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7 renowned bowlers without a 5-wicket haul in ODIs

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin
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Renin Wilben Albert

Claiming a five-wicket haul in one-day internationals is the bowling equivalent of scoring a hundred in the format. Most successful bowlers have claimed a five-for in their ODI career at least once.

However, there are a few bowlers who have had very impressive one-day careers but somehow could never claim a five-wicket haul.

In this feature, we look at seven prominent bowlers without a five-for in their one-day career.

#7 Gavin Larsen

Gavin Larsen Bob Willis
Gavin Larsen Bob Willis

A one-day specialist, Gavin Larsen was an indispensable part of New Zealand’s set-up right through the 90s. His accurate, stifling medium pace bowling frustrated many a famous batsman.

Larsen played a total of 121 ODIs for the Kiwis in which he claimed 113 wickets at an average of 35.39, but more significantly at an economy rate of 3.76.

Larsen’s best bowling figures of 4 for 24 came in a game against Pakistan at Auckland on 13 March 1994. Larsen dismissed big guns Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Wasim Akram as Pakistan were held to 161 for 9 batting first.

The game ended in a scintillating tie as Waqar Younis ripped apart the Kiwis with figures of 6 for 30.

#6 Bob Willis

Bob Willis
Bob Willis

One of England’s most fearsome fast bowlers, Bob Willis could tear apart any opponent on his day. He played 64 ODIs in which he claimed 80 wickets at an average of 24.60.

Willis claimed four-wicket hauls as many as four times, but could never claim that extra wicket to enter the five-for club.

His best of 4 for 11 came against Canada in the 1979 World Cup match played on June 13-14 at Manchester. This was the game in which Canada were bowled out for 45. England thumped Canada by eight wickets in the game.

Also see – World Test Championship points table

#5 Ian Botham

Ian Botham
Ian Botham

One of the finest all-rounders the game has ever produced, Ian Botham was a highly skilled one-day bowler. Apart from scoring 2113 runs in 116 ODIs, Botham also had 145 wickets to his name at an average of 28.54, with three four-wicket hauls.

Botham’s best one-day figures of 4 for 31 came against Australia at Sydney on 5 March 1992 in the World Cup. He dismissed Aussie skipper Allan Border as well as Ian Healy, Paul Taylor and Craig McDermott to bundle them out for 171 in the first innings.

Botham and Graham Gooch then contributed half-centuries as England eased to an eight-wicket win.

#4 Jeff Thomson

Jeff Thomson
Jeff Thomson

Much before Shoaib Akhtar and Brett Lee and the era of speed guns, Jeff Thomson was considered the fastest bowler in world cricket. Apart from 200 Test wickets, he claimed 55 wickets in 50 ODIs at an average of 35.30.

Thomson claimed a four-wicket haul only once in his career - 4 for 67 against a strong West Indies at St John's on 22 February 1978.

Thomson bowled Desmond Haynes in that match, but not before the opener had blazed his way to 148. He added three more scalps at the end but West Indies posted 313 batting first and won the match by 44 runs, with the Aussies falling short of the revised target of 226 in 36 overs.

#3 Malcolm Marshall

Malcolm Marshall
Malcolm Marshall

Apart from an incredible Test career in which he claimed 376 wickets, the late Malcolm Marshall was impressive in one-dayers as well, where he picked up 157 wickets in 136 games at an average of 26.96. Marshall had as many as six four-wicket hauls in his ODI career.

His best of 4 for 18 came towards the fag end of his career, against Australia during a Benson & Hedges World Series game at Melbourne on 12 December 1991. His 10 overs included four maidens as he dismissed Geoff Marsh, David Boon and Dean Jones to keep the Aussies down to 173 for 9 batting first.

The Windies batting however collapsed to 164 all out as Craig McDermott, Steve Waugh and Paul Taylor combined to claim seven wickets.

In a bizarre occurrence, West Indies lost three consecutive wickets to run outs -- those of Malcolm Marshall, Keith Arthurton and David Williams.

#2 Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath
Rangana Herath

A legend of Test cricket with 433 scalps from 93 matches, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath did reasonably well in ODIs as well. He pocketed 74 wickets in 71 games at an average of 31.91 and an impressive economy of 4.37.

Herath claimed four wickets only once in ODIs - 4 for 20 against India in the famous tri-series final played at Port of Spain on 11 July 2013. Herath dismissed Rohit Sharma (58), Dinesh Karthik (23), Ravindra Jadeja (5) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0) as India stumbled in the chase of 202.

MS Dhoni, however, kept his cool and blasted Shaminda Eranga for two fours and a six in the last over as India won by one wicket with two balls to spare.

#1 Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin

The only active cricketer in the list, Ravichandran Ashwin has claimed exactly 150 wickets in 111 one-day international games to go along with his 342 scalps in 65 Tests. However, his chances of adding to his one-day appearances seem rather bleak with the younger generation in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav being preferred in the ODI format for now, and Ashwin also approaching his mid-30s.

Ashwin has managed only one four-wicket haul in his ODI career so far, which came against minnows UAE in the 2015 World Cup game played at Perth on 28 February.

UAE batted first after winning the toss but managed only 102. Ashwin was the best bowler for India with 4 for 25; his scalps included those of Krishna Chandran, Khurram Khan and Swapnil Patil.

India chased down the target with ease, by nine wickets, as Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on 57.

Edited by Musab Abid
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