World Cup Archives: Greatest Bowling Spells in The Tournament

A look at 10 bowling spells in the history of World Cup that will forever be remembered. 

ICC World Cup 2019
4 min read
Australia’sMitchell Starc (C) celebrates with team mates James Faulkner (L) and captainMichael Clarke after bowling New Zealand’s captain Brendon McCullum for a duckduring their Cricket World Cup final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG) March 29, 2015. 

No matter how destructive your batsmen are, no matter how big of a score you put up on the board, if you don’t have the bowlers to back it up, there’s little or close to no chance you're going to be able to win the big tournaments.

With the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales approaching, here’s a look at 10 of the greatest bowling spells in the history of the tournament.

10. World Cup, 2015- Mitchell Starc vs New Zealand (6 Wickets for 28 runs)

Batting first, Australia could only manage 151 runs and collapsed within 33 overs against New Zealand. Many would have expected the Kiwis to win the match quite comfortably. But Mitchell Starc had other plans. The left-arm pacer accounted for 6 wickets in his 9 over spell at an economy rate of 3.66.

Kane Williamson’s six sealed the match for the Black Caps, as they eventually won by one wicket, but not before Starc gave them a major scare.

9. World Cup, 2003 - Chaminda Vaas vs Bangladesh (6 Wickets for 25 runs)

Often regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Chaminda Vaas ran through the Bangladesh batting line-up on 14 February 2003.

Batting first, Bangladesh crumbled for just 124 runs inside 32 overs, courtesy Vaas’ excellent bowling spell of 6 wickets in 9.1 overs at an economy of 2.72. Sri Lanka eventually chased down the target in 21.1 overs without losing a single wicket.

8. World Cup, 2003- Shane Bond vs Australia (6 Wickets for 23 runs)

Seldom does a player of the losing team receive player of the match award. But in the World Cup tie between Australia and New Zealand in 2003, that’s exactly what happened.

Batting first, Australia was restricted to 208/9 at the end of 50 overs. Shane Bond accounted for 6 wickets in his 10 over spell and also bowled 2 maiden overs. What stood out was his incredible economy rate of just 2.30.

Australia may have won the match by 96 runs, but Bond again solidified his position as one of the best fast bowlers in the world.

7. World Cup, 2015- Tim Southee vs England (7 Wickets for 33 runs)

England won the toss, and opted to bat. What followed was an absolute mockery of their batting lineup.

England was bowled out for a mere 123 runs inside 34 overs courtesy Tim Southee’s brilliant bowling spell that saw him take 7 wickets in 9 overs at a jaw-dropping economy of 3.66.

New Zealand chased down the target in just 12.2 overs and added more colour to their already brilliant outing.

6. World Cup, 1975- Gary Gilmour vs England (6 Wickets for 14 Runs)

Put in to bat by Australia, England faced the brunt of Gary as they were bundled out for just 93 runs inside 37 overs.

The former Australian player took 6 wickets in 12 overs at an unbelievable economy of 1.16. Australia eventually chased down the target in 28.4 overs with 4 wickets remaining.

5. World Cup 2003- Ashish Nehra vs England (6 Wickets for 23 runs)

Batting first, India made 250/9 at the end of 50 overs. Chasing 251, England faced the best of Ashish Nehra as he accounted for 6 wickets while just giving away 23 runs at a superb economy rate of 2.30.

England was restricted to just 168 runs and India eventually won the match by 82 runs. Nehra was also awarded the Player of the Match.

4. World Cup, 2003 - Glenn McGrath vs Namibia (7 Wickets for 15 Runs)

Australia won the toss, and opted to bat. Having posted 301/6 at the end of their innings, Australia were favourites to win the game. Not much was expected out of Namibia either, but what followed was the ultimate display of fast bowling.

Glenn McGrath took 7 wickets for just 15 runs at a mind-boggling economy rate of 2.14. Namibia was bundled out for just 45 runs as the Kangaroos eventually won the match by 256 runs.

3. World Cup 2003, Andy Bichel vs England (7 wickets for 20 runs)

England won the toss and opted to bat. Andy Bichel Heroics restricted the English batting lineup to just 204/8.

Bichel accounted for a total of 7 wickets and gave away just 20 runs at incredible economy rate of 2.00. Australia eventually chased down the target in 49.2 overs and won the match by 2 wickets.

2. World Cup, 1983 - Winston Davis vs Australia (7 Wickets for 51 Runs)

Put into bat by Australia, West Indies made 252/9 at the end of 60 overs. Chasing 253, Australia crumbled to a 101 run defeat.

Winston Davis was the Architect in chief for The West Indies as he ran through the Australian batting lineup, picking up 7 wickets for 51 runs at an economy rate of 4.85. He was later awarded Player of the Match for his brilliant bowling display.

1. World Cup, 1999- Glenn McGrath vs West Indies (5 Wickets for 14 runs)

Often regarded as the spell that inspired the Australian World Cup 1999 win, Glenn McGrath put on display one of the very best bowling spell against West Indies.

After suffering back to back losses against New Zealand and Pakistan, Australia desperately needed the win to stay in contention for the World Cup.

McGrath accounted for a total of 5 wickets which included the wicket of Brian Lara. West Indies were restricted to a total of just 110 runs. Australia easily chased down the target to win the match.

Such was the affect of this win, that Australia's campaign turned upside down as they went on to win the World Cup.

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