Travis Head joined an elite group of cricketers when he won the Player of the Match award in both the semifinal and final, only the fourth cricketer ever in the history of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to do so.
Head hit a 120-ball 137 in the second innings to take the match away from India on Sunday. Against South Africa in the semifinal in Kolkata, not only was his quickfire 62 at the top of the innings the catalyst of the chase, his two wickets proved handy too.
Mohinder Amarnath (1983)
Semifinal: 46 & 2/27
Final: 26 & 3/12
India’s historic 1983 triumph had many heroes, but one man stood up in both the semifinal and final: Amarnath. First up against England in Manchester, he picked up the two big wickets of David Gower and Mike Gatting before scoring a solid 46. Then, in that famous low-scoring Lord’s final, he made a handy 26 and followed that up with three wickets, including the winning moment where he dismissed Michael Holding.
Aravinda de Silva (1996)
Semifinal: 66 & 1/3
Final: 107* & 3/42
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De Silva’s knock against India at Eden Gardens was truly the match-turning kind. India were on top after a great start but the stylish right-hander produced a counterattack for the ages. Then in the final came an even more complete all-round effort, as he led Arjuna Ranatunga’s men to a famous win in Lahore against Australia.
Shane Warne (1999)
Semifinal: 18 & 4/29
Who can forget Warne’s stunning spell against South Africa in that famous semifinal? When South Africa were chasing a meager total, he dismissed Gibbs, Hudson and Cronje in a matter of minutes. The match would end in a tie eventually and Australia would sneak into the title clash. The final was a little more straightforward as he led the Aussie domination against Pakistan batters.
Travis Head (2023)
Semifinal: 62 & 2/21
Head’s batting was sensational in Kolkata and Ahmedabad, as he shone at the top of the order to dominate South Africa and India’s strong bowling lineups. But beyond that too, Head made decisive contributions. He produced a definitive turnaround with the ball against SA when he dismissed Klaasen and Jansen in one over. Then in the final, he ran backward and dived full length to dismiss Rohit. It was perhaps the first of many big moments for Australia on the big day.