Cricket World Cup: Matthew Hoggard backs one-day bowlers

South Africa batsman AB De Villiers
South Africa batsman AB de Villiers averages 52.93 in one-day internationals

Former England seamer Matthew Hoggard believes top-class bowlers can still be match-winners in one-day cricket, despite record scores being made.

South Africa's AB de Villiers hit the fastest 150 in one-day internationals, off just 64 balls, against the West Indies in their World Cup Pool B game.

"Everything seems stacked in the batsman's favour," said Hoggard.

"But you can't just say it's a batsmen's game. I still think the bowlers can win you games."

De Villiers' knock follows the first double-century made in a World Cup fixture by West Indies opener Chris Gayle against Zimbabwe at the tournament being played in Australia and New Zealand.

2015 Cricket World Cup leading wicket takers
BowlerMatchesWickets taken (average)
Tim Southee (New Zealand)311 (10.09)
Imran Tahir (South Africa)39 (14.33)
Josh Davey (Scotland)39 (15.77)
Jerome Taylor (West Indies)49 (20.88)
Steve Finn (England)38 (18.25)
Shapoor Zadran (Afghanistan)37 (15.14)

Hoggard, who played 26 ODIs and 67 Test matches for England, believes improved bat technology and rules on restricted bouncers and fielding restrictions have given batsmen the edge over bowlers.

But former Leicestershire captain and Yorkshire bowler Hoggard, 38, cites Tim Southee's performance in taking 7-33 against England in New Zealand's Pool A win as evidence that it is not a one-sided contest.

He added: "You look at the exceptional bowlers like Lasith Malinga for Sri Lanka and Dale Steyn for South Africa. They win you games as well.

"You can't just say all the batsmen win you games. Tim Southee against England took seven-for and basically took the game away from England.

"I still don't think there's a better sight than a fast bowler running in against a quality batsman."

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