Excellent batting receives the majority of the attention in a cricket match, but excellent bowling is the only factor that can help a team win matches. A bowler delivers the ball in an attempt to hit the wickets, and by employing different delivery techniques, he can completely stun the batsman and lead him to a disastrous innings, manipulating him into batting poorly and sending him back to the dressing room.

So, here are the ten best bowling performances from the ICC World Cups that proved to be game-changers for their respective teams.

10. Mitchell Starc | 6/28 vs New Zealand, 2015

Mitchell Starc, cricket’s quickest bowler, is a member of Australia’s current One Day International (ODI) squad. On February 28, 2015, the 20th match of Pool A in the 2015 ICC World Cup was played at Eden Park Stadium between New Zealand and Australia.

While picking up 6 wickets, he gave up only 28 runs and had a better economy rate of 3.11, but he couldn’t save his side from defeat. However, this stint is unquestionably among the top bowling efforts in ODI World Cup history.

Moreover, Starc was the Player of the Tournament as he scalped 22 wickets in the 2015 edition.

9. Kemar Roach | 6/27 vs Netherlands, 2011

Kemar Roach, a West Indian right-arm fast bowler, was also praised for his performance as a member of the West Indian World Cup squad in 2011.

On February 28, 2011, the West Indies faced the Netherlands in the 13th match of Group B. That spell by Roach at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium is among the top bowling performances in the tournament’s history. 

Roach got 6 wickets in 8.3 overs while allowing only 27 runs at a remarkable economy rate of 3.17. The West Indies triumphed by 215 runs, and Kemar Roach was named Player of the Match for his outstanding bowling effort.

8. Chaminda Vaas | 6/25 vs Bangladesh, 2003

Former Sri Lankan left-arm fast bowler Chaminda Vaas is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time by cricket enthusiasts. At the 2004 inaugural ICC Awards, he was named in the World Test and One-Day XIs.

On February 14, 2003, Sri Lanka met Bangladesh in the tenth match of Pool B of the 2003 edition. Chaminda Vaas took 6 wickets in 9.1 overs, including two maiden overs. He only conceded 25 runs with a staggering economy rate of 2.72.

Sri Lanka scored 126 runs while chasing the mark without losing a wicket in 21.1 overs. Sri Lanka won the match by a margin of ten wickets, and Vaas was named Player of the Match for his incredible bowling effort.

7. Shane Bond | 6/23 vs Australia, 2003

On March 11, 2003, New Zealand and Australia met in the fifth Super Six match of the 2003 edition. Australia made 208/9 in 50 overs after New Zealand won the toss and elected to field first.

Shane Bond got 6 Australian wickets in 10 overs, including two maiden overs. He gave up only 23 runs at an incredible economic rate of 2.30.

While chasing the target, New Zealand could only score 112 runs in 30.1 overs, and Australia won the match by a score of 96 runs.

6. Ashish Nehra | 6/23 vs England, 2003

On February 26, 2003, India faced England in the 30th match of Pool A. India won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring 250/9 in 50 overs. England started their chase, but they were troubled by Ashish Nehra.

Nehra, a former Indian left-arm fast bowler, had his best bowling performance in the pinnacle event. In his 10-over spell, Ashish Nehra took 6 wickets and only allowed 23 runs, for a staggering economy rate of 2.30.

England made 168 runs in 45.3 overs while chasing the mark, and India won the match by a margin of 82 runs.

5. Gary Gilmour | 6/14 vs England, 1975

In the first semi-final of the 1975 Prudential World Cup, Gary Gilmour produced one of the finest bowling performances in ICC World Cup history. 

On June 18, 1975, Australia and England faced each other at Headingley Stadium. Australia won the toss and elected to bat first.

England, while batting first, scored 93 runs in 36.2 overs thanks to Gary Gilmour picking up 6 wickets in 12 overs, including two maidens. On that occasion, he only conceded 14 runs at a superior economy rate of only 1.16.

Also Read | What is Economy Rate in Cricket and How is it Calculated?

4. Winston Davis | 7/51 vs Australia, 1983

Winston Walter Davis, a former West Indian cricketer, was a member of the West Indies World Cup squad in 1983. In the seventh encounter of Group B, this exceptional bowler provided one of the most extraordinary bowling performances in the ICC World Cups.

Winston Davis grabbed 7 wickets in 10.3 overs at an economy rate of 4.85, helping the West Indies triumph over Australia by 101 runs.

3. Tim Southee | 7/33 vs England, 2015

On February 20, 2015, New Zealand met England in the ninth match of Pool A of the 2015 ICC World Cup at Westpac Stadium. England won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring only 123 runs in 33.2 overs. New Zealand’s Tim Southee got 7 wickets in 9 overs while allowing only 33 runs at a fantastic economy rate of 3.66.

While chasing the mark, New Zealand scored 125 runs with two wickets in 12.2 overs. New Zealand triumphed by eight wickets, and Tim Southee was named Player of the Match for his wonderful bowling effort.

2. Andy Bichel | 7/20 vs England, 2003

On March 2, 2003, Australia and England played the 37th match of Pool A in the 2003 edition at St George’s Park Stadium. England won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring 204/8 off 50 overs.

Australia’s Andy Bichel grabbed 7 wickets in 10 overs and made sure that England didn’t post a huge total. He only conceded 20 runs at an economy rate of 2.00.

1. Glenn McGrath | 7/15 vs Namibia, 2003

On February 27, 2003, Australia and Namibia played the 31st match of Pool A at North West Cricket Stadium. Australia won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring 301/6 off 50 overs. While chasing the target, Namibia managed to score 45 runs in 14 overs, losing all ten wickets.

Namibian batters couldn’t stand in front of McGrath’s wrath. Glenn McGrath grabbed seven wickets in his 7 overs, four of which were maidens, while allowing only 15 runs at an incredible economy rate of 2.14.

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