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Gatting Ball 2.0: who bowled it better?

27 July 2017

Martin Smith


Martin Smith


Take a look at five candidates for the best leg-break of the 21st century

Shane Warne is the proud owner of the ball of the 20th century, but what about the best leg-break since the turn of the millennium?

Warne's first ball in Ashes cricket to Mike Gatting in 1993 is legendary and we've picked out five fellow leggies who have tried their best to replicate it since the year 2000.

Rashid's dream leg-break stuns Durham in T20 Blast

The latest was Englishman Adil Rashid, who produced beauty in Yorkshire's match against Durham overnight.

So who bowled it better? Watch the video at the top of the page to see them all, then cast your vote.

Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), 2017

The venue: Headingley, Leeds, England

The opponent: Durham

The batsman: Michael Richardson

The context: Having picked up the wicket of Paul Collingwood in his previous over, Rashid had helped reduce Durham to 3-63 in the 12th over as Yorkshire began to turn the screws in the run chase.

What happened: Richardson, who had shown good signs in moving to 25 not out, played back to a delivery that pitched just outside his leg stump, turned past his bat and clipped the top of off.

Yasir Shah (Pakistan), 2015

The venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, UAE

The opponent: England

The batsman: Samit Patel

The context: Having dismissed Pakistan for just 234 in their first innings, England were building a handy first-innings lead through Patel, who struck six boundaries and looked secure in moving to 42 not out.

What happened: Having toiled hard for almost 35 overs, Yasir angled a quicker ball into Patel's pads that turned sharply past his defensive prod and clipped the top of off stump.

Devendra Bishoo (West Indies), 2015

The venue: Windsor Park, Roseau, Dominica

The opponent: Australia

The batsman: Brad Haddin

The context: Having been bowled out for just 148 in their first innings, the Windies had reduced Australia to 5-126 in reply, with Bishoo taking the key wickets of Michael Clarke, Steve Smith and Shane Watson.

What happened: After he deposited the first ball he faced from Bishoo for six down the ground, Haddin shifted back and tried to defend a quicker ball that pitched on leg stump, spun sharply and hit off.

Ish Sodhi (New Zealand), 2014

The venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE

The opponent: Pakistan

The batsman: Azhar Ali

The context: New Zealand had had little joy in more than a day of bowling in Sharjah as Pakistan lost just two wickets in almost 125 overs, with Sodhi wicketless as he began his 30th over.

What happened: Azhar was just 13 runs short of a century when he played back to a delivery that angled in, pitched outside leg, spun past the bat and cannoned into the stumps.

Upul Chandana (Sri Lanka), 2004

The venue: Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

The opponent: United Arab Emirates

The batsman: Ramveer Rai

The context: Sri Lanka were cruising towards a comfortable victory in their Asia Cup clash against the UAE, reducing the tourists to 7-99 in pursuit of 240, a total built on an unbeaten 39 to opener Rai.

What happened: With one wicket already to his name, Chandana pitched one well wide of Rai's leg stump that turned past the batsman's half-hearted defensive stroke and clattered into off stump.

About the Writer

Martin Smith is a writer for He previously wrote for Yahoo!7 Sport and Fox Sports.