Spectacular batting is what the fans want to see in a cricket match and the World Cup has been the stage, more than a few times, for some superlative performances. As we head closer to the ICC World Cup 2015, here’s a look at arguably the five greatest World Cup batting performances:
Viv Richards 138* Vs England, Lord’s, London, 1979
King Viv has two knocks that could make this list (181 Vs SL being the other) but this one makes it through by virtue of being in a final. Richards played with typical swagger and the not-so-fearsome England attack failed to bother him. He along with Collis King took the West Indian total to 291 which England, facing Roberts, Holding, Croft and Garner, fell short of chasing by nearly a 100 runs.
Kapil Dev 175 Vs Zimbabwe, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 1983
Even though no one other than the people at the ground that day has seen this innings, it is easy to imagine what an incredible knock the Indian captain must have played that day. Possibly the greatest Indian batting performance in a World Cup, Kapil Dev came in when the team was tottering at 15 / 5 and then went on to make the highest individual score by an Indian which was broken 16 years later in another World cup by Ganguly.
Aravinda De Silva 107* Vs Aus, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore 1996
Aravinda De Silva played a classic innings of restraint to see Sri Lanka through to a World Cup win. After Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana were cheaply dismissed and Gurusinha going at snail’s pace it was up to De Silva to keep the score moving which he did masterfully. He stuck till the end with Ranatunga to comfortably chase a competitive total of 241 and was fittingly the man of the match. Sri Lanka also thus became the first team to win the World Cup batting second.
Adam Gilchrist 149 Vs SL, Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados, 2007
With the rains threatening to ruin the game altogether, Gilchrist launched an onslaught at the strike rate of 143 against the Sri Lankan attack. In conditions not at all favoring the batters, Gilchrist made a mockery of Vaas, Malinga and Murali and took Australia to 281 from 38 overs. It was a repeat of the 2003 final in a sense with the match almost out of reach of the opposition before the second innings even started.
Kevin O’Brien 113 Vs England, M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, 2011
This was the one game Ireland would have wanted to win at the World cup and Kevin O’Brien ensured just that with his superb 113. Chasing 328, Ireland looked set to fail with the top order perishing for indifferent scores. Ireland was tottering at 111 / 5 at one stage until the pink haired O’Brien took over. Scoring at a strike rate of 179, he not only hit the fastest century in the World Cup but also managed to put Ireland within 11 runs of the target which was achieved with 5 balls to spare.
This year when cricket’s biggest event rolls up be where the action is! Plan a trip to Australia and New Zealand with Eventraveler’s ICC World Cup 2015 page.