ICC Champions Trophy: 5 memorable encounters in the history of the tournament, Part 2

Cricket - ICC Champions Trophy - Final - England v India - Edgbaston : News Photo
The ICC Champions Trophy is underway
Himanshu Agrawal

With the most important cricket event of 2017 already underway, the excitement among cricket enthusiasts is at its peak as the tournament could bring out some moments which will be etched forever in the history of cricket.

Although the Champions Trophy has been termed as a mini-World Cup, it has produced some thrilling encounters in the past.

Also read: ICC Champions Trophy: 10 greatest encounters in the history of the tournament, Part 1

Part 2 of the series dwells into thrilling encounters since the fifth edition, which took place in India.

#5 India vs West Indies (Ahmedabad, 2006)

West Indies cricketer Shivnarine Chander : News Photo
India fell after failing to muster a good total for West Indies to chase

Early in the year 2006, West Indies dominated India in a bilateral series besides qualifying for the tri-series final in Malaysia with Australia. This match provided Rahul Dravid’s men the perfect opportunity to avenge the defeat. In a game which needlessly attracted attention, India’s instability at the top left them at 69/3. A brief recovery saw Dravid and Yuvraj Singh stretch the score to 130 before the former was run out while the latter fell to Ian Bradshaw in the same over.

At 164/6, India’s only hope was MS Dhoni, who had the tail for company. Dhoni kerbed his aggressive instincts, instead choosing to run hard to keep India floating. But come the forty-seventh over, he hammered two sixes and was eventually run out for 51 in the final over. India fell miserably short of a par score and finished at 223/9.

West Indies started the chase brightly as the innings comprised steady partnerships, the most crucial between Ramnaresh Sarwan and Runako Morton, who strung together 92.

17 runs were needed from 18 balls, but Morton, Brian Lara, Sarwan and Dwayne Smith departed in quick succession to complicate matters. Suddenly, it was down to 4 from 3. But Marlon Samuels’ calm upper cut helped West Indies qualify for the semi-final.

#4 Australia vs Pakistan (Centurion, 2009)

Australia v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
Australia did the job with the ball and chased down a small total

Pakistan took on Australia at Centurion and India’s hopes of progressing hinged on the game’s result. Pakistan, however, never kicked on while batting. Three 40s but no big score, and a helpless pitch made matters worse as captain Younis Khan limped to 18 off 49 balls. The Australian pacers repeatedly applied the brakes through regular wickets and tight, economical bowling as Mohammad Yousuf top scored with 45 and Pakistan finished at 205/6.

At 140/2 after 31 overs, Australia were cruising with Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey at the crease. But soon, a collapse saw them reduced to 187/8 in 46 overs. Mohammad Asif tied Australia down in his comeback match, while Saeed Ajmal foxed them with tricky spin bowling. Hussey scored 64, but none of Callum Ferguson, Cameron White, James Hopes and Mitchell Johnson entered double figures as Pakistan troubled Australia in an otherwise calm chase.

It was down to a run-a-ball 18, but tailenders Brett Lee and Nathan Hauritz each found the fence to require 4 from 6. Umar Gul conceded only 3 from the first 5, but the batsmen sneaked a sharp bye and Kamran Akmal missed his throw to leave Australia victorious. India had been shown the door after Pakistan’s defeat.

#3 New Zealand vs Sri Lanka (Cardiff, 2013)

Cricket - ICC Champions Trophy - Group A - New Zealand v Sri Lanka - SWALEC Stadium : News Photo
Kane Williamson in action against Sri Lanka

A rare modern-day ODI dominated by the ball, this was perhaps the match of the tournament. Sri Lanka batted first, but New Zealand seemed on a wicket-taking spree. They left their opponents fumbling at 82/6 after the half way stage. Kyle Mills struck with the first ball, and his partners Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum and Daniel Vettori followed suit in wrecking Sri Lanka.

Then came the highest partnership of the match – surprisingly, only 36. Kumar Sangakkara perished while accelerating and top scored with 68. McClenaghan bagged 4/43 and Sri Lanka were skittled out for a meagre 138.

In the chase, New Zealand themselves collapsed from 48/1 to 80/6. Martin Guptill quickly scored 25 but Shaminda Eranga and the deadly Lasith Malinga, to go with spinners Rangana Herath and Tillakaratne Dilshan, blew away the New Zealand batting. Brendon and Nathan McCullum showed some composure.

But when Malinga brought his spot-on yorkers into play, both were trapped, with New Zealand eight down and 17 away from the target. Malinga ended his quota of overs with 4/34, but the part time spin of Dilshan eased things for New Zealand. Mills was run out with 5 to get – 134/9 – but Tim Southee and McClenaghan guided them to a nervy one-wicket win.

#2 South Africa vs West Indies (Cardiff, 2013)

West Indies v South Africa: Group B - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
The Caribbean party was spoiled by Dale Steyn, who ripped Marlon Samuels’ middle-stump

In a match reduced to 31 overs, South Africa flew to 230/6. Colin Ingram smashed 73, and quick fire cameos by AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and David Miller proved to be the perfect complementing act. Du Plessis and Miller plundered the bowlers and strung together 58 rapid runs in under six overs, which propelled South Africa’s total.

De Villiers decided to open the bowling with JP Duminy, but the move backfired. Chris Gayle dispatched him to all parts of the ground before falling for 36 off 27 balls. A cluster of wickets stemmed the chase, and West Indies were left at 104/4. But the experienced pair of Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard was not to back down. They plundered the pacers in a match-defining partnership of 58 in under six overs.

Just when it seemed that the chase was on track, the Caribbean party was spoiled by superb bowling from Dale Steyn. Samuels’ middle-stump was ripped, and Pollard fell three overs later. Before new man Darren Sammy could face a ball, the heavens opened up again and play never resumed again. West Indies were 190/6 after 26.1 overs. Then interfered the D/L method – the match ended in a tie, South Africa qualified for the semi-final, though West Indies would have won had Pollard not departed.

#1 England vs India (Edgbaston, 2013)

Cricket - ICC Champions Trophy - Final - England v India - Edgbaston : News Photo
India won the rain-affected thriller in the final of the last edition

The 2013 final was kerbed due to rain and 20 overs were allotted to each side. An in-form Shikhar Dhawan scored a hurried 31, but none of his teammates assisted him. India’s untested middle-order succumbed to Ravi Bopara, who claimed 3/20.

But from 66/5 in 13 overs, India soon rode the storm through Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja. Suddenly, India started finding the fence, the most classical hit being Kohli’s advance to Stuart Broad for a six over square leg. Kohli fell after a 34-ball 43, while Jadeja finished on 33* from 25 balls – India had a competitive 129/7.

A supposed stroll for England turned out to be a nightmare. Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin reduced them to 46/4. Bopara was promoted ahead of Jos Buttler, and the gamble worked. Bopara and Eoin Morgan repaired the innings, and added a vital 64 in 9 overs. With 20 required off 16, England’s win seemed inevitable.

But MS Dhoni switched to Ishant Sharma, and he responded with their wickets off consecutive balls. Both found Ashwin, and Buttler was bowled by Jadeja in the first ball. To win: 15 off 6. Broad swept the second ball for four, but India won by 5 runs to lift the Champions Trophy.

Edited by Staff Editor


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