5 bowling achievements by unlikely players
There have been many instances when the most interesting feats with the cricket ball have been produced under surprising circumstances and by the unlikeliest of players. Many of these under-rated records or interesting performances get lost in the dusty corners of yellowing cricket archives. Inzamum-ul-Haq,mostly remembered for being one of Pakistan’s batting greats, should also be remembered as one of very few players (rather batsmen) to have taken their first ODI wicket with the very first delivery of his career.
Such interesting records can even be found in our own cricket history like the time when journalists were confused by Syed Kirmani bowling a single no-ball that gave victory to the West Indies which can be regarded as the shortest spell by a wicket-keeper. (However through scoreboard records, later it was recorded that Kirmani bowled one legitimate ball besides the no-ball thus proving the people in charge of the scoresheet to be more efficient than the journalists.)
This list is an attempt to remember and appreciate 5 such bowling performances and statistics that are interesting simply because they are held not by ‘bowlers’ but by very unlikely players who are not majorly associated with bowling in the arena of international cricket.
1. Sachin’s last over in the Hero Cup semi-final against South Africa in 1993
Sachin Tendulkar has many records to his name but hardly any of those are associated with his bowling prowess. One of the most exciting overs in cricket history has the little master’s name attached to the memories when he was given the ball by Mohammad Azharuddin to defend 5 runs in the last over of in the Hero Cup semi-final against South Africa in 1993.
It was his first over in the match and a huge gamble for India. The first ball yielded a run and a run-out leaving last-wicket pair of Brian McMillan and Allan Donald at the crease. As commentator Henry Blofeld famously states “Tendulkar looks ice cool,” Sachin follows it up with three dot balls and then has a long chat with keeper Vijay Yadav while Brian McMillan suggests something to Allan Donald and he finally gets off the mark with a single.
Vijay Yadav was back on the 30 yard circle to intercept an inside edge. McMillan did produce an inside edge in the last ball which carried to the keeper. All they could manage was a single and Sachin had marvelously bowled at the death to bring up a memorable victory for India.