Sachin Tendulkar has hailed Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz for producing the standout bowling spell of the Cricket World Cup.
Australia sealed their fifth 50-over world title on Sunday courtesy of a dominant seven-wicket victory over fellow co-hosts New Zealand at the MCG.
However, Michael Clarke’s side were given a significant scare before prevailing in their quarter-final against Pakistan in Adelaide, as Wahab posed all sorts of problems in an eye-catching six-over burst early in Australia’s chase.
Operating at express pace, the left-armer removed David Warner and Clarke in his opening spell, reducing Australia to 59-3 in pursuit of 214.
Wahab should also have picked up the wicket of Shane Watson, but Rahat Ali was guilty of a terrible drop at fine-leg and that proved a turning point as Australia recovered their composure to triumph by six wickets.
Figures of 2-54 from nine overs did little justice to Wahab’s performance, which left spectators on the edge of their seats.
In an interview with the International Cricket Council (ICC), India great Tendulkar – an event ambassador for the World Cup – said: “One spell that stands out the most, according to what I saw, is definitely Wahab Riaz’s spell.
“He didn’t pick up many wickets in that spell, but [what] a spell to watch. To me, I think the spell of the tournament. Those kind of performances stay with you forever.”
Tendulkar highlighted a number of other impressive individual performances during the six-week tournament, reserving praise for the likes of Martin Guptill, Chris Gayle, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, AB de Villiers, Mitchell Starc and Kumar Sangakkara.
“We all enjoyed those performances,” added the 41-year-old. “Fifteen years down the line you will be talking about these innings and these spells.”
Wahab Riaz is a huge talent. All the best to the young man in his pace craft.
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