ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

World Cup 2011

Ten performances that lit up the World Cup

A look back at the most memorable individual performances from World Cup 2011

Nitin Sundar

April 3, 2011

Comments: 99 | Text size: A | A

Ireland's World Cup win over England made the front page of the <i>Irish Independent</i>, England v Ireland, Group B, World Cup, Bangalore, March 2, 2011
Kevin O'Brien's regal performance managed to put cricket on the front pages in Irish newspapers © Irish Independent

Shahid Afridi v Sri Lanka, 4 for 34

Afridi's assortment of variations undid Sri Lanka's chase of 278, and set up a memorable heist in Colombo. Tillakaratne Dilshan had got off to a calm start and was threatening to break free when Afridi came on in the 18th over. Afridi tempted him with the illusion of a half-tracker, but fizzed it further up, and got the ball to dart in past the square cut and onto the stumps. If pace and drift did in Dilshan, flight and turn foxed Thilan Samaraweera. A tossed up leggie lured him out of the crease before slithering away with just enough guile to beat the batsman, but not Kamran Akmal who completed the stumping with rare alacrity. That wicket exposed Sri Lanka's lower middle order to a tight situation, and Afridi pegged away relentlessly to cut off the oxygen supply. He finished them off in his final spell, fooling Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews with dip as they rushed down the track, pushing Sri Lanka to a rare home defeat.

Andrew Strauss v India, 158 off 145

Strauss had detailed and coherent answers for every question India hurled at him in Bangalore. The enormity of his 158 silenced the crowd, which had been warming up to a big Indian win, while the utter simplicity of his methods unnerved the opposition. Anything marginally wide of off stump was carved, steered and cut, while everything slanted into the pads was tucked, tickled and nudged along with sharp and precise feet movement. His sweeps, whips and drives bullied the spinners into dropping just short of driving length, and he then proceeded to play them into corners of the field they did not know existed. It took one of the balls of the World Cup from Zaheer Khan - arguably the bowler of the tournament - to end his masterpiece. Strauss' exit pumped India up so much that they managed to tie a game that was fully within England's grasp when he was batting.

Kevin O'Brien v England, 113 off 63

A small, mostly forgotten incident earlier in the day might have prompted O'Brien's blitzkrieg against the English attack. In the seventh over of England's innings, O'Brien's knee buckled grotesquely as he dived to field a powerful cover-drive from Strauss. Thankfully, he didn't tear a ligament in the process, and managed to stand up and move around gingerly. Not that he had much running to do for the rest of the day. With 63 balls of clinical hitting, O'Brien transformed the World Cup by producing its biggest upset and thereby ensuring the group stages did not turn into the sleepwalk they were otherwise destined to be. During the course of his ton - the fastest in World Cup history - he also single-handedly built a case for the retention of Associates in future World Cups. Not a bad return for a man with a dodgy knee.

Ross Taylor v Pakistan, 131 off 124

The visceral violence with which Taylor crescendoed to the finish line makes one forget how hopelessly out of form he was at the start of his innings. On his 27th birthday, Taylor's feet were going nowhere; he was perennially crouching too far forward and falling over as he poked ungainly away from his body. With Kamran in a generous mood behind the stumps, Taylor somehow survived his first 108 balls for 69 runs, before lighting up Pallekele with 61 off the last 16. His closing carnage included seven sixes and four fours, and a series of trademark lashes over the leg side that savaged Shoaib Akhtar's final spell in international cricket. It was the quintessential birthday bash.

Brett Lee v Pakistan, 4 for 28

Defending a modest 176, Lee roared in with purpose to test Pakistan with a heady mix of pace, movement and bounce. He lulled Mohammad Hafeez into an early flick in his second over, and pouched a smart catch on the follow-through. At the other end, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson were off-key, forcing Lee to do it all by himself. In his fifth over, he nailed Kamran with an inducker that swerved in late and big. With Pakistan tottering at 45 for 2, Lee got a breather but the back-up bowlers let things drift before Ricky Ponting turned to him again. Lee responded by producing two delightful back-of-a-length feelers to snare Pakistan's old firm of obduracy - Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq - off successive balls. It wasn't enough to prolong Australia's 34-game unbeaten World Cup run, but Lee's eight overs were all about the attitude that had made that streak possible.

