The T20 World Cup has been packed with some of the greatest moments the cricket world has ever seen. Whether it be a bowling performance that hasn’t been matched since or an innings at the crease that will not be forgotten, the T20 World Cup has had it all.
Cricket is a game worth betting on, but these moments show that it’s not only the most exciting sport on earth but also far more unpredictable than you could ever imagine. Here are the best moments in the history of the T20 World Cup.
Chris Gayle in Johannesburg
One of the most dominant displays of batting took place in Johannesburg at the 2007 T20 World Cup. It was pulled off by someone regarded as one of, if not the best T20 batsman of all time, Chris Gayle.
Gayle blasted ten sixes into the stands and seven boundaries to score a 57-ball 117. He saved the West Indies innings, and they finished on 202. However, South Africa easily reached the total with thirteen balls remaining. While the Windies lost the game, Chris Gayle’s inning was an incredible way to put the first T20 tournament on the map.
2007 was also the tournament that proved it was a terrible idea to upset Yuvraj Singh when he has a bat in hand. The game was in Durban, Andrew Flintoff was bowling, and he thought it was a great idea to start hurling remarks at Yuvraj.
The over ended, and Stuart Broad ended up being the poor soul that faced Yuvraj’s wrath. Yuvraj would hit Broad for six sixes, complete his half-century in just 12 balls, and go down as the batsman that embarrassed England in a matter of minutes. Don’t anger Yuvraj; it only ends badly for you.
The Dutch at Lord’s
While the World Cup allows for the lesser-known cricketing nations to play, they are often knocked out fairly quickly, with the big boys like India, England, South Africa, and the like moving on to battle for the tournament win.
However, these smaller nations can sometimes pull off a shock victory, and that is precisely what happened when the Netherlands faced the tournament hosts England in 2009. England’s 163 at the end of their innings looked more than enough to defend against the minnows.
Surprisingly, the Dutch reached 156-6 by the time the last over came around. Stuart Broad was bowling, and the Dutch batsmen managed five singles, avoiding a run-out in four of them. Broad attempted a run-out, allowed an overthrow, and the Dutch took the victory off the final ball.
Umar Gul vs. New Zealand
Umar Gul had one of the most incredible bowling figures when Pakistan faced New Zealand in the 2009 tournament. Gul came into bowl in the 13th over and quickly dismissed Scott Styris when the Kiwis were at 72-4.
Gul finished his spell with figures of 5-6. New Zealand was bowled out for 99, and Pakistan would comfortably chase the target down and win. This was the first five-wicket haul in the history of T20 internationals, with New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori even implying ball-tampering as the reason behind the remarkable bowling.
Mohammed Amir vs. Australia
Mohammed Amir’s final over against Australia at the 2010 tournament is widely regarded as one of the best examples of death bowling in cricketing history. Australia was 191-5 going into the last over and was on the way to 200.
18-year old Amir would decimate the Australians with some of the best Yorkers you will ever see. He took three wickets, with two Australians being run out, with the last over reading W, W, W, W, 0, W.
Carlos Brathwaite vs. England
2016 was the year that saw one of the best performances by a West Indian at the tournament and one of the most iconic quotes. Brathwaite, still wet behind the ears in the world of T20 cricket, was the man charged with facing Ben Stokes in the last over of the final against England.
He had only batted three times in T20 internationals, and with a high score of 13, the 19 the Windies needed to win was going to test every skill he had. Instead of going for a single to get Marlon Samuels on strike, Brathwaite took matters into his own hands.
He hit Stokes for four sixes in a row, securing the tournament victory for his country. This performance led to the iconic Ian Bishop quote, “Carlos Brathwaite, remember the name.”
Dhoni with his glove off
2016 was the tournament that saw MS Dhoni pull off a great display of game-reading. India was facing Bangladesh, and the Bangladeshi batsmen had whittled the total down to needing two runs off the last three balls to stun the cricketing giants.
Hardik Pandya took two quick wickets, and Bangladesh was in a panic. MS Dhoni, behind the stumps, knew the batsmen were going to run no matter what. He took his right-hand glove off in preparation. The batsman swung and missed, ran, and MS calmly collected the ball then took the stumps out, securing India the victory. It may have been a small moment, but if he had panicked at all, the result would have been very different.
The 2007 tournament saw two of the biggest names in cricket face off in a match that is sometimes deemed absurd for two reasons. Firstly, officials later admitted to rigging the tournament draw to ensure these two faced off. The money and attention were just too much to ignore.
Secondly, this match was ended by the first and last bowl-out, a newly introduced way to sort out a tied game. Five bowlers had one task: hit the stumps the most times and your team wins.
Virendra Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa hit the wickets, with Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi missing. Many declared it a ridiculously unfair way to end a match with so much significance. The bowl-out was immediately eliminated from the game and replaced with the Super Over.