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T20 World Cup: Over the years

To celebrate the eighth edition of the T20 World Cup, we explore some of the most memorable moments in the tournament’s history.

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India lift first-ever T20 World Cup trophy (South Africa, 2007)

Omitting active all-time greats like Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid, India’s squad for the inaugural T20 World Cup was viewed as a disrespectful snub by MS Dhoni of his predecessors, and was given little chance of going all the way.

Yet as the tournament progressed, expectations slowly built. From winning a ‘bowl-out’ against Pakistan to Yuvraj Singh’s 6 sixes in an over against Stuart Broad, India entered the final as favourites against Pakistan.

With one over to go in the final, Dhoni handed the ball to unheralded medium-pacer Joginder Sharma (incidentally, now a policeman in Haryana). The move paid off: Misbah miscued a ramp shot and, in a blink, India had created history.

It was impossible to know at the time, but cricket had just witnessed the most seminal moment since World Series Cricket was first staged in 1977. The game would never be the same.

M. S. Dhoni. 2007 T20 World Cup
M. S. Dhoni 2007 T20 World Cup, Source: Twitter

Masterful Kohli single-handedly downs Australia (India, 2016)

In an effective quarter final against Australia, and on home soil, India suffered a top order collapse, leaving the hosts with 70 runs to get from the last 6 overs.

Only one man stood in Australia’s way: with the required run rate climbing above 12, Kohli launched a stunning assault, slamming 6 fours and a six from his last 11 balls. Suddenly, a game that had looked beyond India’s reach was iced, with nearly an over to spare. Kohli finished on 82* off just 51; the next-best Indian batsman (Yuvraj Singh) managed only 21.

It was a bloody-minded, technically brilliant lone hand from an all-time great at the peak of his powers. Kohli was ultimately crowned Player of the Tournament for his 273 runs at a staggering average of 137.

Virat Kohli T20 World Cup
Virat Kohli, Source: Twitter

Carlos Brathwaite, Remember the Name (India, 2016)

Fresh from a stunning chase against India in the semi-final, in which the West Indies stormed home in a record chase of 192 with 7 wickets to spare, the Caribbean giants appeared to have fallen short in the final, requiring 19 from six balls for victory, and Carlos Brathwaite, in his debut T20 World Cup, on strike.

But the giant Barbadian would only need four balls, depositing Ben Stokes over the fence four times in a row to the delight of a rapturous (yet neutral) capacity crowd, and sparking wild scenes of celebration in the West Indian dugout.

Equally memorable as the actual cricket was Ian Bishop’s iconic call on the microphone as the last six sailed into the stands: “Carlos Braithwaite! Carlos Brathwaite, remember the name!’

Carlos Braithwaite T20 World Cup
Carlos Braithwaite, Source: Facebook

Umar Gul blows Kiwis away (England, 2009)

At 73/4 with plenty of firepower to come, New Zealand was on track to set at least a par total on a tricky deck against Pakistan at the Oval.

Umar Gul, held back to bowl at the death, then dashed New Zealand’s hopes. With his electric mastery of reverse swing, Gul eviscerated a dangerous Kiwi middle order, taking 5 wickets for 6 runs in just 18 balls. So unplayable was Gul that New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori admitted he was (wrongly) convinced that Pakistan had tampered with the ball.

It was the first-ever 5-wicket haul in international T20 cricket, and remains the best-ever figures by a fast bowler in the T20 World Cup.

Netherlands stun hosts (England, 2009)

England v Netherlands, Lords, the opening match of the 2009 T20 World Cup. All signs pointed to an easy victory for the hosts, but the men in orange re-wrote the script, reeling England in from 102/0 after 11 overs to 162/5 off 20.

With Netherlands needing two from the final ball, Stuart Broad nailed a perfect yorker – only to allow an overthrow with a shy at the stumps. Netherlands scampered home to break English hearts in an ill-fated campaign for the hosts.

Netherlands would go on to repeat the feat by beating England at the 2014 T20 World Cup.

READ ALSO: The T20 complex: What’s ailing India?

Ritam Mitra
Ritam Mitra
Ritam is an award-winning journalist and lawyer based in Sydney. Ritam writes on domestic and global politics, human rights and social justice, and sport.

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