The Cricket World Cup 2019 was lit up by some fantastic bowling spells, but which ones were the best of the bunch?
1. Shaheen Afridi – 6/35 (vs Bangladesh)
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Cut to the start of the tournament and not a soul would have even heard of, let alone bet on Pakistan’s teenage sensation Shaheen Afridi. With the Pakistanis all but out of the tournament, Afridi’s 6/35 breathed life back into a nation so disappointed with their cricketing idols.
Moreover, Shaheen broke a host of records on the way to his 6-for, claiming the best bowling figures by a player at Lord’s, the most number of wickets by a teenager in a World Cup event, as well as the youngest to claim a five-wicket-haul at the home of cricket.
2. Mitchell Starc – 5/26 (vs New Zealand)
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On another day Starc would have been top of the pile, but for Afridi’s spell of teenage brilliance. The Australian, however, has still been the best bowler in the tournament and testament to that was his 5/26 against New Zealand that decimated the Black Caps.
In a game where contemporary Boult claimed a hat-trick, Starc went one step further and wiped out the Kiwi tail to bowl them out for a paltry 157 in response to Australia’s 243.
3. Shakib Al Hasan 5/29 (vs Afghanistan)
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The complete all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan’s 5-wicket-haul came against minnows Afghanistan but is still worth a mention, especially considering how he scored a gritty 51 in the same game and then went on to bowl his full quota of 10 overs.
The highlight of his performance was when he claimed the crucial wickets of captain Naib as well as Nabi in the space of three balls to completely turn the tide in his team’s favour and all but win the game for them.
4. Mohammad Amir 5/30 (vs Australia)
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Another one of the tournament’s best bowlers, Amir claimed career-best figures of 5/30 against the Australians, in a devastating spell. He conceded just a single boundary in his entire spell and crucially claimed both Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch.
Despite all his heroics, the tournament just wasn’t to be for Amir as Pakistan’s late fightback in the competition wasn’t enough to claim a knockout-spot.
5. Jimmy Neesham 5/31 (vs Afghanistan)
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In the news currently for his World Cup heartbreak against England, one of Neesham’s best moments in the tournament came against Afghanistan – bowling Afghanistan out for a total of just 172 runs.
The all-rounder claimed career-best figures and Neesham along with Lockie Ferguson claimed 9 out of the oppositions 10 wickets.