Jacob Oram takes a catch right on the boundary to dismiss Jacques Kallis, New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd quarter-final, Mirpur, World Cup 2011, March 25, 2011
Jacob Oram, 1.98m and leaping further up, takes the catch of the tournament © Getty Images

Yuvraj Singh v Australia, 57 off 65

Yuvraj emphatically seized each game-breaking moment as it came by to end Australia's World Cup in Motera. When he came on, Ponting identified him as the weakest link in India's bowling attacked immediately, but Yuvraj persevered with his oddball mix of sliders and loopy deliveries, sent down with barely discernible variations in angle. Brad Haddin fell to a flighted tempter, and Michael Clarke to a deceptively fuller one. That turned the course of the innings, though Ponting held on to guide Australia to 260. After Sachin Tendulkar's half-century, India's chase went from sizzle to fizzle as Yuvraj watched from one end, and Australia were looking to snuff things out with predatory fast bowling. Sensing the gravity of the moment, Yuvraj kicked into overdrive and counterpunched. He produced a vicious pick-up shot that left Tait stunned, and then coolly redirected a Lee yorker to third man before carving another four over point. Suresh Raina joined in the fun, 27 runs came in two overs and just like that, India had found an emergency route into the semi-finals.

Jacob Oram v South Africa, 4 for 39

A chronic knee injury had slowed his movements, taken the sting out of his bowling and nearly ended his career before the World Cup. Having made it to the subcontinent, though, Big Jake was keen to prolong the joy for as long as possible. During the quarter-final he was everywhere South Africa turned. Like when Jacques Kallis pulled a long-hop, in the 25th over of what was turning into a boringly comfortable chase. Oram, all of 1.98m tall, scrambled back and to his left from deep midwicket, launched himself off the turf and plucked it on the go. That moment sparked his team into life and they hustled their timid opponents out of the World Cup. Oram did his bit with the ball, snaring Johan Botha with a legcutter and getting Robin Peterson to edge a length delivery. By the time Faf du Plessis holed out to point, the C-word was back in vogue, and Oram was bounding about the Shere Bangla with barely concealed glee.

Wahab Riaz v India, 5 for 46

Riaz's maiden five-for was Pakistan's best bowling spell of the World Cup, but it sadly came on a day when they did little else right. He came into the attack in the sixth over, after Virender Sehwag had mauled Umar Gul out of sight. Riaz struck immediately, skidding one off a length into Sehwag's pads to stall India's momentum. Aided by sloppy catching, Tendulkar kept India chugging along at a healthy rate when Riaz came back to derail them. He foxed Virat Kohli with stealth of seam and detonated Yuvraj Singh's stumps with a yorker at extreme pace. However, chances continued to go down, allowing MS Dhoni and Tendulkar to haul India out of trouble, before Riaz returned for a final fling. Dhoni exited promptly, clueless against another skidder that was destined for the stumps, forcing India to recalibrate their ambitions. Riaz got his fifth in the final over, and his efforts kept India at least 30 short of the score Sehwag and the catching had set them up for. It, however, wasn't enough to break Pakistan's World Cup jinx against them.

MS Dhoni cracks one over the off side, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
MS Dhoni was out of form when he started, but finished off with his swagger restored © Getty Images

Mahela Jayawardene v India, 103 off 88

On the biggest day of the tournament, Jayawardene walked on water and produced his best one-day innings. His side may have been wobbling against an inspired attack, but he proceeded to dismantle them elegantly and without a fuss. He checked in with a host of cuts, guided precisely into gaps in the arc between third man and cover, and kept his end ticking over at a good rate. India, however, retained control by striking regularly at the other, until Jayawardene stunned them in the batting Powerplay. His means remained the same - he stayed on leg stump, opening up the off side and using the pace on the ball to charm it to the boundaries. Zaheer's impeccable figures were ruined as Sri Lanka looted 63 in the Powerplay, setting India a daunting 275 to win the Cup.

MS Dhoni v Sri Lanka, 91 off 79

No Jayawardene century had ended in defeat. No century in the World Cup final had ended in defeat. No host country had ever won the World Cup. It's fair to say the odds were stacked against India at the halfway stage. And then, things got worse: Tendulkar and Sehwag failed, and despite Gautam Gambhir's defiance, Sri Lanka were taking charge. His selection punt having backfired yet again, and with his personal form in the doldrums, Dhoni promoted himself to No. 5 to have a tilt at the windmills. He began like a man out of touch, feeling and prodding for runs, but pounced on bad deliveries ruthlessly. He ran like a man possessed, and twitched his side in the process, but that did not slow him down. Gradually he managed to revive the ugly efficiency of his batting: the jumping upper cut, the shovel-whips through square leg, the hard-bunted drives down the ground - all were put on show. By the time he was done, the Dhoni swagger was back and his bat-twirl after hitting the winning six will be the enduring image of the World Cup.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Harsh on (April 7, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

I would also include Dayle Steyn's 5-50 against India at Nagpur.It completely turned the tide of the game in favour of South Africa after India was cruising to get a 350 score..Steyn bowed an absolutely immmaculate length and generated both swing and cut.

