Overs in Cricket: Every once in a while, something amazing happens on a cricket field. It could be a great catch, a great run-out, or a stroke that looks great. And when bowlers are able to carry out their plans perfectly against certain batsmen, we get some amazing overs.
Overs in Cricket and spells have been known to change the course of a match since the beginning of time. But setting up a batter is not an easy skill to learn. It demands a lot of practice, patience and professionalism on the part of the bowler.
List of Top 10 Fantastic Overs in Cricket
1: Irfan Pathan vs Pakistan (Karachi, 2006)
Irfan Pathan couldn’t be stopped when he was at the top of his game. Pathan was almost impossible to handle and score runs against because he threw balls that swung in and moved fast.
It happened in Karachi, Pakistan, in the first over of the third Test match India played there in 2006. Pathan gave Salman Butt the first ball when it was cloudy. The left-handed pitcher was able to move the ball in the air and off the deck. After defending the first ball, the left-handed player didn’t do anything with the next two. Pathan became more sure of how far he could bowl on the surface. But what happened next was probably not anything the left-handed pitcher had ever imagined.
2: Shaun Tait vs Pakistan (Melbourne, 2009/10)
If you are a player on the other team, you would not want to go up against a fired-up Shaun Tait on a fast track in front of a full MCG. Australia played Pakistan in a T20 match in Melbourne. Pakistan was in good form. Pakistan knew it wasn’t going to be easy to reach their goal of 128 runs. Tait came in with a good name and the ability to bowl fast. Imran Farhat took the first strike, and there were some cheers from the Australians around the bat.
Brad Haddin caught a ball that Tait threw that bounced off the ground and was about shoulder height. It seemed like the whole stadium looked at the big screen when Haddin did. The ball was thrown at a speed of 156.3 kmph.
3: Michael Holding vs England (Barbados, 1981)
Many experts have called Michael Holding’s spell against Geoffrey Boycott in the 1981 Barbados Test the “Over of the century.” It still gives people chills.
Holding beat Boycott twice, got him to edge once, and then with the last ball of the over, he took out the stumps. The way Holding worked was very intense and dead on. He was getting speed and bounce from the ground and seemed to bowl faster as the game went on. A couple of body blows knocked Boycott back, and then a faster one sent the Englishman’s legs cartwheeling.
4: Charl Langeveldt Vs West Indies (Barbados, 2005)
Barbados had another sensational over 24 years later at the same place but in a different way. In an ODI between West Indies and South Africa, the West Indies needed 285 runs to win. They had three wickets left, so they only needed four runs in the last over. South Africa’s bowler was Charl Langeveldt. The West Indies had Ian Bradshaw and Dwayne Bravo at the crease.
5: Lasith Malinga vs South Africa (Guyana, 2007)
During the 2007 World Cup, Sri Lanka played South Africa in a very important super-eight match. Lasith Malinga came close to pulling off an amazing win for his team. In Barbados, South Africa looked like the clear favorite with less than 15 runs to win, five wickets in hand, and six overs left.
Malinga came in to try to get some extra wickets because Sri Lanka was about to lose. But the slinger fooled the next four South African batters with four balls in a row, setting up a great finish.
6: Mitchell Johnson vs England (The Ashes, 2013/14)
During the memorable Ashes series of 2013–14, Mitchell Johnson stole the show. The left-handed bowler’s fiery spells had the right amount of speed, bounce, and a deadly look back at the batter.
Australia scored a huge 570 runs in the second Test of that series, which took place in Adelaide. In response, England lost Alaister Cook early on, but by making a few partnerships, they were able to get back into the game. All of that changed, though, when Johnson bowled the 50th over of the visitors’ innings.
7: Mohammad Amir vs Australia (ICC World Twenty20 West Indies, 2010)
Amir was better late than never against Australia in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20. At the completion of the 19th over, Australia was 191-5.
Mohammad Sami caught Brad Haddin at third. Mitchell Johnson missed the next ball, which rattled his middle stump. Michael Hussey’s dismissal gave Pakistan a team hat-trick. Smith missed Sami’s yorker. Hussey missed Kamran Akmal’s bye throw.
8 Andrew Flintoff vs Australia (The Ashes, 2005)
Ricky Ponting called Andrew Flintoff’s tenure in the 2005 Ashes series his toughest. Flintoff’s bat, ball, and fielding heroics helped England win 2-1.
Flintoff bowled the 13th over of the visitor’s second innings in the second Test at Edgbaston. Flintoff was denied a hat-trick by Justin Langer after collecting the last two Australian wickets in as many balls.
9 Shoaib Akhtar vs South Africa (March 2000)
Shoaib Akhtar bowled one of cricket’s best overs in Sharjah in 1999. Herschelle Gibbs played strokes all over the ground as South Africa chased 169 runs. When Akhtar returned, the score was 74-1.
Akhtar’s second spell had Mark Boucher hit Moin Khan behind. Dale Benkenstein was bowled three balls later, and Lance Klusener off the last.
10 Wasim Akram vs Australia, 2002
Wasim Akram delivered one of the meanest first overs in cricket during the 2002 Pakistan-Australia series in Melbourne. The left-armor took the wickets of Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting to put Australia on the back foot.
The Australian top-order struggled to deal with the swing from the first ball. Akram bowled fast and swung the ball to get Gilchrist’s edge before taking Ponting’s caught-and-bowled opportunity.
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