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Saluting Nehra: Check out his TOP 5 performances

By Rajneesh Gupta
November 01, 2017 12:43 IST

As Ashish Nehra gets set to quit international cricket after the first T20I game against New Zealand in New Delhi this evening, Rajneesh Gupta presents the mighty fast bowler's top five performances.

Ashish Nehra

IMAGE: Ashish Nehra celebrates a wicket. Photograph: BCCI

In his prime there was none better with the white new ball than Ashish Nehra.

Give him a slightly helpful wicket and the left-arm pacer could virtually make the ball talk.

No wonder he formed an integral part of the Indian bowling line-up for a major part of the last two decades, especially in limited overs cricket.

A string of injuries since making his international debut in 1999 saw Nehra being limited to only 163 matches across the three formats through his career, including just 17 Tests.

But his never-say-die attitude saw him making comeback after comeback despite the injuries.

He reinvented himself in the T20 era and was much sought after in the Indian Premier League which saw make a few India comebacks in the last few years.

As Ashish Nehra gets set to quit international cricket after the first T20I game against New Zealand in New Delhi on Wednesday, November 1, we look at his top five performances:

6/23 vs England at Durban in 2003

Ashish Nehra

IMAGE: Nehra, right, celebrates with team-mates after picking up a wicket during the 2003 World Cup game against England in Kingsmead, Durban. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

One of the greatest bowling performances of all time as Nehra bowled India to a memorable 82-run win against England in a World Cup game in Durban.

The fast bowler had bowled well throughout the whole tournament, clocking 90 mph quite consistently, and was one of the reasons for India's success in that campaign.

At Kingsmead, Nehra wiped out England's chase with searing pace and swing.

The English batsmen had no clue as he moved the ball around, both in the air and off the pitch.

Nehra, in fact, was feeling unwell and vomited on the field, but persisted after having a banana and scythed through the England line-up with magical figures of 6/23.

This is -- till today -- the best bowling by an Indian in a World Cup match and was at that time, the third best figure by any bowler in World Cup history.

6/59 vs Sri Lanka at Colombo RPS in 2005

IMAGE: Nehra, centre, with team-mates as they celebrate a wicket against Sri Lanka during the tri-series final in 2005. Photograph: Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi AL/VP/AH/Reuters

A six-wicket haul by Nehra was not enough to stop hosts Sri Lanka from beating India by 18 runs in the final of the Indian Oil Cup.

Nehra was, in fact, the only Indian bowler to take a wicket in this match.

He also became the first Indian to take a six wicket haul on two occasions in ODIs.

His figures were also then the second best by an Indian in a tournament after Anil Kumble's 6/12 against the West Indies in the Hero Cup final in 1993.

4/35 vs Sri Lanka at Johannesburg in 2003

Ashish Nehra

IMAGE: Nehra celebrates a wicket during the 2003 World Cup Super Six match against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

India cemented a place in the World Cup semi-final after crushing Sri Lanka by a massive 183 run margin.

The win was made possible by an excellent opening stand of 153 between Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag and then by a collective effort from the Indian pace trio of Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath and Ashish Nehra, who accounted for all 10 wickets in just 23 overs.

Such was the domination of the Indian pace attack that only these three bowled in the innings.

There were as many as five ducks in the Sri Lankan innings and the highest stand was for the last wicket.

Srinath started the slide while Zaheer and Nehra took care of the middle and the lower order batsmen.

4/40 vs Sri Lanka at Dambulla in 2010

IMAGE: Nehra celebrates a wicket with his team mates during the Asia Cup final, June 24, 2010. Photograph: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Reuters

Nehra's brilliant bowling helped India win the Asia Cup for the first time since 1995.

Sri Lanka were the favourites to win the trophy having topped the league, but the Indian seamers led by Nehra had other ideas.

Batting first after winning the toss, India put on an impressive 268.

Sri Lanka's batting -- which was consistent till then in the tournament -- was swept aside by the Indian seamers.

Praveen Kumar started the slide in the first over by having caught Tillakaratne Dilshan at mid-on after he attempted a pull shot.

Zaheer then accounted for Upul Tharanga following which Nehra dismissed Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Matthews in the space of eight balls to turn the match on its head.

There was no coming back for Sri Lanka after this and despite some resistance from the lower order their innings folded at 187, giving the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian team a rare tournament victory.

4/47 vs New Zealand at Dambulla in 2010

IMAGE: Nehra appeals for a wicket against New Zealand during the tri-series ODI game in Dambulla, August 25, 2010. Photograph: BCCI

Despite Nehra bowling his heart out, India slumped to their fourth heaviest defeat in ODIs.

Batting first New Zealand had a terrible start with the scoreboard reading 28/3, but Ross Taylor and Scott Styris added 190, a New Zealand ODI record for the fourth wicket.

Nehra broke the partnership dismissing Taylor, then dismissed the dangerous Jacob Oram to bring India back in the contest as New Zealand were bowled out for 288.

India's batsmen struggled to handle the bounce under the lights. Apart from the openers and Ravindra Jadeja, no one managed to reach double digits as India folded for a paltry 88 in just 29.3 overs -- their fifth lowest all-out total in ODIs.

Rajneesh Gupta
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