Posted by sam on (April 7, 2011, 8:47 GMT)

If anyone thinks that Shahid Afridi's 4/34 and especially Taylor's 130-odd against lollypop full tosses was better than Ponting's 104 he does not understand cricket. The two most visually pleasing and flawless innings were Ponting's 104 off 118 and it was bettered by Jayawardena's 103 off 88.

Posted by Ahmed on (April 6, 2011, 19:00 GMT)

Sorry I had to write "SemiFinal" not final, for Tendulkar's knock against Pakistan. Here is my previous comment: Those asking for Tendulkar's knock in the final, I think this page is mentioning greatest performances from the WC and that day Tendulkar was just lucky! I mean he left no stone unturned to get back to pavilion but was given a life every time by our Pakistani players. As for MS, yes his batting was really wonderful in the final. He made no mistakes and led his team to victory. Had he got out earlier, India could not win it easily!

Posted by Srinivasan on (April 6, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

Performances by Shahid Afridi, Andrew Strauss, Ross Tyalor and Brett Lee came in group matches and not in the high-pressure knock-out rounds and may be ignored. All these players peaked too early.

Mahela Jayawardene batted too slowly given that Wankhede Stadium was a small ground...he should ideally have scored those 103 runs off some 30 fewer balls. Wahab Riaz took 5 wickets but conceded 46 runs off his ten overs. If he had taken something like 5 for 15, Pak would have won the match .Jacob Oram's 4 for 39 was not so great as South Africa played substandard cricket not worthy of quarterfinals.

The real top performances are Yuvraj Singh's 57 not out as it came against defending champs Australia in knockout round at a crunch situation and Dhoni's 91 not out in crunch situation in final. All other performances listed out pale into insignificance against these two performances.

Posted by Piyush on (April 6, 2011, 15:37 GMT)

What about Punter's 104 and Mitch's 4 for 15 against zim?And where in the world has Dale Steyn's 5/50 has been ignored?

Posted by ntokozo on (April 6, 2011, 15:17 GMT)

@Gladiator1975: I think you will find that your Tendulkar did not score runs of any significance during the whole of the world cup. His two tons against S.A and ENG which you say have been ignored have actually been rightfully omitted. None of the centuries were defining in both of the matches, in fact, they turned out to be just another meaningless stream of unimportant runs from a man who never wins anything for his country. Eng match was tied, S.A match was lost; proving again that your Sachin is no match-winner. This is why Ponting, despite his attitude, will always be greater. He always sees his side through at crucial moments. On the other hand, Sachin is always nowhere to be found in those moments (see WC final 2003, 2011 etc). His only significant score in the Pak match actually won by India was actually quiet embarrassingly attained. For such a rated man, he shouldn't have to rely on dropped catches. I refuse to give credit to mediocre players who rely on luck to score runs.

Posted by Dhaval on (April 6, 2011, 14:45 GMT)

@Spelele: I guess you're over biased towards SA. You've termed all performances by other team players as either luck, mediocre or meaningless. I hate to give such wake up calls but let me give this. SA has been mediocre always in knock out stages since 1992. Whatever be your bias towards others they have contributed towards victory of their nation. India, SL, Pak and NZ has fared better than SA is proven. And records always favor winners and champs not Chokers!!!

Posted by Manesh on (April 6, 2011, 13:53 GMT)

@KiwiRocker relax baby, relax...I can understand your feelings...;)

Posted by Bobby on (April 6, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

What about Tendulkar's fine inning in the final? Did not that won India WC? Look, Tendulkar has to be there- He is God in India!

Posted by Bobby on (April 6, 2011, 12:13 GMT)

Murtaza: Saeed Anwar's 194 which is arguably second best innings behind Sir Viv Richards 189 was surely great as it was chanceless- No DRS, No fielding gimmicks and above all he was playing in front of a hostile crowd against arch rivals...Mate! You just echoed my point. Thanks for that- By the way tendulkar's worthless 200 and 175 meant nothing- He flopped again in final. India won final because SA was out of tournament thanks to mighty Kiwis and they were lucky to win toss against Pakistan!...those were only two teams who could beat India.. !

Posted by Gladiator on (April 6, 2011, 9:35 GMT)

Sachins tons against England and South Africa are been ignored. Now here's a man standing on the third man boundary in the last over of a south africa match. The bowler just has to bowl sensibly to win this game. What the man at the boundary sees is 4 rank bad bowls bowled without any sense of focus, planning or regret. India loses, yet again in those circumstances when he has done just about everything right. He does not cry. Does not show any emotion. Just keeps his head down and leaves the field. He has seen these failures for 22 years now. Imagine what would be the magnitude of the inner struggle for him, pain both mental and physical, tears that have frozen with time, knees and ankles and every other joint in the body that is either bandaged or needs to be attended to every night, eyes that don't sleep before a big game, bats that have scored 99 international tons and still see expectation from a billion people. Still he is ignored. Disappointed by above list.

