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Wisden readers pick out the best bowling performances in a losing cause

best bowling losing cause
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Yesterday, we asked our followers on our social media channels what, for them, were the most memorable spells they’ve seen in losing causes.


A number of the replies mentioned Shane Warne’s remarkable succession of performances during the 2005 Ashes series, where he took 40 wickets – 16 more than any other player on either side – in five Tests as England won the series 2-1.

World Cup performances featured prominently in fans’ replies. Lasith Malinga’s four wickets in four balls burst nearly caused one of the all time great World Cup comebacks in 2007. With South Africa cruising at 206-5 needing four to win off 32 balls, Malinga took wickets with four consecutive deliveries to nearly win the game for his team. Unfortunately for Malinga, South Africa eventually edged home to a one-wicket win.

Wahab Riaz’s spell against Australia during the 2015  tournament also earned plenty of plaudits. With Pakistan defending 213 in the quarter-final, Wahab delivered a ferocious spell of fast, short-pitched bowling, mainly to Shane Watson. Watson managed to escape the battle with his wicket still in tact, though, after Rahat Ali dropped a simple chance at fine-leg.

Also from the 2015 World Cup, Mitchell Starc’s devastating 6-28 to help Australia come within inches of defending 151 against New Zealand was mentioned on numerous occasions, as was Shane Bond’s six-wicket haul in the same fixture 12 years previously.

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