Bowlers might have been at the receiving end at the major-half of their career, but they had their share to make such contests equally gripping and poised. Owing to the best bowling figures in ODI, in particular, bowlers ruled the roost.
To talk about the limited-overs cricket, the aggressive brand of cricket played a significant role to throw competition wide open.
In their prime, the veteran bowlers further maintained their sheer consistency with the ball, to script the glory.
From the domestic circuit to top-flight cricket, bowlers have had cherished their merry-run in absorbing formats.
Have a look at the bowlers with best bowling figures in ODI cricket:
- Chaminda Vaas- 8 for 19:
Classic Sri Lankan bowler who spearheaded Lions bowling for a significant time during his heydays proved his brilliance with the white-ball in particular. The wily left-arm customer represented the Islanders in 322 ODIs to bag 400 wickets at the average of 27.53.
Moreover, the Mattumagala-born Chaminda Vaas claimed his best bowling figures in ODI setup against Zimbabwe at Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.
The veteran pacer Vaas claimed eight scalps in eight overs on December 8, 2001. He sent down eight overs to concede just 19 runs at the economy of 2.37.
- Shahid Afridi- 7 for 12:
Pakistan’s veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi has done a bulk of the job for the Men in Green. The premium leg-spinner Afridi further featured in overall 398 ODIs for Pakistan between 1996 and 2015.
The Khyber Agency-born Afridi bagged 395 wickets in the day-long format at the average of 34.51.
However, his best figures in ODI came against the Windies at Providence on 14th of July 2013.
The prominent figure Afridi claimed the match haul of seven for 12 at the economy of 1.33. He sent down as many as three maiden overs.
- Glenn McGrath- 7 for 15:
Australia’s star bowler Glenn McGrath represented his national team in 250 ODIs. He bagged 381 scalps at the impressive bowling average of 22.02.
The New South Wales-based bowler McGrath not only contained the flow of runs but eventually made things quite miserable for the opposition.
McGrath, who was known for his guile and accuracy, claimed his best-ever ODI bowling figures against Namibia at Potchefstroom in South Africa. In his seven overs, McGrath conceded just 15 runs to bag seven wickets. He also bowled four maidens on 27th of February 2003.
- Rashid Khan- 7 for 18:
Rising against the tide, Rashid Khan has shot to fame in no time. The professional cricketer from war-torn Afghanistan delivered goods for his national team before leaving an indelible mark in the global professional leagues.
The Nangarhar-born 20-year-old Rashid represented Afghan team in 52 ODIs to bag 118 wickets at the jaw-dropping bowling average of 14.47.
Throwing himself into some competition Rashid often walked out as a winner. He sealed his best ODI bowling figures against the Windies at Gros Islet on 9th of June 2017.
For his seven-wicket hauls, Rashid sent down 8.4 overs to concede 18 runs at the economy of 2.07. In between, Rashid also bowled a maiden over.
- Andy Bichel- 7 for 20:
Andy Bichel during his international stint posed a threat with his well disguised slower deliveries. Before announcing his retirement, Bichel represented Australia in 67 ODIs. He went on to bag 78 wickets at the average of 31.57.
While representing Australia between 1997 and 2004, Bichel clinched the best bowling figures of seven for 20 against England. On 2 March 2003, Bichel achieved this milestone at Port Elizabeth.
To be precise, Bichel bowled his quota of ten overs to claim his career-best figures with the white-ball.
- Muttiah Muralitharan- 7 for 30:
Leading Test wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan has dominated the ODI cricket in his own way. The prominent off-spinner Muralitharan represented Sri Lanka in 350 ODIs. He bagged 534 scalps at the average of 23.08.
With his spectacular bowling, Muralitharan in his prime brought batters to their knees even on a placid of the surfaces. In October 2000 against India, the Lions bowler claimed his best bowling figures in ODI set-up at Sharjah.
The veteran bowler bagged seven wickets for 20 in his quota of 10 overs which included a solitary maiden.
- Tim Southee- 7 for 33:
New Zealand paceman bowled some sensational spells for his national team. The Whangarei-based Southee, who is up and running for the Black Caps across formats represented Kiwis in 136 ODIs, so far.
