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Thursday 2 April 2015

Part 1 - Top 5 Moments of CWC15

Wow... what a world cup! Simply exhilarating ...

For those who thought 50 over cricket was passe, this was a big surprise.
The intensity, battles, drama, emotions, skills and passion shown by teams, individuals defined success of this world cup played in Australia and New Zealand.

To top it all, it was an all host final as well.. what better way to celebrate cricket. Cricket was a big winner in this epoch tournament!

We've tried to pick some moments from this cup that truly defined this #CWC15. These moments have been arranged in random order. Every moment has its significance and X factor that makes it stand out from the rest!

Here are our top five
1. Shane Watson's dropped catch off Wahab Riaz' Spell against Australia, quarterfinal at Adelaide
2. Mitchell Starc wicket of Brendon McCullum, final at MCG
3. Grant Elliott winning six vs South Africa, semifinal at Auckland
4. James Anderson bowled by Rubeel Hossain at SCG
5. Sean Williams caught on the boundary vs Ireland in a tense run chase...

We start with the first one and our favorite.

1. Shane Watson's dropped catch off Wahab Riaz' Spell against Australia, quarterfinal at Adelaide

After winning the toss and batting first at Adelaide, Pakistan were in with the best chance to challenge the mighty Aussies in their quartefinal match. But, some reckless batting (as expected from this mercurial side over the years) and disciplined Australian bowling saw them skittled out for 213. A score way below par.

However, if there is one team you can imaging defending such a score it had to be Pakistan with their pace battery and their ability to do the unthinkable.

The Australians started well but were rocked by dismissal of Finch.
Warner was settling down while Steve Smith came in and started batting as if he was having a net!
Australia in command you'd say...

Misbah brought in Wahab Riaz as first change after 10 overs and boy! what happened after that was a treat to behold. With his pace, bounce and slingy left arm action, he started getting batsmen to hop around. 

His perfectly directed bouncer forced Warner to scoop aa catch towards deep point when Rahat Ali took a simple well judged catch to send him packing.

In walked Australian captain, Michael Clarke and he started hopping to Wahab's tunes from ball 1. Sensing the discomfort, Misbah pushed a short mid wicket for him. And voila... Wahab got Clarke to fend off a steeply rising delivery right down his throat!

Australia 59 for 3. Match in the balance. Pakistan fighting back in a manner only they can.
Wahab on fire.

That brought in a struggling Shane Watson to the crease.  
Knowing his out-of-form touch and penchant to pull, Wahab started peppering him with bouncers one after the other. Each one a beauty that had Watson hopping, skipping, jumping, ducking, edging balls over slips and everything but getting out. To add to that Wahab got under his skin by "sledging" hm almost every ball he missed or miscuded. That added drama to the already intense struggle in the middle.

Wahab's barrage had really softened Watson, Something was about to give in. And then it happened out of nowhere (again only Pakistan can manage to do this). With Watson at his mercy, Wahab pitched one short inducing Watson into a pull that took the top edge and flew towards long leg. The trap was set and Watto fell to it. The fielder, Rahat Ali, got under it comfortably. At 83 for 3, a wicket would have made the match very interesting with Maxwell and late order to follow.

Rahat steadied himself under the ball, took position and ... and ... and .. oh no! he spilled a dolly!

Absolute gimme catch dropped? unbelievable .... Wahab distraught, Misbah disappointed and Rahat embarrassed big time. It would have been 83 for 4 and wow that could have swing things Pak's way big time. Unfortunately not to be...Watto gets a life and Pak lose their spirit. They look shaken up by that dropped catch (that would eventually go on to take that match away from them). Wahab claps and goes back to his mark and starts sending more bouncers. But, the moment was lost and so was the match a little while later!

Huge moment that .. Pak dropped the world cup then and there. 

Wahab continued to bowl with venom after that almost claiming Maxwell too but his catch at third man was dropped by Sohail Khan (tough chance you had to say).

Australia went on to beat Pakistan by 6 wickets and book their place in the semifinal against India at the #SCG

Wahab's spell though was appauded by many including the legendary Shane Warne as one of the best spells ever! Truly a magnificent perfoemance from Wahab in that 6 over burst that almost had Australia on the ropes!!

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