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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

The best and worst from the Cup

March 05, 2003 11:27 IST

The best and worst from the 2003 cricket World Cup first round:

The Best Ball:

A three-way tie. Zimbabwe's Grant Flower, bowling left-arm spin wide of the crease against India in Harare (February 19), tempted Sachin Tendulkar half-forward, the turning ball beating his bat and clipping the off bail. "I got one to turn for a change," he said. Tendulkar's 81, though, won the Group A match for India.

England quick James Anderson, exploiting Cape Town's evening conditions, produced a sharply swinging yorker from leg to off stump which bowled Pakistan's Yousuf Youhana first ball (February 22). The 20-year-old's previous delivery dismissed Inzamam-ul Haq. Anderson's four for 29 set up a shock 112-run win.

When Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas had Bangladesh's Ehsanul Haque caught at second slip with a ball angled across the batsman at Pietermaritzburg (February 14), the left-arm seamer completed an unprecedented hat-trick with the first three balls of an international match.

Sachin TendulkarThe Best Shot:

Tendulkar cut Shoaib Akhtar's fourth ball for six as India began their reply to Pakistan's 273 for seven in Centurion (March 1). The next two deliveries disappeared for more classical boundaries, but that six set the tone for an extraordinary match-winning innings. Tendulkar, the world's best batsman, won his personal contest with Shoaib, the world's fastest bowler. Shoaib finally got his man for a 75-ball 98, but by then Tendulkar, struggling with cramp, had all but won the game. Shoaib ended with one for 72.

The Best Innings:

John DavisonAnother three-way tie. Canada's John Davison, a first-class off spinner and tail-end batsman, hit the fastest century (32 in fours, 36 in sixes) in Cup history with a 67-baller against West Indies at Centurion (February 23), completed with a six off Mervyn Dillon. The achievement, he said, "sent a shiver down my spine". Four days earlier, Canada were bowled out for a world-record low of 36 by Sri Lanka. New Zealand's Stephen Fleming scored 134 not out off 132 deliveries in a high-pressure run chase to beat South Africa at The Wanderers (February 16). "I've waited a long time for an innings like that," he said.

Tendulkar's 98 against Pakistan may have missed the magical three-figure mark but, in terms of textbook savagery, must rank as one of the great one-day innings.

The Best Catch:

West Indian Vasbert Drakes, to end Davison's remarkable innings of 111. He seemed badly positioned after drifting in off the boundary rope at long-off but jack-knifed backwards and caught the ball one-handed high above his head. The television commentators announced a six before Drakes got up with the ball in his hand. He also completed figures of five for 44.

Brett Lee's dismissal of Andy Blignaut after the Zimbabwean's 25-ball half-century in Bulawayo (February 24) came close. Blignaut cross-batted a lightning full toss straight back at the bowler who somehow caught the ball at throat level. Lee himself could not believe it. Lip-readers would have had no problems identifying his shocked expletive.

The Best Run-out:

Brian LaraA two-way tie. New Zealand's 20-run win against West Indies in Port Elizabeth (February 13) owed much to Brian Lara's dismissal. He fell to cricket's latest innovation, the relay throw, when Lou Vincent chased down the ball, slung it low to Chris Cairns who turned instantly and, with one stump to aim at, ran Lara out for two.

Sri Lankan duo Kumar Sangakarra and Muttiah Muralitharan were similarly brilliant in running out Shaun Pollock and, in effect, knocking South Africa out of the World Cup in Durban (March 3). The wicketkeeper's lightning pick-up and throw after Pollock's leg-side prod was well wide of the stumps at the bowler's end but Muralitharan caught the ball and flicked it behind his back to beat Pollock's lunge by inches. Even umpire Steve Bucknor was caught out. He almost did not bother to call for television adjudication, so sure was he that the batsman was in.

The Best Celebration:

Kenya's players jived away at the fall of each late wicket as they pulled off the biggest upset of the World Cup against the Sri Lankans in Nairobi (February 24). There were more jubilant huddles when they beat Bangladesh in Johannesburg (March 1) to clinch their place in the Super Sixes. Captain Steve Tikolo has promised more dancing in the next round.

The Best Quote:

Namibian bowler Rudi van Vuuren, who has also represented his country at rugby union: "Knowing my capabilities as a batsman, I'd rather take on Jonah Lomu one-on-one than Brett Lee."

The Worst Innings:

Inzamam-ul-HaqLeading batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq, dismissed for a golden duck against England, went in to bat against the Netherlands at Paarl (February 25) needing a confidence boost. Barely moving his feet, he was trapped for a second-ball duck by Tim de Leede's medium-paced floater. The fourth heaviest one-day scorer in history, he made scores of 6, 4, 0, 0, 6 and 3 as Pakistan were knocked out of the tournament.

The Worst Drop:

South Africa's Mark Boucher, snatching too eagerly at the ball, dropped Fleming on 53 at The Wanderers from a regulation edge (February 16). Fleming went on to win the match for New Zealand with his unbeaten century, leaving the hosts in turmoil. For the next few days, arguments raged over Shaun Pollock's captaincy and whether Allan Donald should be axed.

Pedro Collins made as bad an error against South Africa although it proved less costly. He sauntered nonchalantly backwards to catch Lance Klusener at square leg at Cape Town only to step on the rope. Klusener, however, with 57 from 48 balls, was caught by Carl Hooper in the final over as West Indies sneaked home by three runs.

The Worst Celebration:

Bangladesh, cricket's 10th Test nation, have not had the chance to celebrate anything after five World Cup defeats out of six, the first to lowly Canada and the last to Kenya. Their only two points came from a wash-out against West Indies. The team extended their world record run of one-dayers without victory to 32 matches by losing to the Kenyans (March 1).

New Zealand's Chris Cairns and Brendon McCullum did not impress either with their celebrations in a Durban nightclub. Both were fined $500 by their national board after getting involved in fracas which ended with Cairns being punched to the ground.

The Saddest Quote:

"Go away!" said Jackson Warne, Shane Warne's young son, as reporters flocked to his Melbourne home after the Australia leg spinner flew home to Australia without bowling a ball in anger at the World Cup following his failed drugs test.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 42


Hi, Do u rem the ball that bichel bowled to naseer hussain. i thought that it will be the best ball rver bowled. And also ...

Posted by amar goradia

Sub: Best Run Out.

How come you missed out on the Run Out by Mohd. Kaif of Nick Knight? That started the English procession back to the Pavillion.

Posted by Raghu

Sub: Best Catch.

Do not under rate Kaifs catch as it started the tempo. The flying run out had reminded of Jonty rhodes which was rated the best ...

Posted by Selvaraj

Sub: Best run out...

How can you not rate kaif's runout as among the best. The one he affected against england.

Posted by Nishank Joshi

Sub: best ball

what do you think about the ball bowled by brett lee to send the in-form marvan atapattu's off stump for a walk.

Posted by arun


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