5 fast bowling spells that rattled the opposition batting line-up

Trent Boult perturbed the English team in the most humiliating way.
Trent Boult perturbed the English team in the most humiliating way

Sometimes, in cricket, it only takes a single great performance to rattle the opposition. Let alone a performance of a lifetime, sometimes it takes only one spell, that one bowling spell, that not only causes the opposition to flounder and collapse, it also changes the perception of the bowler in the eyes of the fans.

And that is exactly what Trent Boult achieved on day one of the first Test between New Zealand and England.

So intense and ferocious was Boult's spell that by the end of the 13th over, England were reduced to 23-7, with Boult figures reading 7-3-9-5 till that point.

Ending with six wickets in his pocket, Boult and Southee reduced England to just 58, courtesy a 31-run partnership for the last wicket.

This was not the first time in the history of cricket when an opening bowling spell completely destroyed the batting order. As a tribute to Boult, we take a look at five such bowling spells from the past 15 years.


#5 Dale Steyn (8.1-6-8-6 vs Pakistan in 2011)

South Africa v West Indies Test Match Series - Third Test Day 4
Steyn at his very best against Pakistan

This was Dale Steyn at his very best. After posting a moderate total of 253 in the first inning of the first Test against Pakistan in Johannesburg, The Proteas bowling presented probably their best performance, and it was proudly led by the best bowler of this generation.

Ably supported by Vernon Philander and Jacques Kallis, Steyn ripped through the Pakistani batting line up and left them into shambles.

Bowling with intent and fire, Steyn reduced the Pakistan team to 12-3 in just six overs, with his figures reading 3-2-4-3.

With Pakistan already in shock after the early collapse, Philander and Kallis took two wickets each to reduce Pakistan to 39-7.

Steyn finished the tail in just two overs, with Pakistan folding for just 47 on the scoreboard and the South African pacer ending with figures of 8.1-6-8-6.

#4 Jerome Taylor (9-4-11-5 vs England in 2009)

The pinnacle of Taylor's career.
The pinnacle of Taylor's career.

Jerome Taylor was never the kind of player who could single-handedly win a match for his team.

Although he was the most successful fast bowler for the West Indies in the post-Ambrose/Walsh era, he played in an era where the West Indies team was struggling to regain their form in Test Cricket.

Yet, on that day Taylor gave the performance of his career as he helped West Indies record one of their biggest wins during that period.

With England posting 318 in the first test in Kingston, West Indies replied back with 392 on the board, taking a first-innings lead of a moderate 74 runs.

What followed was pure carnage. Taylor gashed through the English batting order, taking a five-wicket haul in the first session to reduce England to 23-6.

His career-defining spell of 9-4-11-5, supported by some good bowling by Suleiman Benn, was too much for the English team as they folded for just 51 runs, giving the Windies victory by an inning and 23 runs and a 1-0 lead in the series.

#3 Steve Harmison (12.3-8-12-7 vs West Indies in 2004)

West Indies simply had no answer to Harmison.
West Indies simply had no answer to Harmison

Another opening match of an England-West Indies series, but with the roles reversed this time out as it was England who had the last laugh.

Their weapon of destruction - none other than 'Big' Steve Harmison. West Indies started the match in a very good way, posting a respectable 311 on the board.

With a first innings score of 339, England gained a minimal lead of just 28 runs. No one knew that this minimal lead was enough for the English team to win the match by 10 wickets.

West Indies started off steadily, scoring 13 runs in the first 7 overs and, then, everything went downhill for them.

Harmison initiated a carnage, taking a wicket or two every over to completely rattle the West Indian line up.

With support from Matthew Hoggard from the other end, Harmison's career-best spell of 12.3-8-12-7 reduced the Windies to just 47 runs in the 26th over.

England easily chased the target of 20 runs to take the lead in the series.

#2 Vernon Philander (6-3-7-5 vs New Zealand in 2013)

Philander was breathing fire that day.
Philander was breathing fire that day

Philander simply doesn't get enough credit for his performances in the longest format, especially when you consider that the man has been a member of the South African team for over seven years.

Always living in the shadow of Steyn and Morne Morkel, Philander finally came into limelight with a performance that can, at best, be termed as a bad nightmare for the New Zealand team during their 2013 tour to the rainbow nation.

Batting first on a green top in Newlands, New Zealand were well aware of the skills of Morkel and Steyn, but it was Philander who proved to be the game changer.

So good and unplayable was his fiery opening spell that it reduced The Black Caps to just 30-6 in 12 overs, with Philander registering exceptional figures of 6-3-7-5.

With Steyn and Morkel cleaning up the remaining four, New Zealand's innings ended with just 45 runs on the scoreboard, their lowest ever total in a test innings.

#1 Stuart Broad (9.3-5-15-8 vs Australia in 2015)

The Darkest Day in Australian Cricket History.
The best bowling spell in Ashes History

We all remember this phenomenal spell, don't we? For years, Stuart Board played the second fiddle to the legendary James Anderson in the English bowling.

Despite building a superb reputation for himself, Broad was never "The Bowler" in the England team.

It all changed on that fateful day, when Broad ripped through the Australian batting lineup and, for just one day, became the premier bowler in the whole cricketing world.

With England leading 2-1 coming into this match, Australia were motivated to make a comeback into the series.

Who knew that Broad was gonna humiliate them in the worst way possible? Striking twice in the first over of the match, Broad removed both Warner and Smith and triggered a collapse that ended with Australia getting bundled out for just 60 after only 18.3 overs.

Unplayable and fiery, Broad's career-best figures of 9.3-5-15-8 laid the foundation stone for an impressive Ashes win for England.

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Edited by Alan John