Posted by ntokozo on (April 6, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

Such a biased list towards S.A. Is Steyn demolishing the mighty Indian batting line-up; Deviliers's defining knock against the Windies, and iether Tahir's or Peterson's fantastic performances not good enough? I have lost all faith on Cricinfo. There were some other great performances from the minnows which were the most heartening of this WC, and which will always be remembered more than Lee's meaningless spell in a losing cause; Yuvraj's insignificant knock against the Aussies (after all that's his job in the team to finish well set matches, isn't it?); I also think Strauss's meaningless knock in the dull tie with India is overrated, there were other more significant perfomances. He was actually lucky to get the ton in the first place after being dropped, and edging earlier on. I have said it before; I don't think that mediocre players who rely on luck and equally mediocre bowling attacks, in meaningless match-situations to score their runs should be credited in any way whatsoever:)

Posted by paul on (April 5, 2011, 21:53 GMT)

@Swingit The Dutch didn't chase against England, they batted first and England chased their 292 down in 48 overs. As far as the list, I think it would be hard to include all the good performances, to appease all the fans, I don't think he'd have enough room to get them all in, especially all the ones people have mentioned here.

Posted by boxer on (April 5, 2011, 19:37 GMT)

2 hat-tricks and 6 wicket hauls and not in the top 10 , makes one wonders from what perspective was the top 10 chosen

Posted by Ahmed on (April 5, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

Those asking for Tendulkar's knock in the final, I think this page is mentioning greatest performances from the WC and that day Tendulkar was just lucky! I mean he left no stone unturned to get back to pavilion but was given a life every time by our Pakistani players. As for MS, yes his batting was really wonderful in the final. He made no mistakes and led his team to victory. Had he got out earlier, India could not win it easily!

Posted by Sitanshu on (April 5, 2011, 17:30 GMT)

@KiwiRocker, I hope you enjoyed India winning the World cup finals. I did :-)

Posted by navneet on (April 5, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

sachins 85 should be included....he played a match winning innings to lead india to victory....even gambhirs 97 should not be forgotten....it was an important and match winning innings under the circumstances...

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 16:59 GMT)

@indianzen: Indians playing great in England? Point to be noted.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

@KiwiRocker: but if that's the case than you shouldn't forget Saeed Anwar's 194 against the same opponent in the Independent Cup at Madras (Now Chennei), it was a chanceless inning for sure

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 16:25 GMT)

Why is Tendulkar's chanceless 100 of 90 balls against SA (the world's finest bowling attack)

Posted by Philip on (April 5, 2011, 16:17 GMT)

SriLankans dont have to be dejected at all. They played away from home in front of a partisan crowd. SL have always intrigued me. Their approach has been sort of like the old West Indian type too. Never a dull moment with them. A very friendly bunch of guys never high minded when you meet them. You see them carry their own bags. I was full of admiration in the Carribean last time around, their humility spoke louder than words. Their fans match the Carribean style with their baila too. Always keep your toes tapping. India played the better cricket. SL should have had the chance to beat Australia. I would have loved to see the Aussies get beaten. Pakistan were lucky to get away in their game against them too. Many try not give them the credit for making it to the finals. Phil Harding, England

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 14:53 GMT)

Gautam Gambhir's 97 vs. Sri Lanka may not have been his or the World Cup's best innings, but it was, in my opinion, the most important. With so much at stake and despite the loss of Sehwag and Tendulkar, to play the way he did took sheer guts and sensibility, something that was lacking in some of his previous innings'. He rotated the strike and found the odd boundary, not letting the required rate go up. Had it not been for his innings, Dhoni would not have been able to play the way he did and we may well have seen one of those neither here nor there innings that we have gotten accustomed to seeing.

Posted by Richard on (April 5, 2011, 13:18 GMT)

Dale Steyn should be there.Logically,as the only team to beat India we are the proper World Champions!!Ha,ha,we wish.Next time!

Posted by Ravi on (April 5, 2011, 12:45 GMT)

" By the time he was done, the Dhoni swagger was back and his bat-twirl after hitting the winning six will be the enduring image of the World Cup" hmm.... now it seems everyone has forgotten the title song of the 2011 World Cup. Come on folks what Dhoni meant by twirling his bat is meant DE GHUMA KE - GIVE THE CUP TO INDIA. Well i thought the media is smart enough to catch that catchy bat-twirl of Dhoni. DUH insane media.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 12:39 GMT)

It's not a win of individuals... it's a win a team performance.. it's fr d scratch... bowlers did restricted sri lanka s 4 a very score of d tournament...so let's celebrate success.. v r d champions of d world....:):):):)

Posted by Vignesh on (April 5, 2011, 11:56 GMT)

@KiwiRocker... first make a world cup finals. Then you can talk about other things.

