ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Wahab Riaz of Pakistan reacts to Shane Watson of Australia during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between Australian and Pakistan at Adelaide Oval on March 20, 2015 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

That classic moment during the 3rd quarter final between Australia and Pakistan during World Cup 2015 at Adelaide.  
Chasing 213, Australia were 59 for 3 in the eleventh over. Wahab Riaz had taken a wicket in each of his first two overs.
Then, for three thrilling overs, he troubled new batsman Shane Watson with fast bowling that made everyone who had called for the outlaw of the bouncer post the Phil Hughes tragedy perhaps feel a bit sheepish. 

For a while, it was indeed 2.09 vs 1.37.

Wahab Riaz had had an Impact of 2.09 in 6 games in the World Cup till then, and was the 17th highest impact bowler in the tournament till that moment.
Shane Watson, woefully out of form, had an Impact of 1.37 in 4 games till then. He was the 52nd highest impact batsman in the tournament till that moment.

Riaz bowled 14 balls to Watson during those three fiery overs (the fourth was one too many) and it was enough to be one of the abiding memories of that World Cup, despite not getting his wicket.
Watson was dropped though, when he was on 4 off 15 balls, the score at 83 for 3, as Rahat missed an easy chance at fine leg.
It is the closest Australia came to losing in their conditions in that tournament.
Pakistan’s charge and challenge ran out with Riaz, as Australia won by 6 wickets with over 16 overs remaining.
Watson 64 not out.
Riaz 2-54 from 9 overs.

Eventually, it would be 2.13 vs 4.53.

At the end of the match, Riaz would have marginally improved on his impact but sadly also given glimpses of why he has the worst Economy Impact by any bowler in Pakistan’s ODI history.
By the end of the tournament, Watson would have garnered a tournament-defining performance for this innings in a knockout game, as Australia would go on to win the World Cup (he also played a useful innings in the semi-final), thus taking his impact in the tournament through the roof. Also giving a sense of what makes him the third-highest impact player in Australian ODI history (min. 60 matches).

Wahab Riaz almost won the battle but comprehensively lost the war.

Shane Watson provided a great example of seeing out tough times and capitalising when things got easier.

 

 

Jaideep Varma
Art- Gokul Chakravarthy

 NOTE: Impact Index has undergone an upgradation in November 2015, and though 95% of its findings remain the same, there have been some minor shifts. This piece was updated post that, and is up-to-date as of August 2016.