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.

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    9Shahid Afridi V/s West Indies – 2013

    Now that is one name that you would not expect to find in an exclusive list about the best bowling spells. But it is hard to keep Shahid Afridi out of any list and he makes his appearance here. Having started as a fast bowler, ‘Boom boom’ Afridi had to take up spin bowling as he was told that he was throwing. He considers himself to be a better bowler than a batsman and modelled his bowling around the bowling of Abdul Qadir. He majorly deals in leg spinners bowled with subtle change of pace.

    In 2013, Pakistan embarked on a tour of West Indies. They were there to play 5 ODIs and 2 T20s. The West Indians were beleaguered with internal politics and were not having a great season. Albeit of that, they had managed to put up a strong team featuring the swashbuckling Chris Gayle, the all-rounder and the captain Dwayne Bravo and the fast bowler Holder. Though the West Indian teams did not have anyone in the league of the greats Walsh, Ambrose, Marshall they still were a force to reckon with. West Indies won the toss for the 1st ODI at Guyana and opted to bat first. They did not get off to a great start as they found themselves at 23/4 with 10 overs bowled. Umar akmal tried his best to steady the inning but he too was dismissed for 19 leaving Pakistan at 23/4. Pakistan were now 47/5 off 20 overs. Misbah and Shahid Afridi were the last recognized pair of batsmen and they delivered. Both of them hit half centuries with Afridi finishing off at 76 off 55 balls while Misbah took 121 deliveries for his 52. Pakistan could manage 224 for 9 wickets off 50 overs.

    West Indies did not get off to a good start themselves and were at 7/3 after Irfan had dismissed Charles and Bravo while Gayle was run out. Samuels and Simmons tried to steady the ship but then, Afridi got into the groove. He first had Simmons stumped when Akmal demonstrated quick thinking to trap him outside his crease. Afridi then trapped Bravo leg before wicket with a quick delivery that came into the batsman instead of going out. West Indies were now at 41/5. Pollard then tried to hit Afridi out of the park but only managed to scoop it down the throat of Riaz at mid-off. Afridi then removed the dangerous looking Samuels with another delivery that came in and hit him on his pad with the umpire adjudging him to be leg before wicket. West Indies were staring at defeat with the score at 51/7. Next to be sent back to the pavilion was Roach who timidly hit right back to Afridi. West Indies were now falling like a deck of cards with Sunil Narine next to be dismissed when he hit one straight to Jamshed at short cover. West Indies were at 98/9 now. Holder was then adjudged leg before wicket when he went on the backfoot to play an Afridi quicker one but could not connect. Afridi finished the match with 7 wickets for 12 runs off his 9 overs to go with his 76 runs. Pakistan went on to win the series 3-1.

     
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    Siddharth
    I'm a huge Nadal & Liverpool fan. A massive foodie who is crazy about GoT, Harry Potter, Calvin & Hobbes and Friends, I love reading non/historical fiction. Used to be a tennis player before work caught up. Tennis has now been conveniently substituted by cycling.I am an avid traveler who believes that the pleasure is in the journey!

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