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ODI GOAT: Warne v Sangakkara

12 May 2016

Sam Ferris & Adam Burnett


Sam Ferris & Adam Burnett


The King of Spin goes head-to-head with a Sri Lanka legend - so who gets your vote?

The #ODIGOAT is cricket.com.au's knockout competition to determine who the fans think is the greatest ODI player of all time. We started with our top 64 ODI players and now we're asking YOU to do the hard work – that is, narrow it down to one. Set up in much the same way as a tennis tournament, each day you'll see head-to-head match-ups, with the winner of those progressing to the next round to square off with their next challenger. From 64, to 32, to 16, we are now into the quarter-finals. Next it will be the semi-finals and, ultimately, our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest one-day international player in history!

SHANE WARNE (AUSTRALIA)

The numbers: Matches: 194 | Wickets: 293 | Average: 25.73 | SR: 36.3 | Economy: 4.25 | BB: 5-33 | 5w: 1

WATCH: The best of Warnie, Volume 1

#ODIGOAT Voting: Warne beat out fellow leg-spinner Anil Kumble in a landslide in the first round, taking 83 per cent of the vote to stroll through to the round of 32, before taking a 74-26 victory over Kapil Dev in the second round. It was far closer in the round of 16, as Warne edged out Murali 51-49. 

Why he makes the list: Mercurial, masterful and utterly memorable, Shane Warne's genius spread equally across five-day and 50-over cricket. While his Test record was built on volume, endurance and moments of magic, Warne's ODI career stands on big-match performances and rear-guard efforts. He rescued Australia from the brink of defeat in the 1996 World Cup semi-final against the West Indies with 4-36 in Chandigarh. Three years later it was in England, his home away from home, where the best of Warne surfaced. In the final, there was no stopping Warne or the Australians. Warne took 4-33, bamboozling, baffling and banishing Pakistan's batsmen as Australia romped to their second world title. Before Warne, a spinner's place in an ODI team was about containment. But the King of Spin was a deadly double: a wicket-taking phenomenon whose relentless accuracy dried up the runs in the middle overs.  

Performance we loved: There's plenty to pick from, but it has to his 4-29 in the 1999 World Cup semi-final in Birmingham. The Proteas got off to a rollicking start in their pursuit of 214, before captain Steve Waugh called upon his ace spinner. Warne had been battling poor form and uncharacteristically low confidence, but the star bowler never shone brighter than when his team needed him most. With his eighth ball, Warne bowled Herschelle Gibbs with a delivery rivalling the 'Ball of the Century' – pitching outside leg, spinning sharply across the batsman to clip the top of off stump. Five balls later, Warne bowled Gary Kirsten through the gate with another booming leg-break. Both openers gone, Warne set his sights on Proteas skipper Hansie Cronje. Within two deliveries he had his man caught at first slip. With each wicket the Victorian bellowed "C'mon!" as his teammates mobbed him mid-pitch. He returned to remove supreme allrounder Jacques Kallis as Australia held their nerve to steal a tie and advance to the World Cup final.

KUMAR SANGAKKARA (SRI LANKA)

The numbers: Matches: 404 | Runs: 14,234 | Average: 41.98 | SR: 78.86 | 100s: 25 | HS: 169 | Dis: 501 | C: 402 (19 in field) | St: 99

WATCH: Kumar's classic BBL cameo

#ODIGOAT Voting: Sangakkara faced a tough match-up in the first round in India's World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni but was the overwhelmingly popular vote to go through to the final 32. Next, he knocked off Australian legend Adam Gilchrist, claiming 60 per cent of the vote, before ousting South Africa superstar AB de Villiers in the round of 16.

Why he makes the list: Kumar Sangakkara's ODI career had been incredible enough, but the manner in which he finished it off at last year's World Cup was something else. Sri Lanka didn't get their hands on the trophy they won in '96, so there was no fairytale, but Sangakkara's personal contribution was a triumph – a history-making four straight hundreds through the tournament. It was a classic sign-off from a classical player; a silky left-hander who was too much for even the world's best attacks when he got going. And that was regularly. Sangakkara began his ODI life as a bustling keeper with a fondness for chatter behind the stumps, slotting into the middle order and immediately producing quality contributions. His batting genius quickly became his chief form of contribution (notwithstanding the 482 dismissals behind the stumps), as he was promoted to No.3 and began churning out hundreds for fun. By the end of World Cup 2015, only Sachin Tendulkar had more ODI runs.

Performance we loved: Among those four World Cup hundreds in succession was a magical effort in Sangakkara's final match against Australia. Chasing an improbable 377 to win, it was clear that Sri Lanka's hopes rested on the genius of the pugnacious left-hander. He was at the crease in the second over, receiving an incredible ovation from a strong contingent of his countrymen among the SCG crowd, and set about his work. Taking on the form bowler of the tournament, Mitchell Starc, and some extreme pace also from Mitchell Johnson, Sangakkara resorted to his textbook strokes – with the occasional flashy ramp – and continued building his score, fellow veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan in tow. While ever he was at the crease, the crowd had reason to believe, and he appeared to feed off their energy, moving to another fabulous hundred in even time. Just as a miracle appeared a distinct possibility, he was gone; but in the process he'd left his adoring Australia-based fans with one final reminder of his brilliance.

#ODIGOAT First Round

Tendulkar v Sharma | Akram v Starc | Garner v Donald | Richards v de Silva | Azharuddin v Miandad | Dev v Vettori | Lloyd v Border | Jones v Clarke | Waqar v Johnson | Warne v Kumble | Hooper v S. Waugh | Imran v Hadlee | Lee v Akhtar | M. Waugh v Jayasuriya | De Villiers v Boucher | Lara v Amla | Gilchrist v McCullum | Gayle v Haynes | McGrath v Pollock | Anwar v Ganguly | Sehwag v Greenidge | Ponting v Gibbs | Dhoni v Sangakkara | Inzamam v Kallis | Murali v Hogg | Bond v Ambrose | Malinga v Vaas | Kohli v Pietersen | Symonds v Klusener | Afridi v Saqlain | Bevan v Hussey | Dilshan v Jayawardena

#ODIGOAT Second Round

Shoaib v Waqar | Jayasuriya v S. Waugh | Ambrose v Vaas | Miandad v Lara | Warne v Dev | Border v Inzamam | Gilchrist v Sangakkara | Richards v Jaywardena | Wasim v Garner | Ponting v Clarke | McGrath v Imran | Tendulkar v Anwar | Bevan v Sehwag | Symonds v De Villiers | Muralidaran v Afridi | Kohli v Gayle

#ODIGOAT Third Round

Richards v Miandad | Jayasuriya v Ponting | Wasim v Waqar | Tendulkar v Bevan | Warne v Murali | Inzamam v Kohli | Imran v Ambrose | Sangakkara v de Villiers

#ODIGOAT Quarter Finals

Richards v Tendulkar | Kohli v Jayasuriya | Imran v Waqar |