, Ireland v Bangladesh, 2007:
After reaching the Super Eights stage of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, Ireland was hungry for more success.

While a semi-final berth was not to eventuate, the team ended the tournament on a happy note, knocking off Bangladesh by 74 runs.

It was Ireland’s second win over a Test-playing nation for the championship and came about thanks in large part to an excellent 85 from William Porterfield.

Porterfield’s innings helped Ireland score 243 before Ireland dismissed Bangladesh for 169.

Which Associate players do you think will perform the strongest in 2015? Join the conversation and let us using #cwc15