The T20 cricket took its centerstage at the global level when ICC conducted its first-ever major World Cup in 2007. Since then T20 cricket teed off and it never looked back since then.
There have been six T20 World Cup conducted till now, with 5 different teams tasting success at the highest level. Let us take a look at the top 5 moments in T20 World Cup History in no particular order
Yuvraj’s 6 Sixes in T20 World Cup 2007
India was already having a good T20 world which turned into an unforgettable one until this event happened. On September 19, 2007, India was taking on England on one of the bounciest pitches in Durban. India won the toss and opted to bat first in a crunch game.
India was off to a good start with Sehwag and Gambhir giving India a solid base. Then happened the historic incident in the 19th over of the Indian innings which no cricket fan would ever forget.
Yuvraj came into bat when the team score was 155 at 16.5 overs. He started his innings with a 2nd ball four through covers off Tremlett. Flintoff came into bowl the 18th over where he had a heated altercation with Yuvraj which turned ugly when Yuvraj started making gestures with his bat towards Flintoff and in the end the umpires and Dhoni needed to pitch in to clear them off. India was 171 at the end of 18 overs then. Stuart Broad was handed the responsibility to control the roaring Yuvraj in the 19th over who was already motivated by Flintoff because of that heated exchange of words. But what followed was a lifetime experience for every cricket fan. Yuvraj thrashed Broad to all around the ground and amassed a whopping 36 runs in 6 balls with 6 sixes and reached the fastest 50 by any batsmen in the world in 12 balls which is yet to be broken. India later went on the win the match and the world cup as well.
Final of 2007 T20 World Cup
It was the Inaugural edition of the T20 World and the final was played between the arch-rivals India and Pakistan. What more one could have asked for as it was the fitting finale that one could have imagined. India was thrown out from the 50 over world cup earlier that year which was a massive disappointment and was a year to forget for all Indians until this happened.
India managed to reach the finals with a young bunch of talented guys under young MS Dhoni. India was looking confident throughout the tournament and played the finals like a champion and rightly won the Inaugural edition of the T20 world cup.
India opted to bat again after winning the toss and posted a descent 157 runs on the board, thanks to India’s crisis man Gautam Gambhir who made a mastery 54 balls 75 runs, Not to forget Rohit Sharma’s Cameo as a finisher who dragged India past the 150 run mark with a 16 balls 30 runs.
Pakistan then started their innings but Indian bowlers never allowed them to settle as apart from Imran Nazir who played some eye-catching shots for his 14 balls 33, no one else could play long innings. When everything seemed down and out for Pakistan, it was their crisis man Misbah who was quietly taking Pakistan home but in the end, he got out when they needed 5 runs from 4 balls. The moment he got out was a lifetime experience which no Indian fan could ever forget as it was a much-needed one because of the 50 over world cup exit that happened earlier that year. Irfan Pathan was adjudged the man of the match for his magical spell of 3 wickets for 16 runs in his 4 overs.
Mike Hussey’ 24- ball 60 against Pakistan in 2010 semi-final
This innings of Mr.Cricket is considered as one of the greatest ever knocks in the history of T20 cricket. He thrashed Pakistan bowlers single-handedly and pulled off an impossible victory for the Australians who later went on to lose the finals against England.
Pakistan who were the defending champions then managed to make the semis for the third consecutive time in as many world cups. Pakistan posted 191 runs in their 20 overs with Akmal brothers scoring half-centuries each.
Australia then came into bat with an uphill task in front of them. Pakistan had some world-class T20 bowlers under their sleeves with the likes of Amir, Afridi, Razzzaq, and Ajmal. Australia was never in the game as Pakistan kept picking up wickets at regular intervals. Pakistan was having firm control over the Aussies until the last over of the game where Hussey created history by pulling off a heist. When 18 needed off the last over, Afridi gave the ball to Ajmal to seal the deal for Pakistanis but Hussey had other ideas as he thrashed Ajmal for 4 consecutive sixes and he won the match with a ball to spare. Pakistanis were shell shocked as they couldn’t believe their eyes what Hussey did to them. It was an absolute masterclass from Hussey that day which will be remembered for years to come as well.
Rangana Herath’ 5/3 against New Zealand in 2014
It was the 5th edition of the T20 world cup which was hosted by Bangladesh. India, South Africa, West Indies, and Sri Lanka were the 4 teams to enter the semi-finals. Sri Lanka played a virtual quarter final against New Zealand before the semis which was a must-win game for them. Sri Lanka opted to bat first on a low slow wicket and managed to get only 119 runs on the board. What seemed like an easy victory for New Zealand at the halfway mark was blown away by Herath’ spell which saw New Zealand getting all out for 60 runs
Sri Lanka never allowed New Zealand to get off to even a near decent start as they bowled tight with Kulasekara and Mathews opening the bowling for them and never allowed Kiwis to get to a comfortable start. Then came the veteran Herath into the attack and shell-shocked the kiwis with his once-in-a-lifetime spell of 5 wickets for 3 runs. His scalps were Brendon Mccullum, Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, and Trent Boult. Sri Lanka won that game by 59 runs and later went on to win the world cup as well.
Carlos Brathwaite’ 10-ball 34 runs in 2016 Final
“Remember The Name” as Roared by Ian Bishop in the commentary box during the final of 2016 T20 World Cup against England when Carlos Brathwaite pulled off a historic moment for West Indies when he hit Ben Stokes for 4 sixes in 4 consecutive balls to chase 19 runs in the last over
England was put in to bat by Darren Sammy after having won the toss. England posted a descent 155 runs on the board on a tricky wicket to bat with Joe Root top-scoring for them with a well compiled 54 runs from 36 balls. It was Carlos Brathwaite there as well with the ball who finished with 3 wickets for 23 runs in his 4 overs. West Indies then came onto bat with a tricky target in front of them. West Indies didn’t get off to a great start and it was the man of finals Marlon Samuels who did a holding job and was there till the last over. It was all down to the last six balls where Windies needed 19 runs and it was Carlos Brathwaite who was on strike. Eoin Morgan gave the ball to Ben Stokes who has to defend 19 runs in the last over to give England its 2nd T20 world Cup. But it was Carlos Brathwaite who gave Windies their 2nd T20 World Cup.
Carlos Brathwaite hit 4 consecutive sixes in 4 balls to seal the deal for windies and won the game with 2 balls to spare and it all seemed to have ended like a dream for all the cricket fans as they couldn’t believe what they witnessed in Eden Gardens on that day. That innings will always go down as one of the greatest ever if not the greatest knock in T20 cricket.
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