Top Ten wicket-takers in WCs Part 1

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Published: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 8:54 [IST]
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Top Ten wicket-takers in WCs Part 1

They are the men who know just how to elicit a fruitful time with the cherry. They pose as the antithesis to the glorified stroke-makers, striking with deadly precision to make the willow-wielders stop dead in their tracks. They are the ones that lead the attack and their armoury is defined by speed and swing and bounce and cut and turn and drift and flight. These are the soldiers that know how to unsettle the bails and rattle the furniture, how to break through the defences of batsmen or sucker them into fatal shots. Today thatsCricket pays tribute to the top ten wicket-takers on cricket's greatest stage - the World Cup. These are masters of their trade who effortlessly rise above mediocrity to put their respective sides ahead.

10) Shane Warne
Perhaps the greatest leg-spinner the world has seen, Shane Warne's exploits in the Test arena are matched only by the drama he was able to evoke in one-dayers and especially in the World Cup. The man who became known equally for bowling maidens off the field as on (due to his proclivity for amorous dalliances), Warne also pegged back several wickets in the overs he bowled at the mega event. His deadliest weapon was the flipper which enabled him to befuddle the most set and tenacious of batsmen. In the 2 World Cups he featured in, he made quite an impact, snapping up 32 wickets from 17 matches at an average of 19.50 and an economy rate of 3.83 - one of the most frugal in the event. His best bowling effort came in the dramatic 1999 semi-final in which he knocked back 4 South African batsmen for 239 runs to enable a tie, which saw his side edge through to the final.

9) Chris Harris
Perhaps not quite the type of bowler whom one would expect to see in a top ten list, Chris Harris is possibly the most under-rated performer with the ball. An allrounder by strict adherence to the definition, Harris' effortless accumulation of runs with the bat was perfectly complemented by his knack for taking wickets, especially in World Cups. Harris' wobbly medium pacers were allied to subtle variations in pace and the ability to cut the ball either way off the wicket. It was such an armoury that enabled him to spring a total of 32 deadly surprises from 28 matches in the big tournament at 26.90 runs per wicket and an acceptable economy rate of 4.43 runs per over. His ability to fox the opposition was exemplified in the 1999 group match against Scotland where he picked up a tournament best of 4/7.

8) Imran Khan
The Pakistani captain that achieved the near-impossible 1992 - reversing his sides fortunes from those that took them to the edge of elimination to those which brought the cup completely in their grasp. Imran initiated a generation of fast bowlers who all tried to emulate his immaculate control and penchant for the inswinging yorker. The man who gave cricket in the subcontinent real sex appeal was as attractive in the five World Cup he played. In the quadrennial event, he ensnared 34 wickets from 28 matches at a great average of 19.26 and an economy rate of 3.86. His highlight with the ball came in a crucial match against the West Indies in the 1987 edition when he took 4/37 as Pakistan went on to win the encounter by 1 wicket.

7) Brad Hogg
Brad Hogg was a notoriously successful chinaman, thus warranting himself as a rare breed of bowler and someone capable of carving a niche in World Cups. He was carrying the mantle of Australia's lone frontline spinner and found himself having to fill the monstrously large shoes of Shane Warne when then latter was barred from playing in the 2003 edition. Hogg surpassed his own idol as he bowled with a deceptive trajectory that was never predictable. It was just this remarkable trait that garnered him a World Cup tally of 34 scalps from 21 matches at an average of 19.23, while going at just 4.12 runs an over. His exploits were marked by a high of 4/27 against Netherlands in the 2007 event which helped his team home by a mammoth 229 runs.

6) Allan Donald
His top-drawer pace and strike-bowling ability set Alan Donald apart as one of the premier fast bowlers of the modern era. Donald's agile, silken smooth delivery stride discharged deliveries that were anything but smooth for the batsmen that were facing him. The South Africa ace paceman developed more than a reputation for spearing in the ball, getting it to shape away and always making something special happen. It was that ability that saw him ensnare a total of 38 wickets from 24 matches at an average of 24.02 and an economy rate of 4.17. His greatest bowling feat in the World Cup came in the 2007 edition when he pegged England back with 4/17 to help his side through to a 9 wicket win.

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