Top 30 Performances in Cricket World Cup History

Chris Teale@@chris_tealeFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2015

Top 30 Performances in Cricket World Cup History

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    There just 30 days until the start of the Cricket World Cup, the sport’s showcase event that brings together the best in the world for almost two months of competition.

    In the tournament’s long history, plenty of individuals have been hugely impressive either with bat or ball and have earned themselves their own small piece of history.

    With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 30 performances in the history of the Cricket World Cup.

30. Andrew Hall (5-18, South Africa vs. England, 17 April 2007)

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    In at No. 30 comes South African all-rounder Andrew Hall, who took five for 18 against England in the 2007 edition in Barbados.

    His effort restricted England to 154 all out, which the Proteas knocked off with ease to win by nine wickets.

29. Andrew Symonds (143*, Australia vs. Pakistan, 11 February 2003)

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    Above Hall comes another all-rounder in the form of Andrew Symonds, who battered Pakistan for 143 not out for Australia in the 2003 World Cup.

    It helped the Australians reach 310 for eight in their Pool A game, a total they defended easily.

28. Tillakaratne Dilshan (144 and 4-4, Sri Lanka vs. Zimbabwe, 10 March 2011)

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    In the last World Cup, Tillakaratne Dilshan was very impressive as he hammered 144 off 131 balls for Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe.

    The Sri Lankans went on to win by 139 runs, with Dilshan taking four for four in three overs with his off-spin bowling.

27. Rahul Dravid (145, India vs. Sri Lanka, 26 May 1999)

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    The Sri Lankans were on the wrong end of a special innings from India’s Rahul Dravid in 1999, as he hit 145 from 129 balls in Taunton.

    It was part of a partnership of 318 runs with Sourav Ganguly, of whom there will be more on later.

26. Aravinda de Silva (145, Sri Lanka vs. Kenya, 6 March 1996)

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    Sri Lanka came up against a Kenya team riding high from their win over the West Indies last time out in the 1996 World Cup, but Aravinda de Silva eased their nerves with 145.

    It helped the Sri Lankans to a win by 144 runs, and they would go on to win the tournament.

25. AB de Villiers (146, South Africa vs. West Indies, 10 April 2007)

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    Opening the innings for South Africa in 2007, AB de Villiers hit a superb 146 from 130 balls to give the Proteas momentum at the start of the game.

    They went on to win by 67 runs over the West Indies.

24. Ricky Ponting (140*, Australia vs. India, 23 March 2003)

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    Coming into the 2003 World Cup final, the Australians were favourites over a talented India side that could cause some problems.

    However, captain Ricky Ponting put all those doubts to rest at just the right time with an unbeaten 140 to lead his side to victory.

23. Adam Gilchrist (149, Australia vs. Sri Lanka, 28 April 2007)

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    Four years later, an Australian stepped up with a big performance in the World Cup final, only this time it was Adam Gilchrist against Sri Lanka.

    Opening the innings, he smote 149 off 104 balls, helping the defending champions to a win by 53 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

22. Sachin Tendulkar (152, India vs. Namibia, 23 February 2003)

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    Against a weak Namibia side, Sachin Tendulkar turned on the style with 152 for India in the 2003 edition.

    It came as part of a big win for the Indians by 181 runs.

21. Andrew Strauss (158, England vs. India, 27 February 2011)

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    England were chasing 339 to win against hosts India in the 2011 tournament when Andrew Strauss strode to the crease to open their reply.

    He struck 158 from 145 balls to take his side to the brink of victory, but the English finished up with a tie as they also made 338 from their 50 overs.

20. Matthew Hayden (158, Australia vs. West Indies, 27 March 2007)

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    Matthew Hayden played a typically aggressive innings in the 2007 World Cup against the West Indies in the Super Eights stage.

    He finished with 158, and the Australians went on to win by 103 runs.

19. Imran Nazir (160, Pakistan vs. Zimbabwe, 21 March 2007)

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    Pakistan opener Imran Nazir showed just what he was capable of in 2007, as he hit 160 against Zimbabwe in Jamaica.

    It was by far the highest score from either side and helped the Pakistanis to victory by 93 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

18. Andrew Hudson (161, South Africa vs. Netherlands, 5 March 1996)

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    South Africa concluded an impressive group stage in the 1996 tournament with a big win over the Netherlands, led by 161 from Andrew Hudson.

    His knock came off 132 balls and helped the Proteas to victory by 160 runs.

17. Ken MacLeay (6-39, Australia vs. India, 13 June 1983)

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    Ken MacLeay played just 16 ODIs for Australia, but in his fifth appearance he impressed mightily with six for 39 against India in Nottingham.

    It would not stop India winning the 1983 World Cup, but it was MacLeay’s moment in the spotlight.

