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Top 5 bowling performances of the 2011 World Cup

Zaheer Khan was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup
Zaheer Khan was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup
Sai Krishna
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 02 Apr 2021
Feature

India won the 2011 World Cup exactly 10 years ago and memories from the tournament are as fresh as ever.

Certain bowling displays still hold a special place in fans' hearts, even though we've seen two 50-over World Cups and countless stellar individual performances since.

In this article, we attempt to name the five best bowling performances from the 2011 World Cup.

Honorable Mentions: Nathan McCullum (3/24) vs South Africa, Kemar Roach (6/27) vs Netherlands, Lasith Malinga (6/38) vs Kenya, Yuvraj Singh (5/31) vs Ireland

Disclaimer: It is next to impossible to narrow down an entire tournament's worth of bowling displays to just five selections. Quality of opposition has been considered, with intent on finding spells that made a resounding impact even if they weren't among the best bowling figures in the 2011 World Cup.


#5 Stuart Broad (4/15 vs South Africa, 2011 World Cup group stage)

Stuart Broad had a major role to play in England
Stuart Broad had a major role to play in England's 2011 World Cup win over South Africa

The World Cup hasn't been kind to South Africa over the years, and one notable example of them "choking" came in the 2011 edition against England.

After bowling England out for just 171 in Chennai, thanks to seven wickets from Robin Peterson and Imran Tahir, the Proteas were comfortably placed at 124/3. But AB de Villiers' wicket in the 32nd over triggered a massive collapse.

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Prior to that point in the match, Stuart Broad had dragged England into the contest by sending Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis back to the hut after coming into the attack as the fifth bowler. After South Africa lost 5 wickets for just 40 runs, Broad wrapped up the tail.

The England pacer trapped Dale Steyn in front before finding the edge of Morne Morkel's bat, catching South Africa 6 runs short. Ravi Bopara was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 60, but Broad's contribution was equally - if not more - valuable.


#4 Ashish Nehra (2/33 vs Pakistan, 2011 World Cup semi-final)

Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra's understated spell against Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup was worth its weight in gold

It might be extremely surprising to see a 2-wicket haul on this list of best bowling performances in the 2011 World Cup, but Ashish Nehra's spell against Pakistan in the semi-final was worth its weight in gold.

Nehra's wickets - Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul - meant that Misbah-ul-Haq eventually ran out of partners and had to take matters completely into his own hands. But his real understated contribution came with the new ball.

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Accompanying Zaheer Khan, Nehra was unerringly accurate and didn't let the Pakistan batsmen impart any momentum into the run-chase. They scored only around 100 runs in the first half of the innings, putting immense pressure on the middle order to up the ante.

Nehra missed the final due to an injury he sustained in the semi-final. His performance in the game really should be talked about more, especially since it came after the setback he endured against South Africa in the group stage.


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Published 02 Apr 2021, 12:48 IST
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