Southee had played a quintessential role with the new ball. With age on his side, Southee has a long road ahead to bag more records under his belt.
The medium pacer Southee claimed his best ODI figure of seven for 33 in nine overs. He achieved this milestone at Wellington against England on 20th of February 2015.
- Trent Boult- 7 for 34:
Kiwis speedster Trent Boult has a liking to play chin music. As of now, the left-arm bowler featured in 71 ODI games for the Black Caps. Eventually, he bagged 129 wickets at the bowling average of 25.78.
Also, Boult claimed five four-wicket hauls and four five-wicket hauls to his name in 71 innings.
Furthermore, Boult’s best figures in ODI with the ball in 50-over format came against Windies at Christchurch. On December 23, 2017, Boult bagged seven wickets in 10 overs at the economy of 3.40.
- Waqar Younis- 7 for 36:
Known for toe-crushing yorkers and skiddy in approach, Waqar Younis challenged batters often than not. The quality bowler Younis has been an inspiration for many back in Pakistan for generating pace on a regular basis.
The Punjab-based cricket represented his country in 262 ODIs. He bagged 416 wickets at the average of 23.84.
Interestingly, his best bowling figures in ODI read as seven for 36. On 17th of July 2001, Waqar achieved this milestone against England at Leeds.
10. Aaqib Javed- 7 for 37:
Former Pakistan bowler Aaqib Javed is placed tenth owing to the best bowling figures in ODI format. Javed who represented Pakistan in 163 ODIs claimed 182 wickets at the average of 31.43.
The right-arm fast bowler did his job fairly for his national team between 1988 and 1998 in the ODI set-up.
Also, Javed claimed seven for 37 in his quota of ten overs against India at the historic venue Sharjah.
Table for best bowling figures in ODI cricket:
|1||Sri Lanka||WPUJC Vaas||v Zimbabwe||8||19||8|
|2||Pakistan||Shahid Afridi||v West Indies||9||12||7|
|3||Australia||GD McGrath||v Namibia||7||15||7|
|4||Afghanistan||Rashid Khan||v West Indies||8.4||18||7|
|5||Australia||AJ Bichel||v England||10||20||7|
|6||Sri Lanka||M Muralitharan||v India||10||30||7|
|7||New Zealand||TG Southee||v England||9||33||7|
|8||New Zealand||TA Boult||v West Indies||10||34||7|
|9||Pakistan||Waqar Younis||v England||10||36||7|
|10||Pakistan||Aaqib Javed||v India||10||37||7|
|11||South Africa||Imran Tahir||v West Indies||9||45||7|
|12||West Indies||WW Davis||v Australia||10.3||51||7|
|13||India||STR Binny||v Bangladesh||4.4||4||6|
|14||India||A Kumble||v West Indies||6.1||12||6|
|15||Sri Lanka||BAW Mendis||v India||8||13||6|
|16||Australia||GJ Gilmour||v England||12||14||6|
|17||Pakistan||Imran Khan||v India||10||14||6|
|18||Sri Lanka||MF Maharoof||v West Indies||9||14||6|
|19||West Indies||CEH Croft||v England||9||15||6|
|20||Pakistan||Shoaib Akhtar||v New Zealand||9||16||6|
|21||South Africa||K Rabada||v Bangladesh||8||16||6|
|22||Pakistan||Azhar Mahmood||v West Indies||10||18||6|
|23||Zimbabwe||HK Olonga||v England||8.2||19||6|
|24||New Zealand||SE Bond||v India||9||19||6|
|25||Zimbabwe||BC Strang||v Bangladesh||10||20||6|
|26||Sri Lanka||AD Mathews||v India||6||20||6|
|27||West Indies||FH Edwards||v Zimbabwe||7||22||6|
