10 glorifying moments of World Cup 2015

Published: April 1, 2015
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Many believed that Australia’s glory days were over after their quarter-final exit in the last World Cup in 2011, but Australia reinstated their dominance. PHOTO: AFP/ESPNCRICINFO

As the 11th edition of the World Cup comes to an end, I decided to compile a list of the 10 best moments from this year’s tournament.

Here they are:

Ireland takes out the Windies:

Photo: AFP

From the very start of the tournament, Ireland were out to make a statement after the ICC minimised the coming World Cup to 10 teams, and in their first game against the West Indies, they did just that. Chasing 304 at Nelson, Ireland won with ease with four wickets in hand and 25 balls to spare, staying true to their tag of ‘giant killers’ and proving that they needed to be taken more seriously.

Tim Southeee decimates England:

Tim Southee. Photo: AFP

Southee completely decimated the England batting line-up during New Zealand’s clash against England at Wellington. His figures of seven wickets for 33 runs were the best so far by a New Zealander in ODIs, and the third best by any bowler in a World Cup match. Unfortunately, England was cleaned up for 121. And if that was not enough, Captain Brendon McCullum came out and hit the fastest World Cup 50 to take New Zealand home with eight wickets in hand and 226 balls to spare.

Kumar Sangakkara cannot stop scoring centuries:

Kumar Sangakkara. Photo: AFP

Sangakkara reminded us why he is the legend that he is, as he became the first player to score four consecutive ODI centuries, as well as the first player to score four centuries in a World Cup. His centuries were made against Bangladesh, England, Australia and Scotland at Melbourne, Wellington, Sydney and Hobart respectively.

Pakistani bowlers overpower South Africa:

Photo: cricinfo

After painfully humiliating defeats against India and West Indies and a narrow win against Zimbabwe, Pakistan finally bounced back in a stunning fashion against South Africa. Defending just 231 at Auckland, the Pakistani seamers ripped through the mercurial South African batting line-up, bowling them out for 202 and setting up a 29 run victory.

Bangladesh sends England packing:

Photo: AFP

Bangladesh put forth a magnificent performance to send a struggling England side out of the World Cup. After a superb 100 from Mahmudullah Riyad which pushed the set-up to a total of 275, the Bangladeshi bowlers came out and bowled England out for 260, winning by 15 runs and advancing into the knockouts.

Double tons galore:

Chris Gayle. Photo: AFP

Chris Gayle destroyed a hapless Zimbabwean bowling attack at Canberra after scoring the first World Cup double century, as well as the fifth in ODI, as West Indies posted a mammoth 372 for four. His partnership with Marlon Samuels also broke the record for the highest partnership in ODIs for any wicket.

Gayle’s record, however, did not even last a month, as New Zealander Martin Guptill scored an unbeaten 237 against the West Indies in the fourth quarter-final, setting up a huge New Zealand victory and winning themselves a place in the semis.

South Africa did not exactly choke this time:

Photo: AFP

South Africa finally overcame their knockout hoax by thrashing Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the first quarter-final at Sydney. Their spinners Imran Tahir and JP Duminy took seven wickets between themselves. Duminy took a hat-trick, as Sri Lanka fell for a meagre 133. Sadly for Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardena, their last ODI match proved to be a highly forgettable one. But in the semi-finals they fought well against New Zealand and did not exactly choke out of the tournament as they were normally predicted to do.

Wahab’s super spell:

Photo: AFP

Pakistan’s batting failed to come through yet again in their quarter-final match against Australia at Adelaide as they were bowled out for 213. Wahab Riaz, however, was in no mood to go down without a fight. Bowling with brilliant pace and bounce, he produced one of the greatest bowling spells in World Cup history.

Even though Pakistan could not win, the sensational spell that Wahab bowled will forever be etched in the minds of those who witnessed it, particularly Shane Watson. This would also be the last match of Misbahul Haq and Shahid Afridi’s ODI careers.

Elliott takes New Zealand to MCG:

Photo: AFP

The first semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa proved to be one of the most memorable and thrilling ODIs in recent history. In a rain-affected match, South Africa saw themselves defending a game of 298 in 43 overs.

Despite a strong start, New Zealand saw the game slipping away from their hands as South Africa took wickets at regular intervals. Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott solidified the New Zealand chase with an important partnership, but South Africa struck back again with quick wickets and in the final over, the Kiwis needed 12 runs to win.

Luckily for them, Elliott was at the crease and he smashed Dale Steyn for a six off the second last ball, and just like that, the Blackcaps were on their way to Melbourne.

Australia lifts their fifth World Cup title:

Photo: AFP

Many believed that Australia’s glory days were over after their quarter-final exit in the last World Cup in 2011, but Australia reinstated their dominance as they lifted their fifth World Cup title after beating New Zealand by seven wickets in front of 93,000 people at Melbourne.

Their pacers, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, and Mitchell Starc made quick work of the New Zealand batsmen, bowling them out for 183, after which Michael Clarke and Steven Smith hit resilient half centuries to take Australia to victory.

Khalid Rafi

Khalid Rafi

The author enjoys writing and is passionate about Pakistan Cricket. He tweets @TheKhalidRafi (twitter.com/TheKhalidRafi)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.