The scoop, the steal and the greatest World T20 games

In the three editions of the tournament to date, there have been some incredible matches. Here are 10 of the best.

Reported by: Dileep Premachandran
Last updated on Wednesday, 12 September, 2012 20:41 IST
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Bangalore: In the three editions of the tournament to date, there have been some incredible matches. Here are 10 of the best.

India v Pakistan, Durban, September 14 2007 (Match tied)

At one stage, Pakistan needed 39 from 14 balls in pursuit of a modest Indian total. But the relatively unheralded Misbah-ul-Haq and Yasir Arafat hit some smashing shots to leave them needing just 12 from the final over. Only four balls were needed to tie the scores, but after missing a cut, Misbah then tried a tap-and-run to cover. Yuvraj Singh’s throw to Sreesanth did the rest.

India v Australia, Durban, September 22 2007 (India won by 15 runs)

India struggled to 41 for 2 from eight overs, before Yuvraj’s explosive 30-ball 70 and a brisk 36 from MS Dhoni took them to a huge total. Sreesanth, who bowled superbly for figures of 2-12, dismissed both Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, but with Andrew Symonds in prime form and seven wickets in hand, Australia seemed to have the game won as they required just 33 from 21 balls. Then, Irfan Pathan knocked back Symonds’ off stump, a knockout blow from which the favourites never recovered.

India v Pakistan, Johannesburg, September 24 2007 (India won by five runs)

Gautam Gambhir provided a 75-run platform, and Rohit Sharma applied the finishing touches to a total that seemed beyond Pakistan’s reach as they slipped to 104 for 7 with only four overs remaining. Cue the revival, with Misbah thumping Harbhajan Singh for three sixes, and Sohail Tanvir hammering Sreesanth for two more. But RP Singh provided another twist in a tidy over that left Pakistan needing 13 from six. Misbah then struck Joginder Sharma back over his head to reduce the equation to six from four balls. But with victory within reach, Misbah went for the scoop over short fine leg. He didn’t connect well enough and two nations held their breath as Sreesanth came under the ball. He held on, and India had won the first ICC World Twenty20.

England v Netherlands, Lord’s, June 5 2009 (Netherlands won by four wickets)

There seemed little prospect of an upset as Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright added 102 for the first wicket at nine an over. No one else crossed 11 though, and Netherlands’ chances were enhanced when Tom de Grooth clubbed 49 from just 30 balls. Peter Borren and Ryan ten Doeschate chipped in as Netherlands whittled it down to seven from the final over. Stuart Broad missed a run-out and dropped a catch, and with two needed off the final ball, his attempt to run out Edgar Schiferli on his follow through only resulted in an overthrow and a famous giant-killing.

Pakistan v South Africa, Trent Bridge, June 18 2009 (Pakistan won by seven runs)

Kamran Akmal lit the fuse with a 12-ball 23, but it was Shahid Afridi’s restrained 51 – he did thump Johan Botha for four consecutive fours – that provided the impetus for a competitive total. With the ball, he was even more impressive, stalling South Africa’s innings with skiddy deliveries that proved far too good for Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers. Jacques Kallis’s 64 was the anchor, but there was no one to break the shackles as Pakistan used both pace and spin to wrest the advantage. JP Duminy’s unbeaten 44 was too little, too late.

New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Providence, April 30 2010 (NZ won by two wickets)

Mahela Jayawardene’s magnificent 81 took Sri Lanka to a decent total on a surface where scoring was never easy. But though only Jesse Ryder went past 20, New Zealand kept chipping away. With 38 needed from 20 balls, Jacob Oram struck two sixes off Ajantha Mendis to keep his team in it. They needed 10 from Lasith Malinga’s final over, and despite Daniel Vettori being run out, Nathan McCullum was the unlikely hero with a neat glance for four and a huge six over long-off to seal victory.

New Zealand v Pakistan, Bridgetown, May 8 2010 (NZ won by one run)

Daniel Vettori’s 34-ball 38 lifted New Zealand to 133, but despite a top-order implosion, Salman Butt kept his team in the hunt. Abdul Razzaq helped him add 53, but Pakistan still needed 11 from Ian Butler’s final over. Butt struck the second and fourth deliveries for fours before a scampered bye off the fifth left Abdur Rehman needing to score two off the final ball. Butler bowled a length ball on leg stump, but Rehman’s eager swing only carried as far as Martin Guptill at deep square leg.

Australia v Pakistan, St. Lucia, May 14 2010 (Australia won by three wickets)

Aggressive half-centuries from the Akmal brothers, Kamran and Umar, took Pakistan to a mammoth total. When Australia slipped to 105 for 5 with just 45 balls remaining, a place in the final looked beyond them. Despite Michael Hussey hitting Afridi for two sixes, it came down to 48 from 18 balls and then 18 from six. Pakistan reposed faith in Saeed Ajmal’s wily off-spin, but it was Hussey that seized the day with three sixes and a four after Mitchell Johnson had started the over with a single. This was Twenty20 cricket’s equivalent of the Great Train Robbery.

West Indies Women v England Women, St. Kitts, May 7 2010 (West Indies Women won by two runs)

Laura Marsh starred as England kept West Indies to just 122, and there seemed little chance of an upset as Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards added 65 in nine overs. Anisa Mohammed then dismissed both on her way to outstanding figures of 2 for 9. Only Lydia Greenway of the other batswomen managed to reach double figures.

Australia Women v New Zealand Women, Bridgetown, May 16 2010 (Australia Women won by three runs)

But for Lisa Sthalekar’s 18 from 13 balls, Australia may not even have reached triple figures. New Zealand’s response was wrecked by a run out, and a superb spell from Ellyse Perry. Sophie Devine’s 38 kept them afloat, but with 14 needed off the final over, Perry kept her composure to see Australia home.

Story first published on: Wednesday, 12 September 2012 20:33 IST

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