No.3 on Wisden’s list of the best ODI spells of the 2000s is Shane Bond’s memorable six-wicket haul against Australia at the 2003 World Cup.
Shane Bond 6-23
Australia v New Zealand, Super Six, 2003 World Cup
St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth
March 11, 2003
Shane Bond was angry. The Port Elizabeth pitch looked dry to him, and it seemed that a consensus had formed: if Stephen Fleming won the toss, New Zealand would bat first before the wicket deteriorated for the Australian chase. Fleming called correctly, but something told him to go the other way. They would bowl first, and the decision did not go down well with Fleming’s leading bowler.
“I was well pissed off and carried that feeling onto the field,” Bond later wrote in his autobiography. A wide and a no ball in his opening over didn’t spell out what was to come, with the anger still present. “Man I was grumpy, swearing all the way down to fine leg, telling Flem, ‘We should be batting on this’.”
But Bond was still going to do his thing. Yes, this was Australia, the best side in the world – but that hadn’t hindered him before. In his five ODI appearances against them prior to the World Cup, he’d taken 16 wickets at 12.93. In each of those matches, he’d dismissed the talismanic Ricky Ponting. With his heartbreaker of an action and ability to send the ball down beyond 90mph, he was ready to right his skipper’s supposed wrongs.
Bond progressed to rack up more big names than Florentino Perez on a summer shopping spree. In his second over, Matthew Hayden nicked off on a Test-match length – “Life was sweet again, Flem was forgiven” – and soon Adam Gilchrist was adjudged lbw to a ball that appeared to have pitched outside leg. Next up was Ponting, who was 12 days away from a World Cup-winning century. Against Bond, however, the maestro was found to be fallible, his hard flash to a wide one resulting in a fatal nick.
In Bond’s second spell, Damien Martyn was outdone by a hint of away movement, and then came the highlight deliveries. Brad Hogg’s stumps survived the inswinging yorker, but his toes didn’t, granting another lbw dismissal. Such was the deviation of Bond’s delivery to Ian Harvey, that at the moment middle stump met its fate, the batsman was looking ruefully towards square leg, his shot having raced away for four in a parallel universe. Harvey had made the error of forgetting he was in Bond’s world. The quick had six, and the mighty Australians were 84-7.
Unfortunately for the New Zealanders, there was no happy ending. Andy Bichel and Michael Bevan came to the rescue with a 97-run partnership, and a Brett Lee five-for took the defending world champions to a 96-run win. But it was Bond who was adjudged to be the Man of the Match, his performance too good not to deserve some recognition. It remains a crying shame that injuries limited him from putting on many more shows like this.