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Decade in review

Men’s ODI spells of the decade, No.5: Trent Boult runs riot against Australia

Trent Boult
by Rishad D'Souza 4 minute read

Trent Boult was unstoppable against Australia at Eden Park during the 2015 World Cup, and his 5-27 meant New Zealand trumped their trans-Tasman rivals at the big stage. Rishad D’Souza revisits a thriller.

Trent Boult 5-27
New Zealand v Australia
Eden Park, Auckland
Group stage, ICC World Cup 2015
February 28, 2015

The spell

It was at home, in front of a vociferous Eden Park. It was a World Cup game. It was against their overachieving neighbours Australia. And to add to the sense of occasion, the boards declared the winner of the match would be awarded the prestigious Chappell-Hadlee Trophy. This was, to put it mildly, an important clash.

Australia had opted to bat first on the oddly shaped ground, possibly with hopes of capitalising on some of the smaller boundaries to put up a huge score. Only, there was swing on offer and New Zealand had in their side two of the best movers of the white ball in Tim Southee, who only a week ago had decimated England with 7-33, and Boult.

Boult’s first spell reaped no rewards though, his five overs going for 24 runs and Australia sitting pretty at 68-1 after 10 overs. But Daniel Vettori would soon take a couple of wickets, and sensing an opportunity to go for the kill, Brendon McCullum reintroduced Boult after just a seven-over break.

This time, Boult found his radar, and made the inswinger to the right-handers his ally; he had Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh both chopping on in quick succession, and then, steaming in from round the wicket, he forced a false shot from Australia captain Michael Clarke, and removed the two Mitchells, Johnson and Starc, with full deliveries.

His second spell produced incredulous figures of 5-3-3-5, and reduced Australia to 124-9 from 96-4.

Boult went on to finish the tournament as the joint highest wicket-taker alongside Starc, his 22 wickets coming at just 16.86 apiece.

The ball

21.6, Mitchell Starc b Trent Boult, 0 (2)

In a spell where he also accounted for Maxwell and Clarke, Starc’s certainly wasn’t Boult’s most important wicket. But there’s a case to be made for this to be his best delivery of the spell. It was a fast, searing yorker, seemingly aimed at the leg stump. Starc tried to flick it, but failed to account for the very late away movement that took the ball past his outside edge to uproot his middle stump.

That delivery also represented a passing of the baton of sorts; a left-arm fast bowler himself, Starc made a note of what he had to do if Australia were to try and defend a very low total. Starc went on to knock over six batsmen, executing that yorker to perfection, but still couldn’t prevent the hosts from winning the thriller by a wicket.

Wisden’s decade in review series is brought to you in association with Perry, designers of distinctive club blazers made in Yorkshire since 1946. Vote in the decade in review readers’ survey.

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