The tournaments hosted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) poses a whole new challenge for teams altogether. In such events where five or more sides are taking part, the big names in the teams need to be on top of their game.
The pressure increases as the crunch games approaches and the responsibility on the in-form players mounts. But at times, those cricketers have thrown surprises. While the bowlers have shown their ability with the bat, a few of the renowned batters have taken to bowling. It not only helped their teams, but also added to the entertainment quotient.
There are very few pleasant sights when a lower-order batsman takes the attack to the opponent’s premier bowler. On the other hand, famous batters have not only bowled, but also picked up wickets.
In the article, let’s take a look at five unique figures of big names in ICC events: –
1. MS Dhoni dismissing Travis Dowlin in 2009 CT
MS Dhoni, the veteran Indian cricketer, doesn’t cease to spring surprises. Though most of them were as a batsman, keeper and captain, there was an instance when he stepped up, successfully, as a bowler. In the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa, Dhoni went on to pick up his only wicket in ODI cricket.
The unique occurring took place in the game against the West Indies in Johannesburg. At the Wanderers Stadium, Dhoni introduced himself in the attack inside the first 20 overs. In the 17th over, he managed to go through Travis Dowlin’s defence.
A gentle delivery took Dowlin’s inside edge and crashed on to the stumps. It broke a 26-run stand for the fourth wicket between David Bernard and Dowlin. Dhoni rolled his arms over for two overs in which he churned out six dot balls.
2. AB de Villiers getting two wickets in 2015 WC
AB de Villiers is mostly known for taking the best of bowling attacks on his sleep even on slumber. However, the fact that he can also bowl handy medium pace is known to very few. In fact, he has two and seven wickets in Test and ODI cricket respectively in 66 overs.
His best figures came in the 2015 World Cup against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. In that match, he rolled his arms over for three overs in which he picked up a couple of wickets.
In the 33rd and 35th over of UAE’s run-chase, ABD pinned Saqlain Haider and Amjad Javed. Before that, he also got a wicket each against Ireland and Pakistan. The now 36-year-old had gained confidence to the extent he bowled three overs in the semi-final against New Zealand in Auckland.
3. Nuwan Kulasekara scoring 32 in the 2011 WC final
Nuwan Kulasekara, the former Sri Lanka fast bowler, was once the ICC’s number-one ranked ODI bowler. Last year in July, he hung his boots from all forms of cricket. Apart his batting, the now 37-year-old was also more than a handy batsman.
He was effective to such an extent that he batted above Thisara Perera in the final of the 2011 World Cup against India at the Wankhede Stadium. In Mumbai, he came to bat at number seven and stitched together a 66-run stand with Mahela Jayawardena, who got a an unbeaten 88-ball 103.
Kulasekara contributed 32 off 30 with a four and a six off India’s pace spearhead Zaheer Khan. It was his partnership with Mahela that helped Lanka get to a formidable 274 for six. MS Dhoni’s direct throw from behind the stumps cut short his knock.
4. Shoaib Akhtar’s 16-ball 43 in the 2003 WC
Shoaib Akhtar’s ODI batting average of 8.95 isn’t promising one by any means. He was all also about ruffling feathers with his vicious bouncers and lethal toe-crushers. However, the Rawalpindi Express once picked the bones out England, surprisingly with the bat in hand.
In the 2003 World Cup, Shoaib batted at number 11 and turned up with 43 runs off 16 balls at the Newlands in Cape Town. His knock was laced with five fours and three colossal sixes. The score was then the highest by a number.11 batter in ODIs before Mohammad Amir’s 58 toppled it.
In world events, Shoaib’s score remains to be at the top though. Despite his efforts, Pakistan lost the match by 112 runs while chasing 247. He had a tough day with the ball as he gave away 63 runs in his quota of nine overs.
5. Faf du Plessis dismissing Virender Sehwag in 2011 WC
Faf du Plessis was not only an effective skipper and batsman, but also a handy leg-break bowler. Though he got 143 wickets in the domestic level, he has managed only a couple ODI scalps for South Africa. One those scalps was that of Virender Sehwag in the 2011 ICC World Cup.
At the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, Sehwag ripped the heart out the Proteas attack, scoring 73 runs off 66 balls with 12 fours. India’s opening duo of Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar amassed 142 runs in a mere 17.4 overs. In the 18th over, Du Plessis pushed one through and Sehwag went for a cut.
But the batsman got a thin inside-edge and Faf rattled his woodwork. The Proteas went on to bowl India out for 296 and won the match by three wickets. Faf’s other wicket was Alastair Cook in 2012 at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
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