Dennis Lillee is regarded as one of the best fast bowlers of his generation. In his international career that spanned from 1971 to 1984, Dennis produced a plethora of match-defining performances to steer Australia to victory. Known for his fiery temperament and aggressive outlook towards the game, the speed merchant picked 335 and 103 wickets in 70 Tests and 63 One Day Internationals respectively.
As the pacer turns 72 years old, we have curated some of his best performances in the International circuit.
7/83 vs West Indies, 1981
The finest performance of Dennis’ international career came against West Indies in 1981. Playing the first Test of the three-match series, Dennis caused a carnage on the field in the second innings. The 27-year-old picked a whopping seven wickets while conceding 83 runs. The exploits by the seamer helped Australia in stopping the Indies at a score of 201. The right-hander then picked a three-wicket haul in the last innings to propel his team towards a victory by 58 runs.
5/34 vs Pakistan, Leeds, 1975
Dennis Lillee produced the best innings of his One Day career during a league match of the 1975 World Cup against Pakistan. Batting first in the match, Australia posted 278 in 60 overs. Chasing 279, Pakistan were hit by a Dennis Lillee storm. The seamer steered Australia to victory by scalping five main wickets and giving just 34 runs. The exploits by Dennis helped the Men in Yellow in scripting a victory by massive 73 runs.
4/35 vs England, London, 1980
Dennis was at his fluent best during the Australia tour of England in 1980 as the seamers churned out some good performances. One of the memorable performances from the tour came during the first One Day International of the three-match series. In the first innings, Australia were successful in stopping the hosts at a total of 248 courtesy Dennis. The right-arm fast bowler returned with the figure of 11-1-35-4. However, poor performance by Australia’s batting line-up ensured a victory for the hosts by 23 runs.
6/66 vs England, Manchester, 1972
The inaugural Test of the five-match series between England and Australia saw Dennis producing a fine performance with the ball. The right-hander ran through England’s batting line-up in their second innings to bowl them out for a mere score of 234. Dennis picked six wickets while giving away just 66 runs. However, the performance by the seamer came in a losing cause as England registered a victory by 89 runs.
5/58 vs England, London, 1972
Playing the last Test of the five-match series, it was a do-or-die game for Australia as English were leading the series by 2-1. Despite the odds, Australia managed to secure a victory in the Test match as Dennis Lillee showed his spectacular bowling skills. The first innings of the match saw Dennis scalping as many as five wickets while conceding just 58 runs. The seamer took another five-wicket haul in the next innings to ensure that the visitors won the game by five wickets.