07 April 2015
CWC 15 IN REVIEW: TOP 10 BATTING PERFORMANCES
Two double tons and a host of big scores meant entertainment was never at a premium
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03: AB de Villiers of South Africa bats during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and Ireland at Manuka Oval on March 3, 2015 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
1. Paul Stirling (Ireland): 92 v West Indies
Ireland had its task cut out in its opening match, against West Indies, which had posted 304 for 7. The start was going to be essential and Paul Stirling provided that by top-scoring with 92 off 84 balls. An opening stand of 71 with William Porterfield, the captain, was followed by 101 for the second wicket with Ed Joyce. By the time Stirling departed, in the 28th over, he had laid a solid platform, with Ireland on 177 for 2. His team capitalised on that to seal a four-wicket win with 25 balls to spare.
2. Shikhar Dhawan (India): 137 v South Africa
India's toughest test in the group stage was going to be against South Africa. Given the firepower South Africa possessed in its batting, a big total was essential after MS Dhoni elected to bat. Shikhar Dhawan rose to the occasion and played some delightful strokes in one of his better ODI innings. His partnerships of 127 with Virat Kohli for the second wicket and 125 with Ajinkya Rahane for the third took India to 307 for 7. Dhawan made a career-best 137, and India eventually won by 130 runs.
3. Chris Gayle (West Indies): 215 v Zimbabwe
Chris Gayle lived up to his destroyer billing against Zimbabwe as he struck the first-ever World Cup double century. Gayle became the first batsman ever to make a triple century in Tests, a double century in ODIs, and a century in Twenty20 Internationals. He became the quickest ODI double centurion, reaching the landmark in 138 balls. Gayle shared a record 372-run stand - the highest in ODIs - with Marlon Samuels. When he was dismissed off the last ball, he had made the highest score by a West Indies batsman in ODIs. West Indies made 372 for 2 before bowling Zimbabwe out for 289 for a 73-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
4. AB de Villiers (South Africa): 162 not out v West Indies
AB de Villiers had narrowly missed out on the fastest-ever 150 in an ODI against West Indies in January, when he made 149 off 44 balls. De Villiers eventually broke the record and he did it on the biggest stage, against the same opposition. He began steadily, reaching 19 in 18 balls before switching gears. De Villiers got to his fifty in 30 balls, his hundred in 52 balls, and the 150 in 64. He added two more sixes to finish with 162 not out off 66. South Africa made 408 for 5 before bowling West Indies out for 151 to win by 257 runs.
5. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka): 117 not out v England
An opening stand of 100 in 19 overs had given Sri Lanka a good start in a chase of 310 against England but it was still a tough ask when Kumar Sangakkara walked in. The Sri Lanka veteran, however, took the attack to the opposition, and made a century off just 70 balls, the fastest of his career. Sangkkara ended on 117 not out off 86 balls and shared an unbeaten 212-run partnership with Lahiru Thirimanne to ensure a nine-wicket win with 16 balls to spare. It was the second of four consecutive centuries Sangakkara would make in his final ODI tournament.
6. Mahmudullah (Bangladesh): 103 v England
England had struck early to reduce Bangladesh to 8 for 2 when Mahmudullah walked in. Along with Soumya Sarkar, he steadied the ship with an 86-run stand but the score would soon become 99 for 4. Mahmudullah fought on and added 141 with Mushfiqur Rahim for the fifth wicket. When he was dismissed for 103, Bangladesh was on course for a healthy total. It made 275 for 7 before keeping England down to 260 in a spirited effort. Bangladesh made it to the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time and Mahmudullah was named Man of the Match for his efforts.
7. Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe): 138 v India
In his ODI swansong, Brendan Taylor produced an innings of great class against an in-form Indian attack. Taylor faced a tough situation, with Zimbabwe 33 for 3. With two partnerships - 93 with Sean Williams for the fourth wicket and 109 with Craig Ervine for the fifth - Taylor resurrected the innings. His 138 formed the bulwark of Zimbabwe's 287. India won the match by six wickets but Taylor had boosted his reputation with an eighth ODI century, the most for any Zimbabwe batsman.
8. Martin Guptill (New Zealand): 237 not out v West Indies
Martin Guptill followed up his century against Bangladesh with the highest individual score in World Cups, against West Indies in the fourth quarterfinal. Opening the innings, Guptill played the longest ODI innings ever by a New Zealand batsman and registered the highest individual score for a batsman from that country. Guptill contributed an unbeaten 237 to New Zealand's 393 for 6. West Indies was bowled out for 250 and New Zealand won by 143 runs.
9. Grant Elliott (New Zealand): 84 not out v South Africa
Grant Elliot played the most important innings of his career in a nail-biting first semifinal. Set a revised target of 298 from 43 overs, Elliott walked in with New Zealand 128 for 3 in the 18th over. He starred in an important fifth-wicket partnership with Corey Anderson, worth 103. South Africa refused to relent but Elliott was a picture of calm as he went about making a difference. With five needed off two deliveries, Elliott finished it off with a six over long on off Dale Steyn to be unbeaten on 84 as New Zealand made it to its first World Cup final.
10. Steve Smith (Australia): 105 v India
Australia lost David Warner early after electing to bat in the second semifinal against India. However, Steve Smith's arrival turned things around. Smith played a composed and fluent knock en route to his fourth ODI century. He put on 182 for the second wicket with Aaron Finch and struck at a brisk rate. Smith fell in the 35th over, by which time he had done a commendable job as his 105 laid the platform for a big total. Australia eventually made 328 for 7 before completing a 95-run win.