The ICC Cricket World Cup, over the years, has seen many lesser-known cricketers coming up with outstanding performances, taking everyone by surprise in the process. While a number of distinguished internationals have stepped up to the plate and shown their big match temperament during these events, what adds to the tournament’s charm is when fringe players, about whom not a lot is known, make a name for themselves at the biggest stage of all. Here are 5 surprising performers in a Cricket World Cup:
#1 Collins Obuya stuns Sri Lanka
Any number of players from Kenya's wonderfully successful 2003 World Cup side could make the cut as surprise performers from cricket's premier global event, including 39 year-old left-arm spinner Aasif Karim, who returned astonishing figures of 8.2-6-7-3 against Australia, and who recently told ESPNcricinfo that cricket in his country was “dead and buried”.
However, Collins Obuya gets the nod after scripting Kenya's remarkable win over Sri Lanka, which helped them qualify for the Super Six stage of the tournament and then the semi-finals. After his side posted a modest 210 for nine from their 50 overs, Obuya tore through the Sri Lankan middle-order en route to figures of 5/24 as they were bowled out for 157.
The leg-spinner dismissed greats of the game of the ilk of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva, and was a star player during the tournament capturing 13 wickets at an average of 28.76 in all.
He earned a county contract with Warwickshire but failed to impress, and now, after suffering a bout of the yips, plays for his country, on the increasingly rare occasions that they do have a fixture, plays as a specialist batsman.