A win or a loss is all about the efforts put in by the players on individual grounds. Generally, the credits for winning a match is taken away by one or two players while others’ efforts are at times overshadowed. Here we bring you some brilliant display of the game by the players and how their efforts were not noticed after the final result.
Suresh Raina vs Pakistan (2011 WC semi-final)
The arch-rivals India and Pakistan met in Mohali for the semi-final clash of the World Cup 2011. India were batting first and had a decent start to the innings. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag had put 48 on the board for the first wicket before Sehwag departed for a quick-fire 38 off 25. Gautam Gambhir came in at three and chipped in with some runs before getting back to the pavilion for 27. But then came the turn-around in the innings and the hosts began to lose wickets at regular intervals. Even Tendulkar was undone for 85 while MS Dhoni’s dismal run with the bat continued. The skipper managed to score 25 off 42 as India were tottering at 205/6 when Suresh Raina took the charge in his hands. Raina played a responsible knock of 36* off 39 and guided India to a total of 260/9 in 50 overs. Later, India won the match by 29 runs.
Virat Kohli vs Sri Lanka (2011 WC Final)
Everyone talks about three knocks from this game. Mahela Jayawardene’s hundred, Gautam Gambhir’s 97 and Dhoni’s 91* but there was more to it. Sri Lanka handed India a target of 275 runs in Mumbai. The visitors were riding on confidence and Lasith Malinga added more to it. He scalped Sehwag and Tendulkar’s wicket respectively while the team score just read 30. Then came in Virat Kohli at number 4 who joined Gambhir in the middle. The left-right duo combination stitched a partnership of 84 for the fifth wicket before Kohli was dismissed for 35 off 49, courtesy a single-handed stunner from Tillakaratne Dilshan. India eventually won the tournament and the final by 6 wickets.
Wahab Riaz’s spell vs Australia (2015 WC quarter-final)
Pakistan had batted first and were bundled out for 213 with Haris Sohail scoring the highest 41 in Adelaide. Josh Hazlewood scalped four while Mitchell Johnson picked a couple of wickets. Australia were firm favourites after Pakistan’s innings but Wahab Riaz bowled an exciting spell. The left-handed bowler peppered the Australian batting line up and especially Shane Watson with some short deliveries. Riaz almost got Watson’s wicket but he was dropped at deep fine leg after miscuing a pull shot. The drop cost Pakistan a place in the semis as he Watson notched an unbeaten 64 to take his side over the line. Australia later defeated India and New Zealand in the semi-final and final respectively to lift the cup.
Mark Boucher unbeaten 50 vs Australia in Johannesburg
Well, we all have played video games and scored massive runs but an encounter between Australia and South Africa in Johannesburg unleashed a miracle. This was the deciding game of a five-match series that was squared a 2-2. Australia batted first and hammered the then highest total of 434/4 in 50 overs. Captain Ricky Ponting smacked 164 during the course while Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich and Mike Hussy notched up individual half-centuries. But what followed next was just out of the box. South Africa lost Boeta Dippenaar for 1 and in came Herschelle Gibbs at number three. Captain Graeme Smith and Gibbs then took the charge and smashed the Australian bowlers all around the park. Gibbs scored 175 while Smith missed out on a hundred by 10 runs. South Africa were 299/4, still needing 135 to win when Mark Boucher came in. While South Africa lost few wickets after small partnerships, Boucher stood strong at the other end. He scored an unbeaten 50 and took his team to win sparing one ball eventually. South Africa won the series 3-2.