Posted by Aibak on (April 5, 2011, 10:27 GMT)

Where is Ricky Ponting's century against India in the quarter finals. He was out of form during the world cup but that was the best way to come in form by making a century against India. His century helped Australia to a fighting total in Ahmedabad.

Posted by Sagarneel on (April 5, 2011, 10:01 GMT)

A list of the top 10 performances without Gambhir's 97 in the final (considering the pressure) and Tendulkar's 111 against South Africa (considering the strenght of the SA bowling line-up)!!! Are you kidding me?

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 9:51 GMT)

No tendoeschate? I know i am a dutchman, but seriously.. He scored an amazing hundred against England and took 2 wickets in that game for 40 runs in 10 overs.. Also he scored a sparkling hundred in the game vs ireland.. I think he must have left South Africa and England serious thoughts to maybe get him into their squad..

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 9:47 GMT)

There simply is no performance as significant as Gambhir's 97 , How do you leave that out ?

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

this is not top ten since tendulkar 85 against pakistan, styen 5 wickets against india that the only game india lost, shewaq 175 against bangaldesh witch is the highest score of this world cup, six wickets for malinga against kenya who was the only bowler to took 2 hatriks in world cup, gambir rock solid wall bat on fainals 97 runs,

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 8:31 GMT)

where on earth is Sachin's hundreds against England & SA ????

Posted by Pradeepta on (April 5, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

For impact, Peterson's charge in the last over against India deserves a mention in the also-rans. Or maybe it should be Nehra, as the modern game talks a lot about 'game-changers', and Nehra did just that, albeit not in the way India would have wished.

Posted by Francis on (April 5, 2011, 8:16 GMT)

Not one South African? We came back against India after they hit the highest powerplay score of the tournament at that stage. Steyn demolishing India's middle order, 5 wickets, over the course of something like 29 runs. I guess they are afraid the Indian fans will be too upset to be reminded of that defeat.

Posted by Pritam on (April 5, 2011, 7:49 GMT)

Sehwag's 175 should have been there.....

Posted by chandana on (April 5, 2011, 7:19 GMT)

seems the article is trying to include all teams here. Dilshan and Tharanga opening stand of 231 against England to win by 10 wkts. Lasith Malinga 's 6 for with a 4 in 4 again Ponting 's 100 in semi finals (not as good as Mahela's but...)

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 7:16 GMT)

Dale Steyn against India and Gautam Ghambir in the final

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 7:14 GMT)

Indians realy showd the world that they are Great Batting Side..

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

India won due to its team effort, the team is such that if any two of the top seven click, India is going to score 300+ easily, the bowling and fielding picked on the right occasions.where as pakistan fielding in quarter final, and srilanka's spirit and bowling in finals let them down remember they got rid of viru and sachin early.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

Zaheer Khan is arguably the bowler of the tournament???? Arguably is the key word right? Because Afridi took those wickets giving lesser runs.... And he didn't play the final. AND afridi was just one cog in the wheel of an excellent bowling attack. He had competition from his fellow bowlers. Whereas Zaheer was bound to take most of India's wickets because no one was threatening to beat him to it. Stands to reason Afridi is the best.

Posted by Tim on (April 5, 2011, 6:19 GMT)

Howabout the 280+ opening partnership between Dilshan and Tharanga against Zimbabwe? Or the 230+ opening partnership against England in the quarter final?

Posted by Bobby on (April 5, 2011, 5:41 GMT)

Where is Tnedulkar's 85 against Pakistan? Surely he got dropped four times, he was clueless against Saeed Ajmal. He could barely play Wahab Riaz- He had to use DRS twice even though he was not a fan of DRS( he is now) and both times umpire gave him benefit of doubt. He could have been out at 23 but he ended up scoring 85 that won India the match and ultimately probably the world cup. Look, tendulkar just has to be there. He is the God in India!

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 5:39 GMT)

Biased highlights of ten best performances in the world cup, I am surprised to see that Sehwag's blistering 175 against Bangladesh and Gautam Gambhir's defiant 97 in World Cup final are missing in the list. The well know truth of Indian team performance in major events are always started in dizzy mood which was overturned by Sehwag during his swashbuckling innings. It would have been Gambhir named man of the match award in world cup final for his patient, gritty innings, he anchored the innings with the help of Kohli, then Dhoni and reached India to the winning mark, though Dhoni has finished in style.I conclude, Sehwag's 175 against Bangladesh and Gamhir's 97 in Final match should have been included in the list.

