71 days to go: The worst five-for in World Cup history

Finn completed an unusual hat-trick by claiming three consecutive wickets off the last three deliveries of the innings.

Published: 20th March 2019 10:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2019 05:28 PM   |  A+A-

Steve Finn celebrates with teammates. (File Photo | AFP)

Online Desk

Bowlers usually cherish five-fors and if it includes a hat-trick, so much the better. But despite achieving both feats against arch-rivals Australia in a World Cup clash at Melbourne in 2015, England paceman Steve Finn had an afternoon to forget! 

Playing his first World Cup, Finn was pitted against Australia's strong batting line-up after England skipper Eoin Morgan chose to field first. Finn was the second-change bowler, with veterans Stuart Broad and James Anderson opening the attack.

David Warner and Aaron Finch helped Australia race to 57/0 in 7.2 overs before Broad got the first breakthrough by cleaning up the former for 22 off 18 deliveries. The very next delivery, he had Shane Watson caught behind for a golden duck. Steve Smith was also out cheaply to reduce Australia to 70/3.

Despite the fall of wickets at the other end, Finch didn't lose focus and went on to forge a 146-run partnership for the fourth wicket with George Bailey, before falling for a well-made 135 off 128 deliveries that saw him hit 12 fours and three sixes. Finn got his first wicket when Bailey chopped a good length delivery onto his stumps to depart for a well-made 55.

Mitchell Marsh was Finn's second victim, holing out to long-off where Joe Root completed the catch. In the very same over, he was taken to the cleaners by Glenn Maxwell, who pounded him with four consecutive boundaries. Finn was having a poor outing at the MCG with figures of 2/71 in 9.3 overs before lady luck finally smiled on him. 

Bowling the last over of the innings with Australia on 342/6 in 49.3 overs, Finn had Brad Haddin caught at third-man by Broad. With the well-set Maxwell on strike, Finn bowled a full delivery on the batsman's legs. Maxwell, who had hit 11 boundaries, muscled it to long-on only for Joe Root to pull off an absolute beauty diving to his right, clutching the ball with both hands, just as in the coaching manual. 

On a hat-trick, Steve Finn bowled a short of length slower ball to Mitchell Johnson who smashed it straight to a waiting James Anderson at mid-off. Finn completed an unusual hat-trick, by claiming three consecutive wickets off the last three deliveries of the innings. It was Finn's second five-wicket haul and the most expensive five-for in the history of the World Cup as he finished with figures of 5/71.

The worst-ever five-for before this was by two men from the Caribbean, Winston Davis and Ravi Rampaul, who had both given away 51 runs while claiming five or more wickets. In the same World Cup, Pakistan's Sohail Khan bettered the two bowlers on the list by claiming 5 for 55 against India. Finn's figures were also the second worst in the history of ODI cricket at the time with the worst being Scotland's Gordon Goudie who took 5/73 against Australia at Edinburgh in 2009. 

The only positive England drew from the game was Finn's five-wicket haul as they were handed a heavy 111-run defeat by their Ashes rivals. Chasing a target of 343, England were bowled out for 232 runs. Mitchell Marsh starred for Australia with the ball picking 5 for 33 in nine overs with James Taylor being England's lone warrior with a fighting 98. He missed out on a century after a DRS-runout fiasco unfolded on the pitch.


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