While cricket has never been a bowler’s game, some of the bowling performances in this edition of the World Cup have left a lot to be desired. Despite all the talk of batting-conducive wickets preceding the World Cup and the England Cricket Board revising its scoreboard to fit in 500 runs, we’ve been offered more than our fair share of bowling-friendly tracks.
It’s this factor that makes some of the bowling performances doled out this World Cup all the more vexing. While some bowlers have dazzled the Cup, like Mitchell Starc, others have failed to hit the right areas and been put away for colossal runs, subsequently letting their teams down single-handedly.
We take a look at the five worst individual bowling performances from the league stage matches, given the conditions and circumstances, and how they ended up hurting their side’s chances of registering a win in those encounters.
Gulbadin Naib: 0-73
In arguably one of the worst bowling performances this World Cup, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib tops our list, not just for the runs he went for, but the circumstances he delivered his contentious spell in. Playing on a sticky wicket where the Afghan spinners were flourishing and getting the ball to grip and spin to leave Pakistan’s batsmen flummoxed, Naib’s decision to get himself on to bowl repeatedly was a flabbergasting one.
The captain took arguably one of the worst decisions of the tournament, breaking the entire momentum his side had garnered. With Mohmmad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari and Rashid Khan putting a halt to Pakistan’s chase of 228, picking up 5 wickets for 84 runs, Naib kept breaking his side’s momentum through his ineffectual spells.
And he ultimately ended up throwing the match for his side when he came on in the 47th over. At a time when Pakistan needed over 40 in four overs, he was thrashed for 16, loosening the tight-hold Afghanistan had Pakistan in. He wrapped up things by failing to rectify his mistake, opting for himself in the last over as well that saw Pakistan bringing up the winning runs easily.
Also see – Australia vs England head to head stats