Keith Boyce (West Indies), 34 off 37 vs Australia, 1975
It was the final of the first World Cup at the Lord's in 1975. Ian Chappell's Australia won the toss and asked Clive Lloyd's West Indies to bat first. The trio of Dennis Lillee-Gary Glimour-Jeff Thomson had made life uncomfortable for the Caribbeans even as Lloyd hit a hundred (102 off 85 balls). When Viv Richards departed, Windies were 209 for six and a big total was looking tough to accomplish.
But Keith Boyce, the "Stingray" who came in at No.7 after the fall of Rohan Kanhai, took the fight to the opposition and hit 34 in 37 balls in a 43-minute innings. The knock had only three fours but by the time Boyce goy dismissed, the West Indian total had crossed 260, thanks to his 52-run partnership with wicket-keeper-batsman Bernard Julien (26 not out). West Indies won the game eventually by 17 runs.
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan), 60 off 37 vs New Zealand, 1992
It was the semifinal of the 1992 World Cup in Auckland and despite losing their last league game to Pakistan, New Zealand looked favourites. Powered by captain Martin Crowe's 91, the Kiwis scored 262 for seven in 50 overs and the match was evenly balanced with Pakistan at 140 for four.
In came a young Inzamam who was greatly backed by his skipper Imran Khan and counter-attacked the New Zealand bowlers. While Javed Miandad played the sheet-anchor role, Inzamam went after the bowling to score 60 off 37 that turned the game in favour of Pakistan who went on to win by four wickets to make their maiden final.
Kapil Dev (India), 35 off 26 vs Pakistan, 1992
It was the first-ever India-Pakistan match at the World Cup and after winning the toss, Mohammad Azharuddin elected to bat. India were off to a good start but had a mini slump in between to get reduced to 148 for five. Sachin Tendulkar was batting well at the other end and he needed somebody to give him accompany.
Walked in the old warhorse Kapil Dev and he took the battle to the opposition to ensure that India did not get bowled out too cheaply. The ace all-rounder, playing in his last World Cup, hit 35 in just 26 balls with the help of two fours and one six. India reached 216 for seven and then bowled Pakistan out for 173 with Kapil taking two wickets as well.
Ajay Jadeja (India), 45 off 25 vs Pakistan, 1996
It was the famous quarterfinal in Bengaluru in which Azharuddin won the toss and elected to bat. Powered by Navjot Sing Sidhu's 93, India reached 200 for four when Ajay Jadeja walked in. The hosts required a strong total to keep Pakistan's strong batting line-up at bay.
Jadeja rose to the occasion and slammed 45 in just 25 balls with the help of four fours and two sixes. He was particularly merciless on Waqar Younis even though he fell to him eventually. India posted a total of 287 for eight and won the game by 39 runs.
Suresh Raina (India), 34 not out off 28 vs Australia, 2011
In yet another absorbing World Cup quarterfinal in Ahmedabad, India were chasing 261 to knock Australia out of the tournament and had a good start with Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir scoring half-centuries. However, Gambhir's dismissal made things a bit uncomfortable and when captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni departed, the hosts were 187 for five with their lower order exposed.
In came Suresh Raina at No.7 and he did what he had to do - give Yuvraj Singh, who was in a sweet touch at the other end, a company. Raina remained not out on 34 in just 28 balls with two fours and a six and and added an unbeaten 74 runs with Yuvraj (57 not out), to play a crucial role in taking India home in the 48th over. India won by five wickets and made the semifinal.