Ten Bowlers who entertained with the bat!
Cricket is a funny game indeed.But it gets even funnier when people who are supposed to be bowlers come in to bat and take the match by its head and turn it in their team’s favour. When it is one of our own bowlers, we feel proud and when its opponent’s, we feel cheated. It has always been happening in Cricket, more so of late. There have been many instances where bowlers have come to the rescue of the team. It has been sheer pleasure to watch their audacity on the field when they take on the best bowlers with disdain. When the cards were down, they came in, took the bull by its horns and turned it for their team.There are 10 performances that I would like to mention here :
This wily off-spinner from Punjab has always been a handy bat down the order for Team India. Who can forget the last ball six he hit to win the match against Pakistan. He has got nine half-centuries to his name and almost all of them have been crucial innings. But the best of the lot was the two consecutive centuries he hit against New Zealand. He came in at a precarious position and played some beautiful shots all over the ground making 115 in the process. He followed it up with another brilliant knock in the second test making 111 not out. Truly, his batting was outstanding in that series and he bagged the man of the series for the same.
The premier fast bowler from South Africa surprised one and all when he came into bat in the second test vs Australia. Coming in to bat for the 9th wicket, Steyn resisted the fiery Australian bowlers and helped Duminy revive the South African fightback with a massive 180 run stand. Steyn was in a classic mould hitting a few straight drives easing the pressure for Duminy. He made 76 runs of 191 balls and helped South Africa win the match.
Malinga, whose deadly yorkers are always a source of fear for opponents, showed his batting repertoire when he came at number 10 in the first ODI against Australia in Melbourne. Sri Lanka were 8 down for 107 when Malinga came in to bat. He along with Matthews constructed a beautiful partnership. Malinga was in an aggressive mood belting 56 runs of 48 balls giving Matthews good company. He took Sri Lanka out of trouble with some lustrous hitting and won the match.
Though Anil was not a pro when it comes to batting, he has made some useful contributions down the order. His landmark moment was against England when he hit a stroke-filled hundred to help the visitors reach 664. He made 110 runs which was then the highest score by an Indian bowler. He has got 5 test half centuries which is a pretty good record for any bowler.
Gillespie is a perfect example for a batsman who can wield the bat carelessly.He was not careless though in that epic innings of 201 not out against Bangladesh coming in to bat at no 5 as the night watchman. He was precise in his shot selection and made mince meat of the Bangladeshi bowling.
Zak is a master of swing bowling and a master at swinging the bat hard at the ball too.The most unconventional batsman, Zaheer has managed 3 half centuries with a highest score of 75. He is completely unorthodox in his shot-making, trying to hit every ball out of the ground. He played a crucial knock, scoring a 50 against Australia in the first test of Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Bangalore helping India earn a draw .
The express bowler from Australia is a hard hitter of the cricket ball. He loves taking the aerial route and has played many good knocks for his team. He has five test half centuries and three ODI half centuries to his credit. Lee is a sensible batsman who can play with a dead bat and lend support if needed.
The spin champion is also a very good batsman down the order. He has scored more than 3000 runs in Tests with 12 half centuries, 99 being his highest score.
This tall bowler from New Zealand showed the world his class with the bat in his very first match when he notched up a whirlwind half century of just 29 balls. He went on to score 77 not out which included 9 mighty hits out of the park. He has one more half century to his credit and he is an extremely capable batsman who can hit the ball hard.
Vaas is an extremely good lower order batsman who has always contributed with the bat when needed. He is one of the very few bowlers to have got more than 3000 international runs. His century against Bangladesh came at quicker than run a ball and he has 13 half centuries in test and 1 in ODIs to his name.
These bowlers have entertained a lot with their bat and there are more talents arising every day. These days, batting is as important as bowling for any bowler since every team needs players who can wield a bat if needed. So the importance of being a bowling all-rounder increases considerably.
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