'Are you holding a bat?' - Shane Watson's sledge which fired up Wahab Riaz in World Cup 2015 quarter-final

Watson had sledged Wahab Riaz while batting and the bowler settled the scores by bowling one of the fiercest spells.

Wahab Riaz and Shane Watson
Wahab Riaz and Shane Watson. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The battle between Shane Watson and Wahab Riaz in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final during the match between Australia and Pakistan is still fresh in the fans’ minds. Wahab’s barrage of well-directed bouncers had ruffled up Watson completely and it is still considered as one of the best spells in the World Cups. However, there was a reason why the left-arm pacer was pumped up in the middle.

After opting to bat first, Pakistan lost wickets at the regular intervals which meant they had lost six wickets for just 158 runs in 34 overs with Sohaib Maqsood and the lower-order batsmen left. Mitchell Starc was on song in the tournament and he was brought back into the attack to clean up the tail with his pin point yorkers. Wahab Riaz came in to bat at eight and had to face the music.

He missed almost every ball targetting his toes and the aggressive Australians were in his ears from the word go. The close-in fielders also had a piece of advice for Wahab as they were heard saying, “It’s the little white thing try and hit it!” Moreover, Shane Watson who was standing in the slip cordon also had something to say to him and asked him if he has a bat in his hand. “Are you holding a bat?” Watson said to Wahab Riaz which fired up the latter.

Wahab Riaz recalls the incident

And the Pakistan bowler decided to settle the scores in the second innings when Shane Watson himself came out to bat. Australia were in a spot of bother at 59/3 with their skipper Michael Clarke back in the hut too and Wahab Riaz took the opportunity to put the Aussie under immense pressure. In the process, he came up with one of the fiercest spells in the history of the World Cup.

Wahab’s bouncers literally stunned Watson who was least expecting the barrage and the latter had almost fell in the trap finally playing a pull shot. The fourth wicket at that stage would’ve put Pakistan ahead and they even might have won the match. But Rahat Ali dropped a sitter at fine leg and that meant the Men in Green were never going to make a comeback in the match.

But Wahab Riaz’s spell literally went down as one of the best and recalling the same incident, the bowler has revealed that Watson’s sledge was in his mind and wanted to settle the scores with him. “When he came into bat, I settled the score with him. When I was batting Watson just came up to me and said ‘are you holding a bat?’ and that was going through my mind. I let him know that even he had a bat, but he couldn’t touch the ball,” he was quoted as saying by India Today.