“It’s all about who can handle the pressure well in crunch situations.”
ICC World Twenty20 2016 will once again test the skills of big-hitters, pinch-hitters, and finishers or death-overs specialists in this year’s biggest cricket extravaganza. In Twenty20 cricket, there are no clear favourites, anyone can win the game on any given day. There is hardly any room for errors because this format doesn’t give you enough time to bounce back.
Tight finishes, close contests and nail-biting stuff are what we are used to recalling while thinking of a T20 cricket match. We have listed down five thrilling encounters from World T20 that caused many heartbreaks and gave us numerous jaw-dropping moments on the cricket field.
India v Pakistan (2007)
In the 10th match of World Twenty20 2007 in Kingsmead, Durban, the arch nemesis India and Pakistan played in a group match. Misbah-ul-Haq perfectly played the role of a marauder and took Pakistan to a winning situation with his crucial knock of 53 on just 35 balls before getting run out on the last delivery. The destiny seemed to be in favour of India during the match, as S Sreesanth rose to the challenge and bowled two dots in the final over to help India to tie the match. Eventually, India botched up the victory over Pakistan in the bowl out by 3-0.
England v Netherlands (2009)
LORD’s, the Mecca of Cricket London witnessed the most electrifying contest of World Twenty20 2009 between the hosts, England and minnows, Netherlands. England was put into bat by the Dutch, they managed to put up a decent total of 162 on the board. With Anderson, Sidebottom, Broad in their ranks, England was confident in saving that score with ease. But, during the chase the orange army showed brilliant courage with the bat, they carry forward their chase expertly. With seven needed off the final over, Stuart Broad was handed over the ball. He dropped a return catch and then missed two run-out chances, including one off the final ball, allowing Ryan ten Doeschate and Edgar Schiferli to clinch a thriller of the last ball of the match.
New Zealand v Pakistan (2010)
What a finish! New Zealand came up with a spirited bowling performance against flamboyant Pakistan to register the win in a group match in Barbados by 1 run. NZ scored 133 in the first innings with useful contributions from McCullum (33) and Vettori (38*). Pakistan stayed in the hunt till the end of the contest thanks to a stroke-filled half-century by opener Salman Butt (67 not out). Pakistan required 11 off last 6 balls, but Butler held his nerve till the end and helped New Zealand to notch up the victory of the last ball of the match.
Australia v Pakistan (2010)
Defending champions Pakistan didn’t have luck on their side in the second semi-final of ICC World Twenty20 2010. At the first half of their innings, they must have thought that they had one foot in the final after putting up 191/7 in 20 overs. Australia was in pressure and required 48 from 17 balls to book the final berth. Saeed Ajmal, the best spinner in the world needs to deliver, earlier he had given 11 off his 2.1 overs and claimed one wicket. Just what the Aussies needed, ‘Mr Cricket’, Michael Hussey gone berserk and smashed 60 off just 24 balls including 6 towering sixes. He finished the match with 6, 6, 4, 6 off Ajmal in the final over.
Sri Lanka v New Zealand (2012)
The home team, Sri Lanka played a memorable game of T20 cricket against a strong New Zealand side in Pallekele cricket stadium, Kandy. New Zealand opted to bat first after winning the toss on a batting paradise and scored 174 in 20 overs. Sri Lanka was off to a flyer, as Dilshan and Jayawardene took the Lankan score to 80 in 7.2 overs. Dilshan scored a breezy half-century before getting run out in the penultimate over of the innings at the score of 76 off 53 balls. With eight to win off the final over, Southee bowled a brilliant final over to help New Zealand to tie the match. Eventually, Lankans held their nerve in the Super Over scored 13 runs, before Lasith Malinga closed it for Sri Lanka, as they won the game by 6 runs.