Top 10 Most Devastating Spells in Cricketing History
To put it fairly, the modern day cricket is a batsman’s game. The grounds are getting smaller. The bats are getting wider. There are more overs with fielder restrictions than ever. The historically bowler friendly pitches like Perth have become a batsmen’s heaven. But what that really implies is that the superb bowling spells are not taken for granted and are put on a pedestal. They are duly recognised and extolled. The sound of the dismantling of the wickets will always be sweeter than that of a ball hitting the sweet spot on a bat. Bowling continues to be a more difficult art than any other in cricket and this is our homage to the best bowling spells we have witnessed so far in the game of cricket.
It wold be downright rude if we did not include a T20 bowling spell in this list of most lethal bowling spells in the history of cricket. This spell is special because firstly it was bowled during the 2009 T20 World Cup in England and secondly because Pakistan went on to lift the T20 Championship Trophy. We believe that Umar Gul never got the recognition he deserved for his bowling. Though he has the second most number of wickets in T20s, he is mostly thought of as an ‘also ran’. He finished as the leading wicket taker in both the 2007 and 2009 T20 Championships and certainly deserves a place in this list.
Pakistan did not begin well at the 2009 T20 World Cup and were beaten by England in their first match at the Oval by 48 runs. Pakistan then beat the other team in the group, Netherlands to reach the Super 8. In the Super 8s, they were pitted in a group having Sri Lanka, South Africa and Ireland as the other 3 teams. Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka again but managed to beat both Ireland and New Zealand to guarantee a place in the semi-final. The astounding bowling figure of 5/6 was achieved by Umar Gul during the crunch match against New Zealand.
The New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori won the toss and decided to bat first. New Zealand got off to a quick start and were 17 for the loss of no wicket in 9 deliveries when Abdul Razzaq removed Brendon McCullum for a score of 12 off 6 deliveries. Guptill and Redmond then put on 16 runs off 16 deliveries before Mohammed Aamir removed Redmond and Guptill was adjusged leg before wicket to a Razzaq delivery. New Zealand were now 37/3 within 6 overs. Umar Gul was then introduced into the attack and paid dividends instantantly. New Zealand were at 73/4 and Scott Styris was looking good batting on 22. Gul pitched one on Styris’ leg and he tried to heave it over the leg boundary. Afridi took a marvellous catch running backwards and was able to catch it just behind the boundary. McGlashan then tried to sweep a full length delivery from Gul which struck him right at the base of his pad and was adjudged leg before by the umpire. New Zealand were now 73/6. Gul reverse swung the ball in the air to knock off Nathan McCullum’s leg wicket. He went on to bowl Franklin out through a perfect Yorker which struck his middle wicket. New Zealand were now reeling at 93/8 with no respite in sight. Mills played a ball from Gul which was going down the leg but managed to produce a leading edge which was easily caught by Shahzaib Hasan. New Zealand were stranded at 93/9 now and this was the 1st 5 wicket haul by any bowler in a T20. New Zealand were dismissed for 99 which was chased by Pakistan with 6 wickets in hand. Pakistan went on to win the final and Gul finished with the highest number of wickets.