Posted by Imran on (April 5, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

HIRAL PATEL ANYONE!!! grest pfreformance against 150 ks bowling

Posted by ashok on (April 5, 2011, 5:18 GMT)

The Six - 1st ball of Powerplay against Australian Lee, the Six - Second over of Lankan Kulasekara in the Batting Powerplay for the winning runs tells thousands about the Indian Batting Dominance... Next tour to England? England better be prepared to face the media after a washout... beware beware, the Indian tigers are back roaring and threatening as ever...

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 5:08 GMT)

No mention of Gambhir's innings in the final? That's sad.

Posted by Shrikant on (April 5, 2011, 5:05 GMT)

How about Sehwag's 175 against Bangladesh? All the pressure of avoiding a repeat of 2007 and he comes up with that innings to drive India to 370. I don't think any team made 300+ in Mirpur after that...?

Posted by Thiagarajan on (April 5, 2011, 4:42 GMT)

@PatFelix : Sri Lanka getting to the world cup Final was scratchy, their games towards the end in Columbo were strong because of home pitch advantage that they have in all games played there. However, to try and underplay India's achievement by pointing out the resources, money and home ground advantage is a total cop out. In fact Sri Lanka won the toss and batted first to lose the game. They also had removed two top wickets for cheap runs. Wouldn't have been much of a difference given that they fell together as a team in the bowling after that. Accept a loss like India did against Australia.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 3:55 GMT)

Congrats to India, from a team that did not even make it out of group stage at the last world cup, such a Cinderella story, whereas Sri Lanka again in the final. Got to feel sorry for Jayawardene, a hundred in a final and not even man of match. With the biggest talent pool, the most money and resources and home advantage anything less for India would have been underachieving really.

Posted by John on (April 5, 2011, 3:50 GMT)

The person who got rid of Chappell as the Indian coach and the person who made him the Australian selector should be jointly nominated for top ten. It resulted in India winning and Australia losing.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 3:24 GMT)

Dhoni's 91 cannot be seen alone. Instead of MS Dhoni's 91, it should have been "Gauti & MSD" vs SL. Dhoni's 91 is without any value if Gauti's 97 is not in it. (and vice-versa). It was the Partnership of the WC 2011.

Posted by Sampath on (April 5, 2011, 2:57 GMT)

Sad.... Gutam gambir innings not mentioned here... I feel that is one of the best and that innings can be in top 10 for sure...

Posted by narendhara on (April 5, 2011, 2:39 GMT)

there were only two Indian performances in the top 10 which shows that it was India won the world cup with team performances especially in the game with Pakistan.... all of the bowlers picking up 2 wickets.... and i am really disappointed with the way the media treats gamber.... he is the most under ratted player in the Indian team.... if you look at his performances.... 50 against Australia... 97 in a pressure situation.... he was very important in winning the world cup for India... and looking at all of his past records he has performed for India in so many crucial games.... it so often gets overlooked.... hope the media will change their outlook to this player....

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 1:18 GMT)

What about Malinga's Hatrik, Dilshan's and Tharanga's World record partnership... This is not a proper written article

Posted by Viper on (April 5, 2011, 0:41 GMT)

Where can I see a video of Dhoni's bat twirl at the final six? I want to see that again and again and again and again....

Posted by Pieter on (April 4, 2011, 21:37 GMT)

dale steyn's 5-50 against india should have been there too.

Posted by Amuthan on (April 4, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

i am pretty sure (even though the innings was flawless) mahela would never say that it was his best 100 ever.... he would rate it as his worst, simply because SL lost.....

Posted by Roddy on (April 4, 2011, 20:55 GMT)

No love for Steyn's 5-for against India? I thought that was spectacular, really hauled SA back into that match. It has the advantage over Lee's performance of having come in a winning cause as well. I think he was MOTM for it. Otherwise, I can't think of too much else wrong with the list!

Posted by varun on (April 4, 2011, 20:26 GMT)

"Yuvraj emphatically seized each game-breaking moment as it came by to end Australia's World Cup in Mohali." - Nothing big deal but QF match was at Motera ground, Ahmedabad - Thanks.

Posted by oscar on (April 4, 2011, 20:08 GMT)

@Niranjan George Marx I think it was done in chronological order, i.e. which happened first, not in ranking.

Posted by Deepak on (April 4, 2011, 19:32 GMT)

I thought Malinga's burst against Kenya was going to be here. That was among the best spells of reverse swing I have seen and sure it would have the best batsmen in the world hopping and poking. It should have been here.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 19:29 GMT)

where is sachin's hundred against africa and england,just because india lost one,and tied another, there is no reason you can left those innings...those innings..were lifter for rest of the tournament..i think...india picked their game after a loss to south africa..it was a bad bowling performance..and india..knew that..

