On this day in 2003: Glenn McGrath registers best bowling figures in World Cup

Exactly on this day in 2003, former Australia fast bowler, Glenn McGrath blew Namibia away to register the best figures in the 50-over World Cup. Fast forward to 2021 and his record still stands. Defending champions Australia were the firm favourites to win when they locked horns against Namibia in the 31st match of the 2003 World Cup. Australia had started the competition on a stunning note and took on Namibia after winning their first four games.

The minnows, on the other hand, had lost all of their four games before their game against Australia. Unsurprisingly, it was widely expected that Australia would make light work of Namibia. However, not many would have expected that the defending champions would go on to thrash the African country by 256 runs.

The biggest reason behind the huge win was McGrath’s breathtaking spell with the ball. Batting first, Australia piled up a mammoth total of 301 for 6. Opener Matthew Hayden (88) and Andrew Symonds (59) led the foundation for the big total before Darren Lehmann’s (50* off 31) quickfire unbeaten fifty took the score past the 300-run mark. With the ball, Australia needed only 14 overs to finish the game as they bowled out their beleaguered opponents for just 45. McGrath was the destructor-in-chief with the ball, taking a record 7 for 15 off seven overs.

He also bowled 4 maiden overs as Namibia batsmen looked clueless against his deliveries.  The former Australia pace spearhead dismissed Jan-Berrie Burger, Morne Karg, Danie Keulder, Gavin Murgatroyd, Deon Kotze, Louis Burger and Bjorn Kotze on his way to surpassing former West Indies bowler Winston Davis’ previous best figures of 7/51, a record held since 1983.

World Cup record:

Glenn McGrath is the most decorated bowler in the history of ODI World Cups. The legendary pacer won the World Cup thrice and picked up more wickets than anyone else in the history of the tournament. Between his debut at the tournament in 1996 and his final appearance in 2007, McGrath claimed 71 wickets in 39 games. He picked up six wickets at the 1996 World Cup and the figures only got better in the following editions. At the 1999 World Cup, he picked up 18 wickets before picking 21 wickets four years later. In his last World Cup in 2007, he took a record 26 wickets.