Best Overs in Cricket History

Best Overs in Cricket History

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Cricket is not just about stealing the show with furious batting and boundaries, the effort of bowlers knocking off wickets is one of the major aspects of the game. Since the dawn of the sport, there have been many rules implemented for cricket and matches are composed of fielding and batting. On the fielding side, bowlers get their chance to claim wickets for the team. Each bowler gets to bowl for a certain amount of overs, and each over is comprised of 6 balls. While it is difficult to raise trouble for the strikers in every single ball of the over, some players have managed to deliver the unthinkable and changed the course of the match in a single over. In this article, let us take a look at some of the greatest overs in the sport and decide which one was the best over in cricket history.

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Top 10 Best Overs Ever Bowled in Cricket History

Here are the top 10 best overs ever bowled in the history of cricket and keep note that these are in no special order.

1. Irfan Pathan - India vs Pakistan in 2006 at Karachi

Irfan Pathan

Former Indian left-arm fast-medium bowler, Irfan Pathan’s name was often on the list of wicket-takers in both the popular formats of cricket. One over in particular remains as the highlight of his career, which came during the third Test match of India’s tour of Pakistan back in 2006. Pathan opened the bowling for India and he was up against Salman Butt on the striker’s end.

After the first three balls of Pathan’s over remained scoreless, the fourth ball claimed the wicket of Salman Butt. As team Pakistan remained at zero with the loss of one wicket, the Pathan’s fifth and sixth ball of that over claimed two more wickets, which were of Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf. In the first over of that game, Pathan’s knock of three wickets for zero runs is considered to be the best over in cricket history.

2. Michael Holding - West Indies vs England in 1981 at Barbados

Michael Holding.

One of the greatest overs in cricket history comes from the West Indian right-arm fast bowler, Michael Holding. Holding’s edition of the best over in cricket history comes during a matchup between West Indies and England back in 1981. Holding started this over against Geoffrey Boycott, with a very sharp delivery which Boycott failed to convert into runs.

The next four balls of that over were shorter, quicker and more precise and gifted no runs to the striker. And with the sixth and the final delivery of that over, Holding forced Boycott to stay on the back foot, as the ball knocked out the off-stump wicket. This run-less over that picked off a wicket is considered the “over of the century.”

3. Shaun Tait - Australia vs Pakistan in 2009-10 at Melbourne

Shaun Tait

Australian right-arm fast bowler Shaun Tait takes one of the spots in this list with his version of the best over in cricket history. This golden over came in during a T20 matchup between Australia and Pakistan where the latter were chasing a target of 128 runs. As Tait started off his over with a decent length ball that was clocked at a speed of 156.3 kmph.

While the crowd were grasping the true essence of fast bowling, the second delivery came in even faster and was clocked at 159 kmph. The following four balls of the over also travelled beyond 150 kmph speed, respectively. Even though there were no wickets drawn with the 6 deliveries, it still remains one of the most impressive and consistent fast bowling overs in the history of cricket.

4. Lasith Malinga - Sri Lanka vs South Africa in 2007 at Guyana

 Lasith Malinga

The talk about impressive bowlers and their iconic overs can’t conclude without mentioning the name of Lasith Malinga, one of the greatest bowlers of the past few decades. This Sri Lankan legendary right-arm fast bowler claimed numerous wickets during his time and one specific over remains the talk of active discussion in cricket to this day.

It came in during a matchup between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the 2007 World Cup. As South Africa was closing in on a victory, Malinga came in and started taking wickets. In the first four delivery of his over, he dismissed Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis and Makhaya Ntini. This four wickets haul in an over is argued to be the best over in cricket history of the World Cup.

5. Mitchell Johnson - Australia vs England at The Ashes 2013-14

Mitchell Johnson

The Australian left-arm fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson, has bowled many impressive overs in his career. But one of his overs during the second Test of the 2013-13 Ashes series remains the best over in cricket history from an Australian player.

In his iconic over, Mitchell started off by dismissing Ben Stokes. In the following fifth ball of that over, Mitchell nicked off Matt Prior’s wicket with a full delivery. And while concluding his golden over, Mitchell claimed the wicket of Stuart Broad. This three-wicket haul in a single over remains one of the most iconic moments in The Ashes history.

6. Charl Langeveldt - South Africa vs West Indies in 2005 at Barbados

Charl Langeveldt

In an ODI matchup between South Africa and West Indies back in 2005, the latter were chasing a total of 285 runs and they needed 4 runs from 6 balls to win with three wickets to spare. Charl Langeveldt took charge of the last over and the first two balls were converted into two runs, which narrowed it to 2 runs from 4 balls to win.

But as they were close to victory, Charl claimed two consecutive wickets of Ian Bradshaw and Daren Powell. And with the fifth ball of the over, Charl claimed Corey Collymore’s wicket which was the tenth one of the innings and sealed South Africa’s victory. This over is regarded as the best last over in cricket history.

7. Andrew Flintoff - England vs Australia in The Ashes 2005

Andrew Flintoff

At the second Test match at Edgbaston, Andrew Flintoff delivered a spellbound over during the second innings. The right-arm fast bowler came to bowl the thirteenth over and he was up against Justin Langer. After a fruitless first ball, Flintoff dismissed Langer in the second ball of his over.

The next four balls were faced by Ricky Ponting and with the last delivery being a no-ball, he had to face an additional one. And in that very last delivery from Flintoff, Ponting gave away his wicket while attempting a drive. Flintoff’s edition of the best over in cricket history during The Ashes remains among the top.

8. Mohammad Amir - Pakistan vs Australia at the 2010 ICC World T20

Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir came to bowl the 20th over of the innings with his remarkable left-arm fast-medium bowling. The first two deliveries of the over had claimed the wickets of Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson, respectively. Amir’s third delivery was converted into another wicket with the run-out of Michael Hussey.

The following fourth ball resulted in another run-out, and it was Steve Smith this time. With four wickets from four balls, Amir took the fifth wicket of this over by dismissing Shaun Tait in the last ball.

9. Shoaib Akhtar - Pakistan vs South Africa at Sharjah 1999-00

Shoaib Akhtar

Former Pakistani right-arm fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar claims one of the spots in this list with his version of the best over in cricket history that came during the 1999-00 triangular series in Sharjah.

During his over, Akhtar started off by dismissing Mark Boucher in the second ball. In the fifth ball, Akhtar took the wicket of Dale Benkenstein, which was followed by the wicket of Lance Klusener in the last ball of the over. Even though Pakistan lost the match in the end, Akhtar’s over remains iconic in cricket history.

10. Hardik Pandya - India vs Bangladesh at 2016 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Hardik Pandya

No cricket fans will ever forget the incredible win-heist that Hardik Pandya and the Indian squad pulled off during the 2016 T20 World Cup. As Bangladesh was chasing the target of 147 runs, the last over befell on Hardik Pandya’s shoulders as Bangladesh needed 11 runs off 6 balls.

The opposition claimed two boundaries off of Pandya’s first three deliveries and narrowed the chase to 2 runs from 3 balls. As the nail-biting moment grew more suspenseful, Pandya claimed two wickets with the fourth and fifth balls of the over. As everything depended on the last ball, MS Dhoni pulled off a run-out, resulting in India’s win by 1 run. Pandya’s incredible over at the crucial point of the game that drew three wickets and won the match is considered the best last over in cricket history by many fans.

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