T20 World Cup: Top 5 Bowling Spells that Helped Win the Cup in T20 World Cup History

The T20 World Cup is about to start this month, much to the joy of cricket fans around the world. The coveted prize will be decided in Down Under amongst sixteen elite teams.

Here's a tiny attempt to start you thinking about the five greatest bowling performances from the World Cup's history as it draws near.

5. RP Singh's 4/13 vs South Africa in 2007

How frequently do we observe a fast bowler from India wrecking havoc in the other team's camp? Isn't the sight quite uncommon? However, RP Singh's performance in a game that needed to be won against a strong Proteas team was nothing short of amazing.

For a squad with stalwarts like Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, AB Devilliers, Justin Kemp, etc., chasing 154 was never too much to ask. But one youngster who had just ploughed through their batting order managed to take them all out. RP's bowling raised questions about pace, swing, seam, and accuracy that South Africa was unable to address.

Dinesh Karthik made a fantastic catch of Smith, while Shaun Pollock and Albie Morkel were taken care of. Gibbs was caught square in front. The hosts concluded their innings at 116 and were defeated handily by 37 runs despite needing to chase just 154 runs.

4. Umar Gul's 5/6 vs New Zealand in 2009

This period is among the hardest I've ever seen in a T20 World Cup, in my opinion.

Brendon McCullum and Aaron Redmond made brief appearances to help New Zealand get off to a respectable start. They had no idea that the "Guldozer" was going to attack them, though.

 When Scott Styris was gone, Umar Gul used the old ball to work his magic. The Kiwis packed their bags one by one for the dugout but had no answers with his thunderous inswingers and deadly bumpers.

Daniel Vettori batted at number nine in New Zealand's lengthy batting order. However, Gul's masterpiece was too much for them, and they were bowled out for only 99 runs, losing the match by a margin of six wickets.

3. Irfan Pathan's 3/16 vs Pakistan in 2007

This spell didn't require a fast tempo or extraordinary seam movement. But the circumstance of its appearance sets it apart.

In the 2007 World Cup Grand Finale, India faced off against Pakistan while defending a meagre 156. RP Singh has dismantled the leadership of Pakistan. The game was still in doubt, though, with stars like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik still to appear.

The great MS Dhoni imported Irfan Pathan, a middle-overs weapon that did wonders for India.

Afridi left the field immediately after Malik's direct shot to short midwicket. When Misbah-ul-Haq and Yasir Arafat were forming a key alliance, Pathan returned and castled the latter.

Pathan was noted for his swing, thus he found it difficult to bowl with the older ball. But prospering under difficult circumstances is what distinguishes a great athlete.

One of the main reasons the entire country of India rejoiced that day was because of his deceitful off-cuts. In the World Cup final versus Pakistan, he had a three for 16 performance; as an Indian supporter, I couldn't have wished for more.

2. Rangana Herath's 5/3 vs New Zealand in 2014

A team shouldn't ever take its triumph for granted since, as they say, "Cricket is a game of unpredictability."

New Zealand believed it would be simple for them to chase down run-a-ball 120. A short-statured Rangana Herath with a lion's heart, however, was what prevented them from winning.

The cunning left-arm offspinner destroyed New Zealand's batting order while confounding the finest in the industry. He presented the Blackcaps hitters with a fresh challenge with each and every delivery. The ball was gripping, turning wonderfully, and consistently outplaying the Kiwi hitters.

The Sri Lankans rejoiced as Herath recorded unbelievable figures of five for three, bowling out New Zealand for just 60, their lowest-ever score in a T20 World Cup.

1. Abdul Razzaq's 3/20 vs Sri Lanka in 2009

The career of Abdul Razzaq was nothing short of a wild trip. At one point, he was the best all-around seam bowler in Pakistan, but due to his poor performance, he quickly fell out of favour.

But the Men in Green persisted in their faith in him, and it paid off in the 2009 World Cup final.

Sanath Jayasuriya, a dangerous bowler, and Jehan Mubarak, a seasoned bowler, were both dismissed when Razzaq and Mohammad Amir opened the bowling.

In the sixth over, he went one step further and returned the famous Mahela Jayawardene to the dugout. Razzaq's incredible performance limited Sri Lanka to a meagre 138, which Pakistan successfully chased down to win the match.

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