It’s not just batsmen and bowlers who provide the thrills in the World Cup. Occasionally, a stunning catch or a run-out changes the nature of contests and forms enduring memories.
From Viv Richards to Dale Steyn, from 1975 to 2015, here are some occasions made vivid by fielding efforts.
1. ICC Cricket World Cup 2007: Dwayne Leverock’s one-handed catch
India’s win against Bermuda in the 2007 World Cup was a lone bright spot for the side in an otherwise forgettable campaign.
The 257-run defeat notwithstanding, the contest was memorable for Bermuda, too. One moment particularly stands out.
The rotund Dwayne Leverock pulled off a one-handed catch in the slips after a mighty dive to his right to get rid of Robin Uthappa, the Indian opener.
Leverock’s euphoric celebration after that would surely never be forgotten!
2. ICC Cricket World Cup 1992: Jonty Rhodes’ acrobatics
A list on top fielding moments wouldn't possibly be complete without Jonty Rhodes and here is just one of the occasions where he made an impact with his athleticism on the field.
Chasing 194 in 36 overs in Brisbane, Pakistan looked to be cruising towards a victory thanks to a fine partnership between Inzamam-ul-Haq and captain Imran Khan.
However, when on 48, Inzamam got hit on the pads as the ball ballooned towards point. The batsman acted on his first thought of stealing a run but later hesitated as the non-striker asked him to return to his crease.
Rhodes, stationed at point, ran up to the ball. After picking it up, he sprinted towards the wicket before going for an acrobatic, bird-like dive at the end to make a mess of the stumps before Inzamam could ground his bat.
It was a decisive moment; Pakistan could only manage 173 for 8 by the end of 36 overs.
3. ICC Cricket World Cup 1999: A Jonty Rhodes special
In the 1999 World Cup contest between England and South Africa, Jonty Rhodes showed why he is considered one of the finest in the art of fielding.
With England at 78 for 6 chasing a target of 226, Robert Croft played a square drive off Lance Klusener and Rhodes, at point, leapt up spectacularly to stop the ball with his outstretched left hand. He turned and dived to pouch the ball on its way down and completed one of the most memorable cricket catches.
4. ICC Cricket World Cup 2011: Jesse Ryder’s one-handed catch
One of the best catches of the 2011 World Cup was taken by New Zealand's Jesse Ryder in the semifinal against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka had to chase down a target of 218 and Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan had helped the side get off to a strong start. Tharanga, however, soon fell to a mediocre delivery from Tim Southee, thanks to a stunning catch by Jesse Ryder at point.
The wicketkeeper-batsman sliced Southee through the point region; the ball would have landed a few metres to the left of Ryder if not for the one-handed dive he managed to his left. Although he landed on his elbow, he did not let go of the ball.
5. ICC Cricket World Cup 1983: Kapil gets rid of Viv Richards
It was a turning point in the final of the 1983 World Cup. The contest, until then, had been one-sided as India had been bowled out for 183 and Viv Richards was in ominous mood.
Batting on 33, Richards skied one towards deep-midwicket. Kapil, positioned at midwicket, followed the ball closely and ran a considerable distance to complete a well-judged catch.
West Indies kept losing wickets at regular intervals thereafter, ultimately losing the match by 43 runs.
6. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Dale Steyn’s diving catch
Dale Steyn made an acrobatic catch to dismiss Ahmed Shehzad in South Africa’s contest against Pakistan at the 2015 World Cup.
Openers Shehzad and Sarfaraz Ahmed had taken the side to 30 for no loss in 8.3 overs when Ahmed mistimed a gentle flick off fast bowler Kyle Abbott.
Dale Steyn, at mid-on, sprinted like a gazelle and dived to his right to complete a spectacular catch.
7. ICC Cricket World Cup 1975: Deryck Murray to WI’s rescue
Australia had managed to scare the mighty West Indies as the side moved to 274 for 9 from 233 for 9, the target being 292.
The pace-duo of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee had put up a dramatic 41-run stand for the last wicket to unsettle West Indies in the 1975 World Cup final.
The nagging partnership ended when Thomson missed a straight delivery from Vanburn Holder, hesitated for a single, and found himself out of his crease when wicketkeeper Deryck Murray managed to uproot the stumps with a simple throw.
8. ICC Cricket World Cup 1992: Ajay Jadeja gets rid of Allan Border
India’s Ajay Jadeja took a magnificent catch to dismiss Allan Border in a nail-biting contest against Australia.
Border hit a delivery from Kapil Dev to long-off, but failed to get enough power into the shot. Jadeja ran in and dived to his front to take a brilliant catch. He also took another catch on the same day to send Craig McDermott back to the pavilion.
India lost by one run.
9. ICC Cricket World Cup 1999: A Mark Waugh special
In the final of the 1999 World Cup, Pakistan opener Wajahatullah Wasti was dismissed off a spectacular diving catch by Mark Waugh in the slips.
Wasti had ended up edging a delivery from Glenn McGrath that moved into him. The ball flew to an area a bit wide of the third slip, where Mark Waugh took a stunning catch, diving to his right with both hands.
Australia went on to lift the title after clinching victory by eight wickets.
10. ICC Cricket World Cup 1975: Viv Richards’ triple strike
Despite having failed to shine with the bat, Vivian Richards had a memorable 1975 World Cup final as he secured three run-outs.
Richards helped break the crucial partnership of Alan Turner and Ian Chappell first by running Turner out from within the ring. Later, he also dismissed Ian Chappell and his brother Greg.
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