ODI cricket has been a challenging format for so many years. The limited-overs format has witnessed the arrival of some of the best bowling performers, who have gone on to produce some brilliant bowling performances. This piece discusses the ten best bowling figures (performances) in ODI cricket.
These bowlers had different skill sets, but they could change the outcome of a game with their skilful bowling. These bowlers were match winners on their day as they could destroy any batting line-up. Let us have a look at the 10 best bowling performances in ODI cricket.
#10 Aaqib Javed vs India – 7/37 (1991, Sharjah)
The right-arm medium pacer could not make it big in international cricket despite having loads of talent due to the ever-growing competition in the pace attack in the Pakistani outfit during the 1990s. However, Javed’s unpredictable length and deceptive medium pace troubled the Indian batters on a seaming wicket on the Sharjah cricket ground. The medium pacer also baffled the Indian batters with his clever out-swingers.
#9 Waqar Younis vs England – 7/36 (2001, Leeds)
The master of reverse swing looked destructive with his reverse swing as the English batters looked clueless against him. The pacer swung the ball late, putting the English batsmen in two minds. Younis also bowled seam-up deliveries while his pace was difficult to handle. He had this ability to pick crucial wickets during critical moments, which was clearly visible in this performance.
#8 Trent Boult vs West Indies – 7/34 (2017, Christchurch)
This would be remembered as one of the best bowling spells in ODI cricket by any New Zealand pacer till now. Boult swung the ball both ways with accuracy while occasionally surprising the West Indian batters with his clever seam movements. The left-arm pacer bowling combines pace and swing, making it challenging to play him.
#7 Tim Southee vs England – 7/33 (2015, Napier)
The right-arm medium pacer has bowled well alongside Trent Boult in the last decade or so. Southee outfoxed the English batters with his clever inswingers and used the slower ones to outsmart them. His clever seam movements troubled the English batters right throughout the innings. Southee was fearless in pitching the ball up. The pacer also used the hard length to good effect.
#6 Muttiah Muralitharan vs India – 7/30 (2000, Sharjah)
The legendary spinner outfoxed the Indian batters with his clever flighted deliveries and turned the ball a long way—the ‘Smiling Assassin,” as he was fondly called, bowled in the right areas. Indian batters looked clueless against his wrist spin. The off-spinner outsmarted the Indian batters with his clever variations and turned the ball on a wicket that also provided some help to the batters. Find out here every record Murali holds in the game!
#5 Andy Bichel vs England – 7/20 (2003, Port Elizabeth)
Although Bichel was one of the most underrated bowlers in a star-studded Australian line-up during the 2000s, the pacer was destructive with his pace on his day. The pacer bowled brilliantly to outgun the English middle order. His length was accurate, and he generated a lot of unpredictable seam movement. Bichel bowled fast full-length deliveries in the middle overs, due to which the English batsmen couldn’t score easily.
#4 Rashid Khan vs West Indies 7/18 (2017, St Lucia)
The leg spinner has been one of the sensational finds for Afghan cricket since he arrived at the International arena. Khan bowled with a lot of heart as he wasn’t afraid to flight the ball. He outsmarted the West Indies batters with his variations and clever googlies. Moreover, khan surprised the batters with his faster ones.
#3 Glenn McGrath vs Namibia – 7/15 (2003, Potchefstroom)
This would go down as one of the finest bowling spells by any Australian pacer in ODI cricket. McGrath looked a class apart when he got going with his accurate length and upright seam movement. He didn’t possess the pace, but his length got the better of any well-set batsman. McGrath bowled a top spell that day, although Namibia is considered a lesser-known team.
#2 Shahid Afridi vs West Indies – 7/12 (2013, Guyana)
“Boom Boom” Afridi, as he was nicknamed for his destructive batting, was also a handy leg spinner. Afridi used a lot of faster ones and googlies to keep the West Indies batters in check. Windies batters found it difficult to hit the big ones when he operated. The leg spinner had this knack for breaking partnerships visible in this spell.
#1 Chaminda Vaas vs Zimbabwe – 8/19 (2001, Colombo)
The left-arm medium pacer had the ability to uproot any batting line-up with his ability to swing the ball both ways. Vaas showcased accuracy with his line, and the Zimbabwean batters found it difficult to handle his incoming seaming deliveries. He had this knack for picking crucial wickets, which made him a complete match-winner on his day.