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10 Greatest Moments in T20 World Cup History

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Buvanesh Thiraviam

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May 29, 2024

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Launched in 2007, the T20 World Cup has witnessed a fair share of thrilling matches, astonishing performances, and memorable moments.

From last-ball finishes to remarkable individual brilliance, the fast-paced T20 tournament has dished out unforgettable moments.

This article turns back some pages of history and lists the 10 greatest moments witnessed in T20 World Cup history.

10. Chris Gayle Hits a Ton

South Africa’s Johannesburg hosted the tournament opener of the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. Hosts South Africa invited the West Indies to bat first.

Chris Gayle opened the innings along with Devon Smith, forging a massive 145-run partnership for the first wicket. The mighty Gayle smashed the Proteas bowlers to all parts of the ground, launching big sixes into the stands.

He zoomed past his hundred off 50 balls, making him the first-ever centurion in the T20 International format.

9. Netherlands Stuns South Africa

The 40th match of the 2022 edition pitted the Netherlands and South Africa against each other. After being asked to bat first, the Dutch mustered 158 runs in 20 overs.

The target seemed like a cakewalk for South Africa, but the Dutch held back the Proteas from crossing the victory line. The Dutchmen bowled collectively well to restrict South Africa to 145/8, winning the match by 13 runs.

8. Michael Hussey Dashes Pakistan’s Hopes

Pakistan were up against Australia in the second semi-final of the 2010 edition. The Men in Green were the defending champions and were looking to add one more glory to their name.

But Australia’s Michael Hussey dashed off Pakistan’s hope with his blistering knock that pulled his team out of a crunch situation and helped qualify for the final.

Australia were chasing a steep target of 192 runs. They couldn’t get the desired start and were reeling at 105 for 5 at 12.3 overs. Enter Hussey, and he pulled off a win out of thin air, scoring an unbeaten 60 off 24 balls.

In the last over of the match, with 17 required off 5, Hussey carted out six, six, four, and six to take Australia into the final.

7. MS Dhoni’s Speedy Run Out

During the 2016 T20 World Cup, India faced off against Bangladesh in a group-stage match in Bengaluru. On a turning track, India mustered 146 runs.

During the chase, the game was hanging in the balance, with 11 runs required off the last over. Mahmudullah took a single on the first ball, and Mushfiqur slammed 2 consecutive fours to tilt the match in Bangladesh’s favour.

On the next 2 deliveries, Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah hole out catches straight into the fielder’s hands, bringing the equation to 2 off 1. Hardik Pandya bowled a short ball outside off, and the striker failed to connect, with the ball going towards MS Dhoni.

Once Dhoni collected the ball, he sprinted like a cheetah to dismantle the stumps before the non-striker made it to the crease. That clever run out helped India prevail by 1 run.

6. England’s First-Ever ICC Title

Michael Hussey’s heroics propelled Australia to set the stage for a summit clash against arch-rivals England in 2010. By this time, Australia had won multiple ICC trophies, but cricket’s founder, England, had yet to taste success in senior competitions.

But this time, they were determined to bring home the silverware. England asked Australia to bat first and restricted them to a moderate 147 for 6.

In response, Craig Kieswetter (63 off 49) and Kevin Pietersen (47 off 31) paved the way for England to lift their maiden ICC title, thrashing Australia by 7 wickets.

5. The Epic Bowl Out

The matches between India and Pakistan in the ICC tournament are always spicy, with lots of drama and emotion. One such game unfolded in the 2007 T20 World Cup, which ended in a tie but India won in the bowl out.

Batting first, India scored 141 runs, and Pakistan also managed to level the score, with Misbah-ul-Haq getting run out while sneaking in the winning run.

To decide the winner, a bowl-out method was used. 5 bowlers from both sides had to hit the stumps in 5 attempts. The team with the most hits would win the match.

Virender Sehwag opened the account for India, bowling fast and hitting the stumps. Yasir Arafat had the first go from Pakistan, but he missed the off stump.

Harbhajan Singh gave India a 2-0 lead by hitting the stumps. Umar Gul also couldn’t land the ball on the stumps.

Robin Uthappa knocked over the stumps, taking the lead to 3-0. Shahid Afridi dispatched the ball, which went down the leg side, resulting in India winning the bowl-out 3-0.

4. Joginder Sharma Holds Nerves for India

India and Pakistan were again up against each other in the 2007 final. India elected to bat first and put up 157 runs on the scoreboard.

Pakistan’s chase went down to the wire, with Misbah-ul-Haq again at the forefront of the battle. In the last over, Pakistan needed 13 runs to win, with 1 wicket in hand.

India’s captain, MS Dhoni, asked Joginder Sharma to defend the total. The first delivery went wayward, with the umpire signalling it as wide.

Sharma didn’t give any run on the first legal delivery but conceded a six off the bat of Misbah, bringing down the equation to 6 off 4.

Misbah wanted to finish the proceedings quickly. So he scooped the next delivery over short fine leg, but it landed right into the hands of Sreesanth.

That catch ended Pakistan’s innings on 152, helping India clinch the inaugural T20 World Cup.

3. Yuvraj Singh Slams 6 Sixes off 6 Balls

During the 2007 edition, Yuvraj Singh became the first batter to hit 6 sixes in an over in T20Is. He sent Stuart Broad’s all 6 deliveries sailing over the ropes, setting the stage ablaze.

But before Yuvraj went on a rampage, he had an altercation with England’s Andrew Flintoff, charging him to another level. In turn, Broad had to face the wrath, conceding sixes hit with relentless power.

In the 19th over, it rained sixes in Durban, with Yuvraj hitting them all over the park. Cow corner, square leg, extra cover, backward point, midwicket, wide mid-on, you name it and he dispatched the ball with finesse.

2. Chase Master Virat Kohli

The 2022 T20 World Cup witnessed a tight battle between India and Pakistan. Batting first, Pakistan managed to score 159 runs.

India, while chasing the target, had a rough start, losing 4 wickets for 31 runs. Then the chase master, Virat Kohli, held onto one end, along with Hardik Pandya, and kept the scoreboard ticking.

In the death overs, Kohli launched an all-out attack, smashing fours and sixes. His down-the-ground six against Haris Rauf on the 18.5 mark sent the MCG crowd into a frenzy.

India pulled off the chase on the last ball, with Kohli remaining unbeaten on 82 off 53 balls.

1. Carlos Brathwaite’s Final Over Flourish

England and the West Indies were pitted against each other in the 2016 World Cup final. Batting first, England posted 155 runs on the scoreboard.

In response, the Windies struggled to get off to a start, losing 3 wickets for 11 runs in 3 overs. Marlon Samuels played a gutsy knock to pull the Windies out of the shackles, though 3 more wickets fell in the space of 2 overs.

At the end of the 16th over, the Windies were reeling at 111 for 6, with 45 needed off 24 balls. Samuels kept the fight going, punishing the bad balls and rotating the strike.

When the final over kicked in, Carlos Brathwaite was on the crease with 19 needed to win. Before this over, he had only hit one four and was batting on 10 runs off 6 balls.

But he started the over by smashing the ball for a six over deep backward square leg. Brathwaite dispatched the next ball over long on for a second six.

He hit the third delivery over long-off, levelling the scores. With 1 required to win, Brathwaite finished off the proceedings with another six, handing the West Indies their second T20 World Cup title.

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