Top 10 World Cup batting cameos

From Kris Srikkanth's 38 in the 1983 World Cup final to Lance Klusener unbeaten 31 in the 1999 World Cup semifinal, batting cameos have proved invaluable.

Lance Klusener and Allan Donald were part of one of the thrilling moments cricket has seen.   -  V. V. Krishnan

Cricket is not all about centuries and five-wicket hauls. In the glorious history of the game, there have been small gems of individual contributions, which still remain memorable.

Sportstar brings to you 10 stand-out batting cameos in World Cup history.

Kris Srikkanth 38 off 57 vs West Indies, 1983 final

There was no stopping Kris Srikkanth that day as he took the attack back to the fiercest pace quartet of Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall. The fall of Sunil Gavaskar didn't deter Srikkanth from playing his shots. He hooked, pulled, drove until Marshall ended his breezy knock of 38. On a spicy pitch, batsmen from both teams struggled and Srikkanth's score was the highest of them all in the final, which India won by 43 runs.

Mike Veletta 45 (n.o) off 31 vs England, 1987 final

If not for Mike Veletta's 31-ball 45 not out, Australia would have lost the close final against England at Eden Gardens. After David Boon's (75) dismissal, Veletta and Allan Border put up a crucial 73-run stand. Veletta was effective against the spinners and used the sweeps really well, also ran well between the wickets. England, in its chase crumbled to some tight bowling as Australia won the final by slender seven runs. Veletta's effective cameo did make the difference at the end.

Wasim Akram 33 (n.o) off 18 vs England, 1992 final

It was a day that solely belonged to Wasim Akram and Pakistan. Akram's late flourish with the bat helped Pakistan to a competitive total of 249/6. He got the scalp of Ian Botham early and in his next spell, the left-arm genius changed the course of the match in a span of two deliveries. It was the 35th over, Akram ran in from round the wicket, got the ball swing at a good pace, Allan Lamb prodded forward, the ball missed the forward defence to knock back the off stump. Chris Lewis walked out and returned back after being bowled by another peach of a delivery from Wasim. England couldn't recover from the two blows as Pakistan won by 22 runs.

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Ajay Jadeja 45 off 25 vs Pakistan, 1996 quarterfinal

India needed a late flourish and it was Ajay Jadeja who took up the challenge. He targeted none other than Waqar Younis. Standing back in the crease, he countered the yorkers by playing them in off and dispatched the length balls over square leg and extra cover. Waqar conceded 40 off his last two overs as Jadeja powered the score to 287, which India would not have thought of.

Lance Klusener 31 (n.o) off 16 vs Australia, 1999 semifinal

The semifinal between Australia and South Africa is rated as one of the most thrilling matches in the history of the World Cup. 

South Africa needed nine runs off the last over, bowled by Damien Fleming. Lance Klusner and Allan Donald at the crease. Klusner takes charge and starts off by hitting two cracking boundaries off the first two balls. Now, one needed from four. The third is a dot ball with Donald almost running himself out. The fourth ball, Klusner plays it to mid-off and dashes for the single. Donald is struck at the other end without realising that Klusner has run past him. Run out and the match tied. Australia, having won its Super Sixes match enter the final. If not for the horrendous run out, Klusner had almost taken South Africa to the finals.

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Ricardo Powell 40 (n.o) off 18 vs South Africa, 2003

Brian Lara's hundred had already dented South Africa but it didn't stop there as Ricardo Powell blasted a quickfire in the final overs. He started off with couple of flourishing boundaries off Makhaya Ntini and then took Shaun Pollock to the cleaners — hitting him through the covers, over long-on and midwicket. The flamboyant 18-ball 40 not out enabled the Windies to post 278/5. South Africa almost chased down the target but fell short by only three runs.

Tamim Iqbal 51 off 53 vs India, 2007

The chase of 192 never looked easy but Tamim Iqbal's 53-ball 51 set the stage for the Bangladesh middle-order to finish off the job. Tamim targeted India's spearhead Zaheer Khan by scything him through the off-side. The length balls were carved through the covers. Zaheer's tried to cramp Tamim by coming round the wicket but the opener tonked him for a six over long-on by moving out of the crease. India didn't recover after that onslaught as Bangladesh sealed a comfortable victory.

Yuvraj Singh 57 (n.o) of 65 vs Australia, 2011 quarterfinal

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Yuvraj Singh hit the winning runs for India in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal match against Australia in Ahmedabad.   -  AFP

 

If not for this knock, India's World Cup campaign could have very well ended. Batting first, Australia put up 260/6, with Ricky Ponting scoring a century. Australia saw a chance after getting rid of Gautam Gambhir and M.S. Dhoni in quick succession with India reeling at 187/5 in 37.5 overs. India needed consolidation and who better than Yuvraj Singh, as he stitched a crucial 74-run stand with Suresh Raina (34*) to see India over the line at Ahmedabad.

Virat Kohli 35 off 49 vs Sri Lanka, 2011 final

The Wankhede crowd was stunned to silence at the fall of Sachin Tendulkar (18), with India chasing 275 in a high-pressure final. Never a great moment to walk out to bat with Lasith Malinga breathing fire. India 31/2 in 6.1 overs and Virat Kohli facing Malinga. Kohli, a youngster then held his nerves well and put up a crucial 83-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir to help India build on before he was removed on 35 by a stunning catch by Tillakaratne Dilshan off his own bowling. If not for that small knock by Kohli, India could have very well lost grip of the run-chase.

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