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

Good job on listing the top 10 performance.... I guess the primary reasoning for the ranking has been 'the situation in which the performance was delivered'. Good job ...

Posted by raj on (April 4, 2011, 19:01 GMT)

Yes, I am 100% sure that Gambhirs innings was the Key for the WC final win for India. Actually Gambhir should have got the man of the match but only because it was world cup final and thats why they also considered the role of Dhoni as a captain and gave him man of the match. According to me, if Gambhir had didn't played that knock then Dhoni would not had played his knock that well. I think Gambhirs performance should be rated as number one in the above list.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 18:45 GMT)

@Bharat: His bowling was like Jayawardane's hundred. Both were for a losing cause. But both helped their team have a realistic chance to win. Jayawardane's more special coz it was the final.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 17:58 GMT)

yuvraj's 57 came against aus at ahemadabad not in mohali..........

Posted by chowdary on (April 4, 2011, 17:48 GMT)

Great work cricinfo, But it is disapointed no gambheer 97 it is the great innings under presure

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 16:47 GMT)

Sehwag's 175 definitely should have been there.. The list will be never be complete with that innings..!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 16:39 GMT)

For those calling for Gambhir to be Man of the Match in the final, i don't think you guys are wrong.. nor do i think you guys are completely corect. Dhoni's knock in the final was crucial, as was Gambhir's knock. In a way Gambhir and Dhoni had a similar role to play, yet different. Gambhir arrived very early at the crease knowing he had to put on runs, yet also knowing there was plenty of batting to arrive had he not clicked. Gambhir along with Kohli steadied the innings, as did Gambhir aldong with Dhoni. So had Dhoni not played that wonderful knock - yes we had an in form Yuvraj to come(first ball duck in previous innings though), and a some what in form Raina(few too less games in this WC) - then God knows what may have happened next. Maybe India may have lost the final without Dhoni's knock, then Jayawardene would have been the man of the match. Basically what i'm trying to say is that Gambhir and Dhoni complemented each other very well, and the MoM award should have gone to both!

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 16:32 GMT)

some people just cant seem to digest Sachin's success.... innings against south africa not good enough??!!!!!! they have the best attack god damn it!!! and abt tendulkar's 4 drop catches,someone plz mention that strauss edged a ball on 17 that day??? Sachin need not be in the list; but stop taking cheap jibes at him...The man is more successful in his field than any one of us ever will...

Posted by Milind on (April 4, 2011, 16:25 GMT)

The list is a good one except for some missing performances. Sachin's 111 vs SA needed a mention here also his century against England was good one. Gambhir's 97 against SL in Finals is a terrible miss here. Zaheer Khan's spell against England and South Africa to get India close to victory (we tied with Eng and lost to SA is different thing.) also needs a mention.The performance of Wahab Riaz does not desetve a place in Top 10 ahead of some of the missings.

Posted by Umair on (April 4, 2011, 16:19 GMT)

@Bharat- Same could be said for Brett Lee's 4 for 28 against Pakistan bu that still counts. This is where we should determine heroes in defeat and sometimes i dont agree with the theory of awarding man of the match to players from winning team

Posted by Wayz on (April 4, 2011, 16:12 GMT)

I think this list incomplete without the mention of gambhir's innings. The best inning played in WC final was by gambhir.

Posted by eddo on (April 4, 2011, 16:05 GMT)

How about Kemar Roach 6 for against a Netherlands team bursting in confidence after they scared the living daylights out of England with a masterful chase that was almost magical. Roach took 5 of his 6 wickets via lbw or bowled and quickly let the upstart associates know what it was like to face real test bowling and reminded the world what it was like in the heady days of relentless express pace from Clive LLoyd's pacemen.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 16:02 GMT)

why is Gauti's 97 not here when Dhoni's 91 is present in top 10?? :S

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 15:48 GMT)

Sehwag's 175? Though against a weaker opposition - but that set up the pace of the tournament and perhaps was the highest individual score. And rather than Yuvraj's 50 being listed one of his all round performance (50+ wickets) should be listed...

Posted by Lavamurthy on (April 4, 2011, 15:45 GMT)

Neat job on the ten most memorable performances. And also it is good to see that Sachin as a player is not mentioned in the list. It is coming of age of Indian cricket. You should compile list of the 10 least memorable incidents and i am sure dropping sachin 4 times would top the list!

