A bowling Spell that turns the match stake stands out as a good spell. But how could it called a Greatest Bowling Spell? And what type of spell it should be to be considered in Top Five Greatest Bowling Spells?
Though there have been many memorable bowling spells in both Test and One Day cricket like picking maximum wickets in innings, recording the best figures, etc., but it feels that some of the greatest spells which stands out in the best five regarding the circumstances they have been delivered. Those Five Great Spells definitely worth a mention!
Let’s have a look at the Top Five Greatest Bowling Spells in Cricket History:
5. Swing King – Winged It !
Skipper Imran Khan then decided to bring Wasim Akram back into the attack in the 35th over, hoping for a breakthrough. And the move paid off as Akram produced wicket of Lamb and soon on next ball of Chris Lewis.
England never recovered from those two dismissals and was soon all out for 227. Pakistan won its maiden World Cup title and Akram was named Man of the Match for his heroics!
4. Name is Bond…. Shane Bond!
An upset win against the World champs would have ensured a Semi-final spot for the Kiwis, and it seemed a real possibility when Shane Bond unleashed a spell of blistering pace which left the Aussie top order in shambles.
Bond, who bowled at heart breaking speed, taking 6/23 in his 10 overs and reduced Australia to 84/7.
Though Bond made a mark for himself in international cricket after the six wicket haul, the Kiwis could not muster similar heroics with the bat as they crumbled for 112 against an inspired Brett Lee (5/42) and Glenn McGrath (3/29) to lose by 96 runs.
3. Pigeon’s attack over English!
England had got off to an amazing start at Lord’s in the first Test of the 2005 Ashes series, after the Aussies had found Stephen Harmison (5/43) too hot to handle and were bundled out for a lowly 190.
It was England’s best ever start in an Ashes series for years and was probably a great opportunity for Michael Vaughan’s side to clinch a 1-0 lead against the old enemy.
But Glenn McGrath (Pigeon is his nickname) put on a bowling master class by dismissing five English batsmen in the space of 31 deliveries to leave England reeling at 21/5.
McGrath’s spell left England struggling as they were bundled out for 155 in their first innings.
Australia put up a strong 384 in their second innings and set England an huge 420 run target to chase.
But England crashed out for 180 which included McGrath’s 4 wicket haul gave Australia a huge 239 run victory and a 1-0 lead in the series!
2. Starting of Botham’s Ashes!
It was the 1981 Ashes series and England had levelled the six match series 1-1 after winning the third Test at Headingley, thanks to Ian Botham’s now famous 149.
In what turned out to be a low scoring fourth Test at Edgbaston, a less than impressive batting performance by the English saw them set a lowly 150 run target for Kim Hughes’ men to hunt down.
Australia was cruising along at 105/5 and it looked only a matter of time till the Aussies were 2-1 up in the series.
Skipper Mike Brearley, seemingly at a loss for ideas, tossed the ball to Botham.
And Botham responded as he produced a magical spell, dismissing five Aussie batsmen for just 1 run and helping England snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Aussies didn’t know what hit them as they were shot out for 121 and lost by 29 runs.
Botham hit 118 in the next Test at Old Trafford as England won and went on to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.
The series turned Botham into an overnight English hero and was later renamed as ‘Botham’s Ashes’!
1. Australia’s ‘Cutting’ of Ambrose at WACA.
West Indies had come into the fifth and final Test match of the Frank Worrell trophy at Perth after clinching a thrilling one run victory at Adelaide to level the series 1-1.
Then started the Curtly Ambrose show, as the giant pacer produced a devastating spell in which he dismissed seven Aussie batsmen for just one run.
Ambrose’s victims including Boon and Waugh were all either caught behind by the wicket-keeper and the slip fielders.
Ambrose’s spell was probably the best ever by a West Indian bowler in Test Cricket, and it ensured that the Aussies were bundled out for 119.
Richie Richardson’s men later went on to take a huge second innings lead and won the match comfortably by an innings and 25 runs, clinching the series 2-1.