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Best bowling performances in ODI cricket

We will take a look at the best bowling performances in ODI cricket. As we all know cricket, especially the shorter forms of the game, is a batsman’s game. Many a time, people tend to forget the major role played by the team’s bowlers, as the batsmen carry away all the hype and glory. If Sachin Tendulkar were the best bowler in the world for two decades, would he have got the recognition and respect that he gets today? Food for thought.

The world has seen some really great bowlers from the time of speedsters such as Richard Hadlee and Dennis Lillee to the recently retired off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. Here we look at 5 of the best bowling figures in One Day Internationals.

Chaminda Vaas

Chaminda Vaas 8/19 (Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Colombo (SSC), 8 Dec 2001)

In 2001, a 27-year-old Chaminda Vaas registered the best bowling figures in the history of One Day Internationals. He single-handedly tore apart the Zimbabwe batting line-up to finish with match-winning figures of 8 wickets for just 19 runs at an economy rate of 2.37 runs per over. He has been described as the most penetrative and successful new ball bowler Sri Lanka have ever produced.

Shahid Afridi 7/12 (Pakistan v West Indies, Providence, 14 Jul 2013) 

The man who once held the record for the fastest century in ODIs almost broke the record held by Vaas, in 2013, when he took seven wickets for 12 runs against the West Indies at Providence. Known for his explosive batting, this Pakistani maestro has time and again proved that he is even more dangerous with the ball in his hands and is thus has the second best bowling performance in ODIs.

Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath 7/15 (Australia v Namibia, Potchefstroom, 27 Feb 2003) 

Glenn McGrath registered these bowling figures against a hapless Namibian batting unit in a world cup match at South Africa. At an economy rate of 2.14, McGrath destroyed Namibia in just seven overs of his bowling, a spell that included 4 maiden overs. 

Andy Bichel 7/20 (Australia v England, Port Elizabeth, 2 Mar 2003) 

A name probably forgotten by fans when compared to greats like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, Andy Bichel came up with figures of 7/20 against a pretty decent England batting line-up during the 2003 World Cup. He was the star of the day for his bowling figures as well as his batting when he and Michael Bevan rescued Australia with an unbeaten 73-run 9th-wicket partnership.

Muthiah Muralitharan 7/30 (Sri Lanka v India, Sharjah, 27 Oct 2000)

The spin wizard from Sri Lanka, arguably the greatest spinner the world has ever seen, has the fifth best bowling performance in ODI cricket with bowling figures of 7/30 against arch-rivals India at Sharjah. His splendid spell against the Indians broke the world record that was held by Aaqib Javed at that time.

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