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Opinion

Best ODI bowling debuts in Australia

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Roar Guru
6th June, 2020
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As of today’s date, men’s ODI cricket has witnessed 54 bowlers take at least four wickets on debut.

Eight of these performances have come on Australian soil, with the first back in 1979-80 and the latest in 2014-15. Here is a look back at those instances.

5/21 by Tony Dodemaide (Australia) vs Sri Lanka, Perth, 1987-88
Dodemaide made his Test debut against New Zealand at Melbourne, taking 6/58 in the second dig. Three days later, he became the first man to take a fifer on both Test and ODI debut.

In what was a World Series Cup clash, the Victorian pacer removed Asanka Gurusinha, Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga early to reduce Sri Lanka to 33/3 in a chase of 250, and finished with 5/21 in Australia’s 81-run win.

4/19 by Stuart MacGill (Australia) vs Pakistan, Sydney, 1999-00
MacGill played his first ODI two years after his Test debut, and he grabbed the chance with an excellent display in this Carlton and United Series fixture. Replying to Australia’s 286, Pakistan were 100/2 in the 13th over when the leg-spinner – whose initials read SCG – scalped Abdul Razzaq off his sixth ball.

He went on to take three more wickets, returning figures of 10-2-19-4 to guide Australia to victory by 81 runs.

4/33 by Graham Stevenson (England) vs Australia, Sydney, 1979-80
The Benson and Hedges World Series Cup was the first ODI series to feature day-night action. The tenth game saw Yorkshire’s Stevenson take 4/33 with his medium pace, including the wicket of captain Greg Chappell, to trigger a collapse of seven wickets for 15 runs that bundled Australia out for 163.

He capped a dream debut by scoring 28* from number ten, hitting the run that gave England a two-wicket win.

4/39 by Carl Rackemann (Australia) vs New Zealand, Melbourne, 1982-83
This was the first match of the fourth edition of the World Series Cup. John Wright and Bruce Edgar put on 84 for the first wicket after Australia opted to field, until Rackemann, a 22-year-old fast bowler from Queensland, dismissed the former.

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New Zealand lost their way thereafter, with Rackemann taking three of the next four wickets. The Kiwis could only muster 181, and Australia duly won by eight wickets.

4/42 by Dave Rundle (South Africa) vs Australia, Brisbane, 1993-94
An off-spinner from Cape Town, Rundle accounted for Damien Martyn as his first ODI victim in this World Series Cup match at the Gabba. Soon after, he took three wickets – those of captain Allan Border, Ian Healy and Dean Jones – in five balls, but not before Jones had scored a measured 98 to carry Australia to 230/9.

In response, South Africa were 118/2 at one stage before capitulating to be bowled out for 182.

4/46 by Xavier Doherty (Australia) vs Sri Lanka, Melbourne, 2010-11
Doherty’s impressive effort ultimately went in vain in this first of a three-match series. The left-arm spinner dismissed Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva and captain Kumar Sangakkara in eight balls, as Sri Lanka slid to 84/5 in pursuit of 240.

His fourth-wicket made the score 107/8, before Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga put on 132 for the ninth wicket to spur the Lions to an incredible one-wicket win.

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4/50 by Lonwabo Tsotsobe (South Africa) vs Australia, Perth, 2008-09
South Africa had already won the series coming into this fifth and final match. They fielded two debutants, one of whom was Tsotsobe, a promising left-arm paceman. He rattled Australia’s chase of 289 early, taking the wickets of Shaun Marsh and captain Ricky Ponting in his first spell.

He later returned to snare a well-set Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson as the Proteas clinched victory by 39 runs.

4/60 by Norman Vanua (Papua New Guinea) vs Hong Kong, Townsville, 2014-15
Having won their maiden ODI against the same opposition a day earlier, Papua New Guinea did an encore to become the first team to win their first two ODIs. Medium-pacer Vanua took the new ball on debut, and struck off his fourth delivery with the wicket of Irfan Ahmed.

He took another three wickets to end up with 4/60. Chasing 262, the Barramundis rode on Lega Siaka’s 109 to win by three wickets.