Birthday special: Stuart Broad – 5 best spells by the English legend

Stuart Broad is one of the greatest bowlers to have ever held the red cherry in Test match cricket. In a Test career that has spanned almost a decade and a half, the right arm pace bowling legend has represented England in 148 Test matches and scalped 523 wickets in Test cricket. In fact, Broad is the 6th highest wicket-taker of all time in the longest format of the game. With Broad turning 35 today, let us take a look at the 5 best spells from him in Test cricket.

5) 6/50 vs Australia (2013)

Stuart Broad sizzled with the ball against the Australian side during the 4th Ashes Test in 2013. England batted first and posted 238 runs, and Australia replied with a total of 270. Led by an excellent century from Ian Bell, England set Australia a target of 299 for victory. And, that was when Broad weaved magic with the ball in hand.

He cleaned up the Australian batting line-up, and took 6 wickets, giving away just 50 runs. More importantly, he scalped the two crucial wickets of Steve Smith and Michael Clarke. Broad’s excellent performance helped the England side beat the kangaroos by 74 runs.

4) 6/25 vs India (2014)

Stuart Broad’s devastating six-wicket haul shattered the Indian side at Manchester in 2014. After winning the toss and batting first, India were bowled out for just 152, as Broad prized out 6 wickets and gave away just 25 runs in his spell. England replied with a total of 367.

India failed miserably in the second innings too and were bowled out for 161, as the Alastair Cook led England side thrashed the MS Dhoni-led Indian side by an innings and 54 runs.

3) 7/44 vs New Zealand (2013)

Stuart Broad single-handedly inspired England to a crushing 170-run victory over New Zealand at Lord’s in 2013. At the end of the first innings, there was little to separate England and New Zealand. While England had scored 232 runs in their first innings, New Zealand had replied with 207.

England were bowled out for 213 in their second innings, and that meant that the Kiwis had to score 239 for victory. But, little did they realize that Stuart Broad was on a mission. The right-arm pacer bamboozled the New Zealand batsmen and picked up a stunning 7 wicket haul. In fact, such was the shambolic performance from New Zealand, that none of their batsmen could even score 20 runs. The visitors were bowled out for a meagre total of 68 in the second innings, handing England a comfortable victory.

2) 6/17 vs South Africa (2016)

Stuart Broad lorded over South Africa at Johannesburg in January 2016, during the 3rd Test between England and the Proteas. South Africa scored 313 in the first innings, and England replied with a total of 323. But, the South African batting lineup came a cropper in the second innings, courtesy of Stuart Broad.

Broad just blew away the South African willow wielders, and scalped 6 wickets, giving away just 17 runs in the 12.1 overs that he bowled, and the South African side was bowled out for just 83. England chased down the target of 74 with 7 wickets to spare. Broad won the Player of the Match award.

1) 8/15 vs Australia (2015)

The greatest spell of Stuart Broad’s illustrious Test career came in the year 2015, against arch-rivals Australia, during the 4th Ashes Test match at Nottingham. The Aussies were bowled out for just 60 in their first innings, and the wrecker in chief with the ball for England was Stuart Broad. The right arm pace bowler removed 8 Australian batsmen in the first innings and gave away just 15 runs in his devastating 9.3 over spell. Such was the pathetic state of affairs, that the highest run-scorer for Australia was Mitchell Johnson, who scored 13 runs.

England piled up a total of 391 in their first innings, with Joe Root slamming 130. Australia were bowled out for 253 in their second innings and went down to England by an innings and 78 runs.

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