Thursday, April 2, 2015

Top 5 Batting Performances of Cricket World Cup 2015

Here are my Top 5 memorable batting performances from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015!

New Zealand needed 298 runs in 43 overs for a place in the final as South Africa, aided by AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis and David Miller had made a big score. New Zealand were provided a rapid start by Brendon McCullum but they soon lost their way stumbling to 149-4 in the 22nd over. With around 150 runs still needed, Grant Elliot forged a partnership with Corey Anderson as they kept the runs coming. But Corey departed just as the match was beginning to fall in New Zealand's lap. Luke Ronchi went soon after. New Zealand still required 29 runs off 17 balls and then 12 off the last over. Grant Elliott was the Ice Man through all the ups and downs of this riveting match as he thumped a six off the penultimate ball off one of the leading bowlers of World Cricket, Dale Steyn, over long on for a huge six. As Dale Steyn slumped to the pitch after the ball, Elliot, like a true warrior, in a moment that epitomized just why we all love sport so much, gave him a helping hand aiding him get to his feet. He had won a cricket match just moments earlier but won hearts of millions across the globe almost immediately too!!

Grant Elliott - That was the Number 1 Innings in the World Cup 2015, wasn't it??

Steven Smith, 65 off 69 balls against Pakistan - 3rd Quarter Final

Although Australia were chasing a small target of just 214 they were in some strife after Finch and Warner had both departed without much contribution. Then the captain was out caught at short leg by a rip snorter of a delivery by Wahab Riaz. With Shane Watson burning in the fire of Wahab Riaz's hell next, Steven Smith cut a serene figure at the other end. He drove the ball as easy as you like and was never troubled right through. If Steven Smith would have gone without scoring much then I think that Australia would have probably lost that game. Steven Smith, that day, showed his class and his temperament and guided Australia's ship with unnerving ease.

It was the big Semi Final against India at the SCG and Warner had departed early. With Finch struggling to even lay bat on ball Steven Smith raced to his fifty and then to his hundred off just 89 balls! As other batsmen came and went at the other end, Steven Smith tormented the Indian bowlers like he had done all summer. He toyed with Shami and Yadav and Ashwin was rendered useless as Smith used his feet to unsettle his length. It was a masterclass in how to bat in a knockout game with a panache and class of a seasoned soldier!

AB De Villiers, 162* off 66 balls against West Indies at SCG

South Africa had won the toss and decided to bat first against the West Indians. The Proteas were having a good day but they lost 2 wickets in the same Chris Gayle over, both the set batsmen getting out. Out walked AB De Villiers, the man who had just smashed the fastest hundred in an ODI against the same attack off just 31 balls. carnage followed as De Villiers once again got in to the act. He batted like a man at the peak of his powers and played some absolutely remarkable shots. The West Indian skipper who at one stage had splendid bowling figures of 5-2-9-1 ended up with 10-2-104-1 as he was torn to shreds by his opposite number!

It was the Quarter Final and there was pressure on New Zealand as McCullum had departed early. Williamson had also not been able to impress and Ross Taylor was struggling for his timing. Martin Guptill decided that it was time for him to impose on the match and the situation. He had started slowly and reached his ton off 111 balls but he just exploded after that. The balls kept disappearing straight as there were no fancy or cute shots attempted. He brought up his 200 off just 152 balls as New Zealand ramped up 393, the highest score in a World Cup knockout match!

Which was your favorite innings from this World Cup? Which batsman do you think played an innings that should have been listed here?

The Top 5 Batsmen of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

PS - The image used is courtesy

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