Pakistan created history at the Oval by stunning arch-rival India in the summit clash to lift their maiden ICC Champions Trophy. The tournament was largely dominated by batsmen with almost every match played on flat decks.
However, there were few match-defining bowling spell which took spotlight in the two-week long tournament. Let’s take a look at the top five bowling spells:
Mohammad Amir’s 3-16 vs India: Pakistan’s bowling spearhead Mohammad Amir was tough to handle as he produced a superb spell of bowling early on to derail India’s chase. Led by Fakhar Zaman’s century, Pakistan posted 338 for 4 after put in to bat.
Now, it was on the bowlers to do their job and Amir perfectly did it. The left-arm pacer removed India’s top three in-form batsmen – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, which was enough to dominate India throughout their innings. India were reeling at 33 for 3 in 9 overs as Amir finished with figures of 3-16.
Imran Tahir’s 4-27 vs Sri Lanka: It was a group match and South Africa was put to bat by Sri Lanka on a flat wicket at Oval. Riding on Hashim Amla’s century, the Proteas managed a decent total of 299 from 50 overs.
Considering the quality of the pitch, it wasn’t a much difficult task for Sri Lanka to chase 300 and they started off well by grabbing 69 runs for the first wicket. At a certain moment, it was looking that Lankans will win the match comfortably as they had required run rate and wickets in hand.
However, Tahir had different plans for them as the South African legspinner kept finding breakthroughs and bagged four wickets to snatch the match from Sri Lanka’s hand. Tahir found his first wicket of the match in the form of Kapugedra and then removed Upul Tharanga and Asela Gunaratne successively. Later, Tahir sealed the victory for his team by sending back Nuwan Pradeep as South Africa won the game by 96 runs.
Mark Wood’s 4-33 vs Australia: It was a group stage match and a must win game for Australia if they needed to progress to the semis. On the other hand, England had already qualified for the last four as they already won their previous two clashes. Also Check: ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Top five match-winning knocks
However, that didn’t let them go easy on their arch rivals as they dominated Australia. Wood was on fir that day as he removed David Warner early and then also sent back well set Steve Smith, Glen Maxwell and Adam Zampa. His four-wicket haul alongside Adil Rashid’s 4/41 demolished Aussies as they were bowled out for 277. England won the game by 40 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method as the match was interrupted due to rain.
Hasan Ali’s 3-24 vs South Africa: Pakistan came into this game after facing a big loss against rivals India in their opening game. Pakistan needed to upgrade their game and match the level of the competition if they wanted to remain in the tournament and avoid another loss, as they were facing the World no 1 side South Africa.
It was Hasan Ali, who stepped up for his team and bowled the match winning spell to boost the confidence of the lowest-ranked team in the competition, that was Pakistan. Ali removed dangerous looking Faf Du Plessis before sending back JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell. All three wickets were crucial and changed the course of the match as South Africa managed to score only 219 as Pakistan won the match by 19 runs(D/L method).
Mitchell Starc’s 4-29 vs Bangladesh: Australian pacer Mitchell Starc has a unique ability to create havoc with both new and old ball. In a group stage match against Bangladesh, Australian bowlers removed the top order of the Tigers.
However, it was Tamim Iqbal who was anchoring the innings for Bangladesh as he was a set batsman. That was the moment when Starc struck and removed Iqbal. He later sent back the likes of Mehedi Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain in quick succession. Also Check: Champions Trophy 2017: Virat Kohli still has a long way to go as captain
Bangladesh were bundled out for mere 182 and it was an easy task for Aussies to accomplish that target. However, the game was spoiled by the rain and points were shared by both the teams.