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 15:24 GMT)

How about Sachin vs South Africa? Ten Doeschate also had a century against a test team

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 14:52 GMT)

I was waiting 4 this moment in my life!! I can die with happiness now!!may the ghosts of 2003 Wcup rest in peace!!A huge monkey is off the back now!!! as it is said that nothing succeeds like success I have some fascinating facts- -sri lanka lost both Wcup finals when they were outperformed by the wicketkeeper.Even in their T20 cup 2009 final,kamran demolished their bowling, -india won both ODI Wcups on saturday, -india started the campaign with a 4 and ended it with a 6, -india played their last and first match against the 2 teams with oustered then in 2007 Wcup, -Shane Warne emerged as "PAUL" of cricket, -sri lanka didn't beat any Wcup winning side in this Wcup, -mahela scored ton in a losing cause, -highest ever run chase in final, -274 was enough 4 srilanka 2 win..but they saw rajni & ghajini in crowd.. -home side jinx broken, -gambhir top scored under MS in both finals of 2007 t20 and this one, -srilanka drinking the tea in plate...coz india took away the cup.LOL

Posted by vijay on (April 4, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

For me, MSD's innings in the finals was the innings of the tournament. Not for the skill, but for the great courage the man had to take the pressure head-on and come out on top.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 14:45 GMT)

Hey Wt abt Dilshan & Thanaga partner ship between Zimbabwe Team ..

What abt Dilshan & tharanga Partnership against England Team ... No loss Victory

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 14:36 GMT)

Thank GOD cricinfo is not trying to impress indian audience by putting Tendulkar into this.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 14:34 GMT)

Robin Peterson's opening spell against England desrves a mention, but Dhoni's innings in the final is probably one of the best one-day innings of all time considering everything that was on the line

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 14:33 GMT)

Hmmm...what about Kemar Roach's 6/27 or Malinga's?

Posted by indrajith on (April 4, 2011, 13:59 GMT)

Where we put Gambir 97. He should be the MoM in final. What a majestic inning especially when Malinga is on fire. He batted quite beautifully with such ease. He and Mahela were played in different pitch. Dhoni came when things were set up by Gambir. At that time edge with india. He just had to manure the ball. I think Gambir is the best batsman (after sachin) in india (at least in subcontinent). He is master against spinners. He deserves the MoM in final. Adjudicators completely got wrong.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

Gambhirs innings in the final was just as good as any of those performances.It laid the stage for the indian victory!! Wahab Riaz...i dont think he deserves the spot...it was neither a match winning innings nor a match saving effort.Just because he got a 5 for doesnt put him on the list.

Posted by MAKSOOD on (April 4, 2011, 13:26 GMT)

Bangladesh's run chase against England was worth a mention too.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

Surpriseeeeeeeee, Where is tendulkar's fighting 85 against pakistan in semi final?, whi owned him player of the match & give india the chacne to make it into the final

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 13:01 GMT)

The Sri Lankan Indian match will be long remembered. what a match! To win after losing Sachin and Virander tells the character of the team and their captain.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

"Yuvraj emphatically seized each game-breaking moment as it came by to end Australia's World Cup in Mohali.", Australia's World Cup ended in Ahmedabad & not Mohali as mentioned.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 12:52 GMT)

Good selection. Ponting's 100 in QF an unfortunate omission. But can't complain about the chosen ones.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

i suggest kevins innings is a memorable......

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

Also Gautam gambhir 97 in final. it should be included in list. It was one of the best innings under pressure

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 12:19 GMT)

Can't understand how Dhoni's performance was better than Gambhir's...

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 12:17 GMT)

@Nitin: This is a hurriedly written article. How come you missed out Ricky Ponting's century against India in the quarter final or Sehwag's century in the opener against Bangladesh and many other such innings??

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

@Nitin Sundar Look wha's happening EveryOne is forgetting Gambhir's fighting inning of final... Add him too in this list. and make it to 11.

Posted by Pritam on (April 4, 2011, 12:10 GMT)

Where is sehwag's 175!!!! That's the highest score in this world cup!!!!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 12:10 GMT)


Posted by Daison on (April 4, 2011, 12:01 GMT)

Afridi, Brett Lee, Yuvraj and Oram doesnt need to be in the list. May they were put in to make the numbers up. Those 4 does not count as the remaning outstanding performances.

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Nitin Sundar Social media manager Nitin spent his formative years perfecting the art of landing the googly, before blossoming into a book-cricket specialist. More excellence followed in the underarm version of the game before, like the majority of India's misguided youth, he started taking studies seriously. After four forgettable years of electrical engineering, followed by a rigorous MBA and 16 months in the strategy consulting industry, he began to ponder life's more profound issues. Such as the angle made by Brian Lara's bat with the horizontal at the peak of his back-lift. A move to ESPNcricinfo followed and Nitin is now a prolific nurdler in office cricket, with a questionable technique against the short ball.

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