The 2022 ICC T20 World Cup is just a couple of weeks away and the anticipation is building ahead of the marquee competition in Australia. The seventh edition of the T20 World Cup will be the first time the competition takes place Down Under. It promises to be an incredible event featuring some of the best players in the world, such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jos Buttler.
There have been plenty of heart-stopping moments throughout the first seven editions of the T20 World Cup, and today we look back at the five most memorable matches in the competition’s history.
The 2007 T20 World Cup final between the Indian cricket team and Pakistan altered the course of T20 history, but the two teams were involved in an even closer encounter in the group stage of that tournament. Batting first, team India limped to 141 on the back of Robin Uthappa’s half-century. Misbah-ul-Haq had seemingly taken Pakistan home with only one run needed off the final two deliveries, but Sreesanth held his nerve off the last two balls to send the game to a tiebreaker.
The Indian cricket team emerged victorious in the first-ever bowl out in T20 cricket as Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, and Harbhajan Singh hit the stumps, while Pakistan missed on all three deliveries to lose 3-0.
After scoring 191 and restricting Australia to 62/4 in the 2010 T20 World Cup semi-final, reigning champions Pakistan were on the verge of reaching their 3rd consecutive final until Mr Cricket Michael Hussey changed the game with his extraordinary knock. Australia went from needing 48 runs off 17 balls to winning the match with one delivery to spare as Michael Hussey plundered the Pakistani bowlers at the death with laser-like precision.
Hussey scored an unbeaten 60 off 24 deliveries and smashed 22 runs off Saeed Ajmal’s final over to take Australia to their first-ever T20 World Cup final.
Super overs and New Zealand have been the gift that keeps on giving, and the Kiwis were involved in their second final over showdown of the tournament against the West Indies in a must-win game for both sides. New Zealand were well on course to victory in their chase of 139, but Sunil Narine conceded only five runs in his final two overs to take the game to send the game to the Super Over.
The West Indies edged out their Kiwi compatriots in the showdown as Chris Gayle helped his side chase down 18 runs in six balls to eliminate the Blackcaps from the tournament.
Short boundaries and a flat batting track at the Wankhede Stadium are always a dangerous combination, and nearly 460 runs were scored in this high-scoring thriller between England and South Africa in Mumbai in the 2016 T20 World Cup. Half-centuries from Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy helped the Proteas put on 229, but the best was yet to come as Eoin Morgan’s side pulled off the second-highest run-chase in T20 history. Alex Hales and Jason Roy pummelled 44 off the first two overs before Joe Root took England home with two balls to spare with his stunning 44-ball 83.
The 2016 T20 World Cup final between England and West Indies at a packed Eden Gardens provided some gut-wrenching drama and perhaps the most iconic piece of cricket commentary of the decade.
Chasing 156, the West Indies were struggling at 11 for three after Joe Root removed openers Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle in the second over. Marlon Samuels then played another blinding match-winning knock in a World Cup Final before Carlos Brathwaite smashed four sixes into the Kolkata night sky to give the West Indies the victory, and to this day, we still haven’t forgotten his name.
[Featured Image Credit: ICC]