35 days to World Cup: Brett Lee's reign of terror

Lee made an impact in the World Cup, finishing with 22 wickets in his inaugural campaign in 2002.

Published: 25th April 2019 10:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2019 10:13 PM   |  A+A-

Brett Lee

In his 17 matches, in only one game did he finish wicketless | AFP

Online Desk

In an illustrious ODI career that spanned 12 years, Brett Lee made quite an impact. His 380 ODI wickets have been surpassed by only seven other bowlers in the history of the game.

While he had plenty of memorable moments in white ball cricket, it was during the World Cup that Lee had many memorable moments. He played in two World Cups and across 17 matches, he finished with 35 wickets.

35 days to go before the start of World Cup 2019, here is a quick recap of Brett Lee's impact on the biggest stage of them all.

In his 17 matches, in only one game did he finish wicketless and that came early in his World Cup career.

Lowest point

Despite an impressive start to the 2003 World Cup, which saw him finish with figures of 3/36 against India in their nine-wicket win, his first five matches yielded just six wickets.

His fifth WC match was against England at Port Elizabeth and it was the only WC game that he finished wicketless. He finished with figures of 0/58 from his 9 overs and they were also his most expensive figures (in terms of economy rate).

However, his lack of wickets didn't hurt Australia as Andy Bichel's sensational seven-fer held England to 204/8 and despite a top-order collapse, Bichel and Michael Bevan put on 73 runs for the ninth wicket to take Australia to a two-wicket with two balls to spare.

Finest hour

After his disappointing game against England, Lee was simply sensational. He picked up 16 wickets in his next five games in the tournament and he reserved his finest work for Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.

At Port Elizabeth, after Shane Bond ran through Australia's top-order and Michael Bevan and Andy Bichel rescued Australia once again and helped them post 208/9.

ALSO READ | 64 days to World Cup: Andy Bichel on cloud nine after record-breaking knock

If Australia had to remain unbeaten, they need a great start with the ball and while it Glenn McGrath who provided that by getting rid of three of the top four, Lee returned to the attack to clean up the tail.

Lee finished with 5/42, his best figures at the World Cup and his only five-fer in the tournament.

It was a sensational World Cup for Brett Lee. In his maiden campaign, he finished with 22 wickets, which at the time was only one behind Chaminda Vaas' 23 wickets, which was the record for most wickets in a World Cup at the time.

Last hurrah

Although his final World Cup match came against India in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final, his last hurrah in the tournament came in against Pakistan, when Australia's 34-match unbeaten World Cup run finally came to end.

In Colombo, a middle-order collapse meant that Australia were bowled out for 176 and their unbeaten streak was in jeopardy.

Lee did his best to ensure that the streak remained alive. He got rid of both openers inside the first 10 overs and returned in the 23rd over to get rid of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq in successive deliveries.

In the end, despite his figures of 8-1-28-4, the total was simply not enough as Pakistan got over the line with nine overs and four wickets to spare.


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