Best Strike Rate in Test Cricket
In this article, we are going to take a look at 10 bowlers with outstanding strike rates in Test cricket and some of their best match performances.
1. Shane Bond
In 18 Tests, Shane Bond has taken 87 wickets at 22.09 with a strike rate of 38.07. In other words, on average, he has taken a wicket every 38.07 balls. Bond registered his best match figures of 10/99, playing against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo on New Zealand’s tour of Zimbabwe in August 2015. Batting first, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 231. Bond took 6/51, getting rid of 6 of the top 7 batsmen in the hosts’ batting order. After the Kiwis had made 484 in their only innings, Zimbabwe collapsed for 207 in their second knock to render New Zealand the winners of the Test by an innings and 46 runs. Once again, Bond was the wrecker-in-chief, taking 4/48.
2. Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada grabbed 197 wickets in 43 Tests at 22.95 and a strike rate of 40.6. His best performance in a Test match came in the fourth game of a series at Centurion on England’s tour of South Africa in January 2006. Batting first, the hosts scored 475, on the back of tons by Cook and Amla. England replied with 342, conceding a first-innings lead of 133. Rabada took 7/ 112, including the wickets of 6 of the top 7 in the batting order. South Africa declared their seconds at 248/5. Chasing a target of 382, England collapsed to be all out for 101. Again, Rabada with 6/32 did the most damage to be named Man of the Match.
3. Dale Steyn
In 93 Tests, Dale Steyn has taken 439 wickets at 22.95 with a strike rate of 42.3. In the first match of a series against the touring Pakistan team, Steyn achieved his best bowling figures in a match at Johannesburg in February 2013. Batting first South Africa scored 253 before bowling out Pakistan for 49 with Steyn taking 6 wickets for 8 runs. The hosts scored 275/3 before declaring their second innings closed to set Pakistan a target of 480. The visitors could make only 268 in their second outing, leaving South Africa the winners by 211 runs. With 5/52 in the second innings, Steyn took his aggregate for the match to 11/60.
4. Waqar Younis
In 87 Tests, Waqar Younis has taken 373 wickets at 23.56 with a strike rate of 43.4. On Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan in December 1993, the two sides met in the first Test at Karachi. Batting first, Pakistan scored 423/8 declared before bowling out Zimbabwe for 289 with Waqar taking 7/91. Pakistan set Zimbabwe a fourth-innings target of 266 only to skittle out the hosts for 134 to emerge winners by 131 runs. Younis grabbed 6/44 to take his match aggregate to 13/35.
5. Jasprit Bumrah
In 14 Tests, Jasprit Bumrah has taken 68 wickets at 20.33 and a strike rate of 45.3. In the second Test at Kingston on India’s tour of the West Indies in August 2019, India batted first and scored 416. In reply, the West Indies could manage only 117. Bumrah with 6/27 ripped through the top order. India declared their second innings to set the hosts a target of 468. The West Indies collapsed again, this time for 210, allowing India to win the game by 257 runs. Bumrah took 1/31 to emerge with match figures of 7/58.
6. Shoaib Akhtar
In 46 Tests, Shoaib Akhtar has taken 178 wickets at 25.69 with a strike rate of 45.7. In the second Test of a series at Wellington on Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand in December 2003, the hosts batted first and put up a decent score of 366. Pakistan replied with 196, giving the Kiwis a lead of 170 on their first innings. However, in their second knock, New Zealand had collapsed to be all out for 103 before Pakistan mounted a successful chase that ended in a 7-wicket victory for the visitors. Akhtar took 6/30 to add to his first innings toll of 5/48.
7. Jermaine Lawson
In 13 Tests, Jermaine Lawson has taken 51 wickets at 29.64 with a strike rate of 46.6. During the West Indies’ tour of Bangladesh in December 2002, the two sides met for the first Test at Dhaka. Batting first, the hosts collapsed to be all out for 139. The guests replied with 536 before bowling out the hosts for 87 in their second knock to win the game by an innings and 310 runs. Lawson was the main tormentor of the Bangladesh batsmen in their second innings, taking 6 wickets for only 3 runs to add to his figures of 1/24 in the first innings.
8. Allan Donald
In 72 Tests, Allan Donald has taken 330 wickets at 22.25 and a strike rate of 47.0. England were bowled out for 122 in the first Test of their tour of South Africa played at Johannesburg in November 1999. The England batsmen found Allan Donald (6/53) virtually unplayable. South Africa replied with 403/9 declared before dismissing England for 260 in their second knock to register a win by an innings and 21 runs.
9. Pat Cummins
In 30 Tests, Pat Cummins has taken 143 wickets at 21.82 with a strike rate of 47.2. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 144 at Brisbane in the first Test of a series on their tour of Australia in January 2019. Australia replied with 323 before consigning Sri Lanka to defeat by an innings and 40 runs. Pat Cummins, with figures of 4/39 and 6/23, was the tormentor-in-chief in both of Sri Lanka’s innings.
10. Simon Jones
In 18 Tests, Simon Jones has taken 59 wickets at 28.23 and a strike rate of 47.8. In the second Test of a series on England’s tour of the West Indies in March 2004, the hosts batted first and scored 208, England replied with 319, grabbing a useful first innings lead of 110. The West Indies did not do much better in their second knock, getting bowled out for 209 this time around. Simon Jones’ 5/57 (added to his 1/44 in the first innings) contributed most to the hosts’ downfall. England chased down the target of 99 with 7 wickets to spare.
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