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Greatest Moments from 2015 Cricket World Cup

Australia became 5 time world champions
Kartik Tandon

The cricket World Cup started from 1975 and some of the greatest cricket matches have taken place in the World Cup over the years. Cricket is one of the most celebrated game in the world and the World Cup has given some great moments to cricket fanatics down the years.

In the final of the 2015 ICC World Cup, the Australians successfully imposed the 'unfathomable size' of Melbourne Cricket Ground and beat their neighbours for that unprecedented haul of world titles. The Black Caps, after playing some tremendous cricket, failed to overcome the pressure of playing before a massive crowd at the MCG and came short of claiming their first ever big title.

Steven Smith and Mitchell Starc who were in the form of a lifetime gave the Aussies a moment to cherish. Let's look at the top moments of the ICC World Cup 2015:

Kumar Sangakkara's four consecutive Hundreds.

Kumar Sangakkara struck four consecutive Hundreds.
Kumar Sangakkara struck four consecutive Hundreds.

In the tournament, the 37-year-old went on to make four successive hundreds, as consistency was personified. It's a cricketing feat which may never be matched or bettered. It is sad that the prolific run-scorer announced his retirement from the 50-overs format later, along with his long-time companion Mahela Jayawardene.

His aggregate of 541 runs at an average of 108.20 from seven innings is a testament to his mastery. Despite being one of the best batsmen, he failed to win a fifty-over World Cup. He was a losing finalist at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.

The wicketkeeper-batsman started with a stroke-filled 105 not-out against Bangladesh in Melbourne, followed by a blistering 117 not out against England in Wellington, another majestic 124 against Scotland in Hobart, and a relatively patient looking 104 against Australia in Sydney.

Tim Southee's 7 for 33

Southee gave his best bowling figures against England
Southee gave his best bowling figures against England

In all World Cups, Southee's figures stand third behind the great Glenn McGrath (7/14 against Namibia in 2003) and another Aussie Andy Bichel (7/20 against England in 2003).

Bowlers taking more than five wickets is no rarity but the 26-year-old's spell against England was special for one simple reason. His was a perfect display of fiery pace with immaculate line and length right from the start. Result - England were bowled out for a paltry 123 runs, with Southee scalping 7/33 from nine overs.

It was also New Zealand's best ODI bowling effort by an individual, with Southee eclipsing his bowling coach Shane Bond's 6/19 against India. He single-handedly destroyed the English batting order.

ABD destroying the Windies

de Villiers single-handedly trashed the Windies
de Villiers single-handedly trashed the Windies

South African skipper AB de Villiers obliterated the West Indies attack at the Sydney Cricket Ground. His 162-run off 66 balls was spurred by 17 fours and 8 sixes. With that, he also recorded his 20th ODI hundred. History repeated itself.

The Pool B clash became another record-breaking match with AB registering fastest ODI 150 off 64 deliveries. Thanks to his innings, South Africa posted the second-highest total ever in World Cup after India's 413/5 against the lowly Bermuda at Port of Spain in 2007. The score of 408/5 was also the highest total ever made in Australia.

In a way, AB de Villiers individual score of 166 not out was more than the West Indies' grand total of 151.

Guptill and Gayle- The Double Centurions

Guptill and Gayle both hit their first ODI double century during the WC
Guptill and Gayle both hit their first ODI double century during the WC

West Indies' opener Chris Gayle made a mockery of Zimbabwean attack by hitting 16 sixes and 10 fours in a 147-ball innings, which resulted in the first ever double-hundred in a World Cup. His 215-run innings underlined the importance of hard-hitting in modern day cricket.

Gayle was joined by New Zealand's Martin Guptill in the double hundred club later. Guptill's 237 not out off 163 balls showed the virtue of patience and ball-watching. He paced the innings to perfection, raising the tempo with each passing over, with the majority of his 24 fours and 11 sixes coming towards the end of the innings.

Nowadays, cricket becoming a batsmen's game is definitely not a bane. There are few cries, but overall, it's all about bat hitting the ball.

Australia Ends India's dream run

Steve Smith's hundred sealed the match for Australia
Steve Smith's hundred sealed the match for Australia

The build-up to the semi-final clash in Sydney was intense. Past and present players, experts et all provided their bona fide previews and suggestions. After all, the cricketing world was witnessing two of the strongest contenders of the World Cup.

The match, despite its projected intensity, ended with a loud unsatisfactory thump with Australia thrashing the defending champions by 95 runs. It also ended India's 11-game unbeaten run in the World Cup dating back to 2011.

With Steve Smith's hundred and Johnson's late cameo, Australia made 328/7 after their 50 overs. There were many individual match-ups but at the end, however, Australia's success to get Virat Kohli early in his innings was the one that sealed the deal.

Grant Elliot- BackCaps' Cult Hero

Elliot played a lone hand for the Kiwi's in the semi final
Elliot played a lone hand for the Kiwi's in the
semi final

The first semi-final between two of the favourites produced a classic example of what it is like to be in a World Cup knock-out game. Both the sides had never qualified for the big final. And the moment was ripe for either of the sides to win a shot at the title.

South Africa, batting first, posted 281 runs after a reduced 43 overs play. The innings witnessed skipper AB de Villiers playing yet another innings of the highest order. Then, a late spike from David Miller provided their innings a surge which at one point seemed good enough for the knock-out.

New Zealand's chase started in the best possible fashion. Skipper Brendon McCullum set the fire-works on with a blistering 59 from 26 balls. However, there were some middle order collapses. Grant Elliot then played the knock of a lifetime, wearing down fiery spells from Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn to win the match with one ball remaining.

Needing 11 runs to win the match, Elliott carded the fifth delivery over long-on for a six.

Mitchell Starc lays havoc on NZ

Starc's 6 for 28 destroyed the Kiwi's middle and lower order.
Starc's 6 for 28 destroyed the Kiwi's middle and lower order.

Before the final, the two co-hosts met in a Pool A clash at Eden Park. It was one of the most eagerly awaited match-ups of the tournament, and as expected, it proved to be a thriller, with New Zealand winning by one wicket. The match in Auckland witnessed some of this World Cup's best individual performances.

Michael Clarke won the toss and gleefully opted to bat first. But the Aussie script went horribly wrong once the Kiwi new ball pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult began sending batsmen in a hurriedly arranged parade. Australia could only manage a relatively low score of 151 runs on the board.

McCullum did what he does scoring 54 runs off 24 balls. Then Mitchell Starc toyed with the Kiwi middle and lower order, removing six wickets to give the four-time world champions a realistic chance to beat their neighbors.

But despite all the drama, Kane Williamson finished the match in style by hitting a six over long-on to Pat Cummins.

Some of the other notable moments of the World Cup included India beating arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening game of their campaign to get on top of the mother of all battles. This was the sixth time India beat Pakistan and that too, quite convincingly, in a World Cup.

Edited by Rajdeep Puri

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