1. Wasim Akram What can’t the Lahore speedster do with the ball? After Waqar Younis was ruled out of the tournament, Akram had the responsibility of spearheading the bowling line-up, given that Imran Khan’s pace had dropped considerably, given his age. Ending the tournament as the highest wicket-taker, Akram’s speed, reverse swing and rhythm was in full cry throughout. The southpaw’s big hits to the fence were equally crucial in the final, which took Pakistan to a formidable 249. Two deliveries in the match summed up his ability. The match was slipping away in the middle overs and Imran had to turn to Akram for a breakthrough. In successive deliveries, Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis had no answers to deliveries that deviated away and England had no way back from there. Akram stepped up when the team needed him the most and cemented his place as a pace legend worthy of the title. Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Schedule: Complete Fixtures & Time Table of all Cricket World Cup 2015 Matches
2. Chris Harris There was nothing extraordinary about Chris Harris’ loopy medium pacers that had almost no pace in them. One of the many surprise packages that came in the tournament through the New Zealand setup, Harris emerged as the second highest wicket taker. Using the wind to his advantage, Harris was a regular in getting crucial breakthroughs right through. However, it ended in heartbreak for Harris as he was bashed around Eden Park by Inzamam’s willow en route to his match winning 37-ball 60.
3. Ian Botham The legendary England all-rounder’s batting after being slotted in as a pintch hitting opener made all the right noises in the tournament but Botham’s bowling was even better. The highlight though has to be when he turned back the clock to 1981, against old rivals, Australia. This time though, it was a 50 over match and ‘Beefy’ triggered a stunning collapse to register his best ODI figures. He responded by making a patient fifty too as England romped to their most satisfying win in the tournament. Botham was certainly one of the stars of the cup and was instrumental in the team’s superb World Cup campaign.
4. Mushtaq Ahmed In a do-or-die encounter against New Zealand in the group stages, the diminutive leg-spinner’s figures read 10-0-18-2 against a powerful batting line-up. Despite heroic feats by Wasim Akram and Rameez Raja in the same encounter, Mushtaq was awarded the Man-of-the-Match. He too, was consistent and finished as one of the three players to be adjudicated as the joint second wicket taker. The ball to dismiss Graeme Hick in the final was one of the best dismissals of the tournament.
5. Eddo Brandes What can a chicken farmer muster in Cricket you ask? Well, ask Zimbabwean pacer Eddo Brandes, who masterminded the biggest upset of the World Cup. Playing in the sleepy town of Albury, it looked like England were going to continue their stunning One-Day form after rolling over the minnows for 134. Then came a big, hulking figure; with a run up with a puffed out chest and a skiddy delivery strike. England were slaughtered. Top order batsmen that included skipper Graham Gooch, Graeme Hick, Robin Smith and Allan Lamb had no answers. England never recovered and fell short of the target by nine runs to give Zimbabwe a famous win. Brandes finished with figures of 4 for 21.