16. Lasith Malinga (6-38, Sri Lanka vs. Kenya, 1 March 2011)

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    Kenya had no answer for Lasith Malinga, as the Sri Lankan speedster ripped through their order with six for 38 as they batted first.

    It was a telling contribution for the Sri Lankans, who chased their victory target of 143 with ease.

15. Kemar Roach (6-27, West Indies vs. Netherlands, 28 February 2011)

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    Another bowler to rip through a team with six wickets was Kemar Roach in 2011, who took six for 27 against the Netherlands.

    It helped the West Indians to a big win by 215 runs.

14. Chaminda Vaas (6-25, Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh, 14 February 2003)

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    Chaminda Vaas demolished Bangladesh with six for 25 in their game with Sri Lanka in the 2003 tournament.

    Even more astonishing, he took four of those wickets in the first over of the innings as the Bangladeshis fell to 5-4 in the space of five balls.

13. Shane Bond (6-23, New Zealand vs. Australia, 11 March 2003)

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    In that same tournament, Shane Bond looked hugely impressive for New Zealand against Australia as he took six for 23.

    It was not enough to secure the Black Caps a victory, as their batting collapsed, but it gave a strong hint at what the injury-prone Bond could do.

12. Ashish Nehra (6-23, India vs. England, 26 February 2003)

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    India made just 250 against England in their group game of the 2003 World Cup, a total that was infinitely within reach even under floodlights.

    However, Ashish Nehra made sure that was not the case, as he took six for 23, including the vital top-order wickets of Michael Vaughan, Nasser Hussain and Paul Collingwood.

11. Glenn Turner (171*, New Zealand vs. East Africa, 7 June 1975)

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    Glenn Turner started the inaugural World Cup off with a bang as he hit an unbeaten 171 against a weak East Africa team.

    It was just the second match of the tournament, and it helped New Zealand to an enormous 181-run win.

10. Gary Gilmour (6-14 and 28*, Australia vs. England, 18 June 1975)

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    In the first World Cup in 1975, Australia and England played out a fascinating semi-final where both teams looked like losing.

    Gary Gilmour was key, though, as his six for 14 helped restrict England to 93 all out, then he hit 28 all out from No. 8 to take the Australians to victory by just four wickets.

9. Winston Davis (7-51, West Indies vs. Australia, 11 June 1983)

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    In the 1983 World Cup, the West Indies had a strong pace attack, and against Australia it was Winston Davis, who exploded with seven for 51.

    It helped restrict Australia to 151 all out and meant the West Indians won by 101 runs.

8. Glenn McGrath (7-15, Australia vs. Namibia, 27 February 2003)

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    Glenn McGrath was too hot to handle for Namibia, who wilted against the Australian seamer in the 2003 edition.

    McGrath ended with seven for 15 and helped his side to victory by 256 runs as Namibia folded for just 45.

7. Craig Wishart (172*, Zimbabwe vs. Namibia, 10 February 2003)

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    Craig Wishart started the 2003 World Cup in great form for Zimbabwe, and he hit 172 not out for the co-hosts against Namibia.

    That innings helped the Zimbabweans win by 86 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

6. Andy Bichel (7-20 and 34*, Australia vs. England, 2 March 2003)

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    In the crucial Pool A of the 2003 tournament, Andy Bichel stood tall with seven for 20, as England made just 204 batting first.

    He then made an unbeaten 34 to help the Australians sneak home and knock out their biggest rivals.

5. Virender Sehwag (175, India vs. Bangladesh, 19 February 2011)

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    Opening against Bangladesh, Virender Sehwag helped India gallop to 370 for four with 175 from 140 balls.

    That was plenty for the win, as Bangladesh made 283 in reply to fall short by 87 runs.

4. Kapil Dev (175*, India vs. Zimbabwe, 18 June 1983)

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    India’s top order folded for just 15 runs between them, but India still beat Zimbabwe in 1983 thanks to Kapil Dev’s brilliant knock.

    From No. 6, India’s captain made an unbeaten 175 from 138 balls, and Zimbabwe could make just 235 in response to lose by 31 runs.

3. Gary Kirsten (188*, South Africa vs. UAE, 16 February 1996)

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    The highest score in World Cup history came from Gary Kirsten in 1996, as he took an unbeaten 188 against UAE.

    It came from just 159 balls and spoke volumes of the confidence within the Proteas camp.

2. Viv Richards (181, West Indies vs. Sri Lanka, 13 October 1987)

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    Viv Richards makes an appearance on this list at No. 2 for his 181 against Sri Lanka in the 1987 tournament.

    Made from just 125 balls, it helped the West Indians to 360 for four and a win by 191 runs.

1. Sourav Ganguly (183, India vs. Sri Lanka, 26 May 1999)

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    In partnership with Rahul Dravid, India’s Sourav Ganguly hit 183 against Sri Lanka to help his side take a massive win.

    He was elegant throughout and helped his country take a vital victory that knocked the defending champions out at the group stage.

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