These Kiwis could fly

In Part 4 of our ongoing series, we look at New Zealand's highest impact makers in ODIs

And these are the bowlers who helped New Zealand do that much better over the years.


Richard Hadlee topping this chart should bring no surprises. That high Economy IMPACT (6th-highest in the history of ODI cricket) only somewhat echoed by Chatfield, Larsen and Vettori but the Wickets IMPACT columns taking Hadlee ahead of them all.

Shane Bond’s staggering Wickets IMPACT – the highest in the history of ODI cricket takes him to stratospheric heights – the tragedy of his short career even more highlighted by the “0” in his SD column (in fact, if you take away big match performances, he is the highest impact bowler in the history of ODI cricket). He simply did not play enough to have sufficient impact on New Zealand’s ODI cricket.

Kyle Mills is the big surprise here – especially when he is not extraordinary at all in economy and big match performance. His hallmark is his low failure rate – that consistency comes from his propensity to take wickets regularly – only Shane Bond has taken more wickets than him proportionately.

Ewen Chatfield’s and Jacob Oram’s restrictive ability (high Economy IMPACT) and Martin Snedden’s propensity to take wickets (high Wickets IMPACT) put them on this list.

Daniel Vettori is, not surprisingly, the only spinner on this list. It is perhaps curious that he has been unimpressive on wicket-taking ability though, and has quite a high failure rate. His impressive Economy IMPACT is what gets him on this list (and that solitary SD performance).

Chris Cairns is the only player to make all 3 lists – he makes this one, despite a relatively low Wickets and Economy IMPACT, for his 2 SDs – a remarkable achievement for any player to have 2 SDs each for specialist performances. In fact, no other bowler in New Zealand’s history has a better big match track-record as Chris Cairns.

NOTE: Lance Cairns has 74 bowling innings and he narrowly misses this list for that reason as the cut-off is 75. He would come 8th on this list otherwise, just ahead of his son. If the cut-off is lowered to 50 matches (from 75), Willie Watson and Chris Pringle make the above list in positions 4th and 5th respectively.

The highest impact players in all bowling parameters are quite revealing, as always.

When it comes to Top/Middle-order Wickets Tally IMPACT (wickets taken from nos. 1-7 in most cases), the highest impact bowlers are Shane Bond, Kyle Mills and Richard Hadlee.

Lower-order Wickets Tally IMPACT (batsmen nos. 8-11) – highest impact bowlers are Shane Bond, Richard Hadlee and Jacob Oram.

The highest Economy IMPACT bowlers (lowest economy rates relative to all the matches in their careers) are Richard Hadlee, Gavin Larsen and Ewen Chatfield.

The highest impact Partnership-breaking bowlers are Martin Snedden, Daniel Vettori and Chris Harris. (Snedden, in fact, has the highest Partnership-breaking IMPACT in the history of ODI cricket.)

The bowlers with the highest Pressure Building IMPACT (taking quick wickets to put opposition under pressure) are Shane Bond, Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills.  (Bond, in fact, is the highest impact in ODI history in this aspect.)

The bowlers with the lowest failure rate (a failure is seen in this system as an inability to register an IMPACT of even 1 in a match) are Kyle Mills, Richard Hadlee and Shane Bond.

The Highest Impact Bowling Performances in New Zealand’s ODI history

Interestingly, all 3 performances here are by bowlers who many feel have underachieved in their careers, given the potential they had shown here.

1. DL Vettori – 5 for 30 in 9.2 overs v West Indies, London, 2004 – Bowling IMPACT 7.32

In this Natwest series final encounter, New Zealand after batting first, posted a competitive score of 266 for the West Indians to chase. Even though the West Indian chase was not making steady headway, the match was pretty much even with Brian Lara still there at the crease. However, Vettori’s introduction sparked a middle order collapse and from 105-3, West Indies crashed to 159 all out. Out of those seven wickets, five were taken by Vettori which led to New Zealand winning their first ever Natwest trophy.

2. SB Doull – 4 for 25 in 8 overs v Australia, Auckland, 1998 – Bowling IMPACT 4.81

Hardly does anyone expect a New Zealand team to pull off a series heist against Australia and this instance was no different. Trailing 1-2 in the four match ODI series, they were up against a superior Australian unit. Their first innings performance also didn’t inspire any confidence and they ended up getting only 223 runs. In reply, Australia breezed to 26-0 in 4 overs when Simon Doull struck, with the wicket of Mark Waugh; soon he got Ponting as well to reduce Australia to 48-2. When he came back for his last spell, Australia were at 183-7 and Michael Bevan had started to pull the strings yet again for another quintessential fightback. However, this time Doull accounted for Bevan and Robertson to seal the match in New Zealand’s favour. 

3. SB O’Connor – 5 for 46 in 9.2 overs v Pakistan, Nairobi, 2000 – Bowling IMPACT 4.79

Shane O’Connor’s series defining performance in this match can be considered as one of the most definitive and important bowling spells in New Zealand’s ODI history. In this first semi-final encounter in the ICC Champions Trophy 2000, Pakistan after electing to bat first had got off to a blazing start scoring 55-0 in the first 9 overs. O’Connor took out Imran Nazir in the 10th over to reduce Pakistan to 59-1 but failed to provide any other breakthroughs. When he came back for his final spell, Pakistan were at 237-6; ready to explode in their final five overs. O’Connor instead cleaned up their lower middle order alongwith the tail and from 237-6, Pakistan slipped to 252 all out. In reply, New Zealand managed to chase down the total which eventually led to them winning their first ICC trophy (their only world trophy till date). 

The above performances are all within the series/tournament context. The highest impact bowling performance within a match context in New Zealand’s ODI history is Shane Bond’s 6-19 v India (Bulawayo, 2005). Bond’s 6-23 v Australia (Port Elizabeth, 2003) and Daniel Vettori’s 5-30 v West Indies (London, 2004) are the next highest impact bowling performances in a match context.

More in the series — the greatest impact makers from:

1) Pakistan 2) West Indies 3) Australia

For more information, please go to www.impactindexcricket.com

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