ODI cricket has seen plenty of top-quality performances over the years, and it has gone to new heights in recent times with the sport constantly becoming quicker and more competitive, with greater provision and access to scrutinise opponents’ games. This format also provides a balance between the T20s and Test cricket and tests both temperament and power.
For the bowlers, although making a transition from Test cricket to ODI was not smooth early on, it is in ODIs that a bowler’s discipline and accuracy are put to test, and top-class bowlers such as Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Muthiah Muralidaran, among many others adapted from the longer formats to white-ball cricket and enjoyed success across all formats.
Here are the top three bowlers who have taken the fewest balls in an ODI innings to bag a fifer since 2001:
3) 21 – Usman Shinwari vs Sri Lanka in 2017
On October 23, 2017, in Sharjah, Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari registered his best match figures in international cricket, picking up five wickets for 34 runs in seven overs. He completed the five-wicket haul in only 21 balls, and Pakistan went on to win the match by nine wickets and 178 balls to spare, chasing a target of 104. And unsurprisingly, Shinwari was given the Player of the Match.
2) 18 – Ryan Burl vs Australia in 2022
On September 03, 2022, in Townsville, Zimbabwe leg-spinner Ryan Burl cleaned up the Australian tail in only three overs and also registered his best match figures in international cricket, bagging five wickets for just 10 runs. Consequently, Zimbabwe bowled out the hosts for only 141 in 31 overs and chased the target down in 39 overs with three wickets in hand. Burl also scored 11 runs during the chase and also won the Player of the Match for his performance with the ball.
1) 16 – Chaminda Vaas vs Bangladesh in 2003
Legendary Sri Lankan left-arm fast bowler Chaminda Vaas bowled one of the best spells of all time in ODIs on February 14, 2003, against Bangladesh in Pietermaritzburg in the 2003 World Cup. He bowled the first over of the match and kick-started the proceedings by picking up a hat-trick in the first three balls of the over. He later on completed a five wicket-haul in only 16 balls, and finished with figures of six wickets for 25 runs in 9.1 overs with two maidens. Sri Lanka went on to win the match by 10 wickets, chasing a target of 125, and Vaas was given the Player of the Match.