World Cup 2023: Top 5 batting, bowling performances in WC history
Martin Guptill, Chris Gayle, Sourav Ganguly, Glenn McGrath and others feature in these elite lists.
ICC World Cup 2023 begins in India on October 5. The 10-team tournament is in its 13th edition this year. Ahead of the big event, let us look back at the top five batting and bowling performances in World Cup history, from 1975 to 2019.
Top 5 World Cup batting innings
Martin Guptill (New Zealand vs West Indies, 2015) – 237* from 163 balls (Wellington, New Zealand)
The opening batter surpassed all previous World Cup records when he made a historic double century against the West Indies in 2015.
He became the first New Zealander to make 200 in a One-Day international, helping his side to a 143-run victory with a score that remains the one to beat.
Chris Gayle (West Indies vs Zimbabwe, 2015) – 215 from 147 balls (Manuka Oval, Canberra)
The West Indies legend made a sparkling double century against Zimbabwe that formed part of a 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels.
The pair came together after Dwayne Smith fell to the second ball of the innings and Gayle was caught from its final delivery, with the big-hitting left-hander striking 10 fours and a remarkable 16 sixes.
Gary Kirsten (South Africa vs United Arab Emirates, 1996) – 188 from 159 balls (Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi)
Gary Kirsten held the World Cup individual innings record for almost two decades before being passed by Gayle and Guptill in 2015.
The South African batted through the 50 overs for his unbeaten 188 against UAE in 1996, with 13 fours and four sixes.
Sourav Ganguly (India vs Sri Lanka, 1999) – 183 from 158 balls (County Ground, Taunton)
The former India captain led his side to the final of the World Cup in 2003, four years after his personal highlight in the competition.
His 183 against Sri Lanka in 1999 formed part of a 318-run stand with Rahul Dravid and remained his career-best across a remarkable career spanning 311 ODIs.
Sir Viv Richards (West Indies vs Sri Lanka, 1987) – 181 from 125 balls (National Stadium Karachi)
Viv Richards’ World Cup total in 1987 still stands as the fifth-highest total in the tournament’s history.
First-class hundreds were second nature for the former West Indies captain, but his 181 tally at National Stadium Karachi statistically stands as his greatest one-day World Cup feat.
Top 5 World Cup bowling figures
Glenn McGrath (Australia vs Namibia) February 2003 – 7/15 from seven overs (Senwes Park, Potchefstroom)
Glen McGrath played a key role as Australia earned World Cup glory in 2003, taking the winning wicket of India’s Zaheer Khan in the final and further cementing himself as one of the game’s greatest ever fast bowlers.
Earlier in the same tournament, he set a so far unbroken record for the best bowling figures at the tournament, a staggering 7/15 against Namibia.
Andy Bichel (Australia vs England) March 2003 – 7/20 from 10 overs (St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth)
McGrath was not the only Australian seamer to take a seven-wicket haul in 2003, with Andy Bichel doing likewise against England.
Bichel came into the squad following an injury to Jason Gillespie and seized his opportunity with a game-changing spell in Port Elizabeth, later adding an unbeaten 34 with the bat to help his side to a famous two-wicket win.
Tim Southee (New Zealand vs England) February 2015 – 7/33 from nine overs (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)
Swing bowling sensation Tim Southee played an integral role as co-hosts New Zealand made it to the 2015 final, with his best display coming against England in Wellington.
Southee’s 7/33 helped the Black Caps dismiss their opponents for 123, a total they needed just 12.2 overs to surpass.
Winston Davis (West Indies vs Australia) June 1983 – 7/51 from 10.3 overs (Headingley, Leeds)
The first bowler to take seven wickets in a single ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup innings was Winston Davis, who did so against Australia at Headingley on his competition debut in 1983.
The fast bowler was unable to retain that form, however, taking only one more wicket and was dropped for the semi-final and the final, where his side lost to India.
Gary Gilmour (Australia vs England) June 1975 – 6/14 from 12 overs (Headingley, Leeds)
Gary Gilmour made an instant impression in the inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, helping Australia bowl England out for just 93 in Leeds.
His 6/14 all but secured Australia a place in the final, in which he took 5/48 against the West Indies but couldn’t quite help his side lift the trophy as they were beaten by 17 runs.