|28||South Africa||M Ntini||v Australia||9.3||22||6|
|29||South Africa||AA Donald||v Kenya||9||23||6|
|30||India||A Nehra||v England||10||23||6|
|31||New Zealand||SE Bond||v Australia||10||23||6|
|32||South Africa||Imran Tahir||v Zimbabwe||6||24||6|
|33||New Zealand||SB Styris||v West Indies||7||25||6|
|34||Sri Lanka||WPUJC Vaas||v Bangladesh||9.1||25||6|
|35||India||Kuldeep Yadav||v England||10||25||6|
|36||Pakistan||Waqar Younis||v Sri Lanka||10||26||6|
|37||Bangladesh||Mashrafe Mortaza||v Kenya||10||26||6|
|38||Bangladesh||Rubel Hossain||v New Zealand||5.5||26||6|
|39||Pakistan||Yasir Shah||v Zimbabwe||9||26||6|
|41||Sri Lanka||CRD Fernando||v England||8||27||6|
|42||India||M Kartik||v Australia||10||27||6|
|43||West Indies||KAJ Roach||v Netherlands||8.3||27||6|
|44||West Indies||SP Narine||v South Africa||9.5||27||6|
|45||Zimbabwe||HK Olonga||v Kenya||9||28||6|
|46||Scotland||JH Davey||v Afghanistan||8.3||28||6|
|47||Australia||MA Starc||v New Zealand||9||28||6|
|48||West Indies||BP Patterson||v India||9.4||29||6|
|49||Sri Lanka||ST Jayasuriya||v England||9.5||29||6|
|50||Sri Lanka||BAW Mendis||v Zimbabwe||9||29||6|
|51||Sri Lanka||A Dananjaya||v South Africa||9||29||6|
|52||Pakistan||Waqar Younis||v New Zealand||9.4||30||6|
|53||England||PD Collingwood||v Bangladesh||10||31||6|
|54||Australia||MG Johnson||v Sri Lanka||10||31||6|
|55||New Zealand||TA Boult||v Australia||10||33||6|
|56||U.A.E.||Zahoor Khan||v Ireland||6.3||34||6|
|57||South Africa||SM Pollock||v West Indies||10||35||6|
|58||Pakistan||Abdul Razzaq||v Bangladesh||9.5||35||6|
|59||Pakistan||Shahid Afridi||v Australia||10||38||6|
|60||Sri Lanka||SL Malinga||v Kenya||7.4||38||6|
|61||Australia||KH MacLeay||v India||11.5||39||6|
|62||South Africa||DW Steyn||v Pakistan||9||39||6|
|63||West Indies||IVA Richards||v India||9.4||41||6|
|64||P.N.G.||CA Soper||v Hong Kong||10||41||6|
|65||India||AB Agarkar||v Australia||9.3||42||6|
|66||Pakistan||Umar Gul||v England||10||42||6|
|67||West Indies||DJ Bravo||v Zimbabwe||10||43||6|
|68||Australia||MA Starc||v India||10||43||6|
|69||Bangladesh||Mustafizur Rahman||v India||10||43||6|
|70||Afghanistan||Rashid Khan||v Ireland||9.3||43||6|
|71||Pakistan||Waqar Younis||v New Zealand||10||44||6|
|72||Sri Lanka||NLTC Perera||v Pakistan||10||44||6|
|73||England||CR Woakes||v Australia||10||45||6|
|74||Australia||JW Hastings||v Sri Lanka||10||45||6|
|75||Zimbabwe||AG Cremer||v Kenya||10||46||6|
|76||England||CR Woakes||v Sri Lanka||8||47||6|
|77||India||A Mishra||v Zimbabwe||8.5||48||6|
|78||South Africa||L Klusener||v Sri Lanka||10||49||6|
|79||West Indies||AH Gray||v Australia||9||50||6|
|80||Zimbabwe||CB Mpofu||v Kenya||10||52||6|
|81||Australia||JR Hazlewood||v New Zealand||9||52||6|
|82||Sri Lanka||A Dananjaya||v India||10||54||6|
|83||India||S Sreesanth||v England||10||55||6|
|84||Ireland||PR Stirling||v Afghanistan||10||55||6|
|85||Pakistan||Waqar Younis||v Australia||8||59||6|
|86||India||A Nehra||v Sri Lanka||10||59||6|
*The stats for best bowling figures in ODI was updated on January 5, 2019.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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