The far end of the Feroze Shah Kotla read "Ashish Nehra End" – an official designation bestowed for the day on a long-time servant of Indian cricket. Ashish Nehra signed off from all forms of the game on Wednesday, after helping India to a 54-run win in the Twenty20 match against New Zealand.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan starred with the bat but the cameras fixated on the nonchalant Nehra, who is one of the last remaining international cricketers to have made their debut in the 1990's. We look back at the top five moments in the seamer's career
5. India vs Sri Lanka at Colombo, Indian Oil Cup final, 2005
Nehra is the only Indian bowler to register two six-wicket hauls in One Day Internationals. His 6/59 against Sri Lanka in the Indian Oil Cup final in 2005 saw the seamer dismiss Attapattu, Sangakkara and Jayawardene. The efforts would eventually be in vain as India faltered chasing a stiff target of 281 set by the Lankans.
4. India vs Pakistan at Karachi, 1st ODI, 2004
India was visiting Pakistan for the first time in 15 years with the first game played in Karachi on March 13. Batting first, India posted a daunting total of 350, helped by Rahul Dravid's 99, but Pakistan were favourites to win the game even at the start of the 50th over of their innings. Inzamam's century had brought them within touching distance of the target but with the ball in Nehra's hand, India managed to restrict Pakistan to just three runs in the final over to win the contest by 5 runs. India went on to win the series 3-2.
3. India vs New Zealand at Auckland, 6th ODI, 2003
Nehra's contributions with the bat were limited, if any, during the course of his international career. His top score in any format of the game is 24, but in Auckland on January 11 2003, Nehra was called upon after India's batting collapsed while chasing a modest 200. In spite of a century by Virender Sehwag, it was Nehra who faced the pressure in the 49th over, pulling Andre Adams for four and taking India to an impressive win overseas. New Zealand however triumphed 5-2 in the seven-match series.
2. India vs England at Durban, Cricket World Cup, 2003
Defending a score of 250 in the World Cup match against England in Durban, Ashish Nehra produced the best spell of his career dismissing six English batsmen on the way to figures of 6-23. He was awarded the Man of the Match for his efforts. His bowling figures of 6-23 remains the best bowling figures by any Indian bowler in World Cup history.
1. India vs Pakistan at Mohali, Cricket World Cup Semi-final, 2011
The stage does not get much bigger than a World Cup semifinal against next door neighbours Pakistan. In a tense contest played in Mohali, India batted first and posted 260 thanks to Tendulkar's nervy 86. In reply, Pakistan were restricted by a tidy Indian bowling performance with five bowlers picking up two wickets each. Nehra came away with the best bowling figures of 2-33. The performance came days after India's only loss in the tournament to South Africa, where Ashish Nehra bowled the final over. Unfortunately, he injured his finger during the game but helped India reach the World Cup final on home soil. Few days later, he became a World Champion, as he watched India defeat Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai.