On this day in cricket history: West Indies win T20 World Cup, Michael Clarke scores century on debut and more
7 October marks an important day in cricketing history. There was a dominant force full of hard-hitting cricketers winning the title, a women's team en route glory and successfully defending their crown, a future Australian captain scoring a hundred on debut and the birth of an Indian pacer.
Here's a list of the important events that happened on 7 October:
# West Indies win the 2012 T20 World Cup
On 7 October 2012, West Indies defeated Sri Lanka by 36 runs in the final of the World T20 at Colombo to claim their first world title since 1979. Marlon Samuels played the innings of his life, smashing 78 runs off 56 balls to bail the team out from the fourth- and fifth-worst scores in the first 10 overs in the history of T20 format.
Ajantha Mendis returned with dream figures of 4 for 12 to reduce West Indies to only 32 for 2 after 10 overs, but it wasn't enough.
The result meant that Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara failed to win yet another final of a World event, after going down in two consecutive World Cup finals (2007 and 2011). After the loss, Jayawardene stepped down from the captaincy in good spirit.
# Michael Clarke scores a century on debut
The first Test between India and Australia at Bengaluru in 2004 marked the beginning of a special career.
A 23-year-old Michael Clarke was handed the baggy green by spin legend Shane Warne on 6 October. With the Aussies reeling at 149 for four, the debutant scored a majestic ton on Day 2 against a bowling attack that included an in-form Anil Kumble.
Clarke's exploits helped Australia put up a decent first innings total of 478. They later won the match by 217 runs.
The Australian selectors had received a lot of flak for drafting Clarke into the playing XI, since he had a batting average of less than 40 in the domestic circuit. But his attacking stroke-play in tough conditions was representative of the tough Australian grit and approach.
Clarke went on to become one of the finest batters in world cricket and also captained Australia to a World Cup triumph at home in 2015.
# Australia women's team defend their T20 crown
In 2012, the Australian women’s team won their second of four T20 titles by beating England at Colombo by four runs to successfully defend their crown. The Aussies held their nerves in the end despite dropping four catches in the final few overs.
Chasing a target of 142, England raced to 34 for 1 at the end of the powerplay with Charlotte Edwards looking in fine touch. But some excellent variations by Lisa Sthalekar and Ellyse Perry tied the English batsmen down as most of them were caught in the deep.
On 16 May 2010, Australia had defeated New Zealand by three runs to win their first T20 title at Bridgetown. They claimed a hat-trick of T20 titles in 2014 when they beat England again by six wickets at Dhaka.
Australia returned to winning ways last year, winning their fourth title by beating arch-rivals England again, this time by eight wickets at North Sound.
# Zaheer Khan was born
One of the finest left-arm pacers to have ever graced the Indian bowling line-up, Zaheer Khan was born on 7 October - 41 years ago.
Zaheer made his ODI debut 19 years ago against Kenya in Nairobi, on 3 October 2000. A month later, it was a dream come true for Zaheer as he got a chance to wear the whites for India against Bangladesh at Dhaka on 10 November.
Zaheer’s career highlight is the 21 wickets he captured during India’s 2011 World Cup-winning campaign, which saw him finish as the joint highest wicket-taker along with Shahid Afridi.
He represented India in 200 ODIs, 92 Tests and 17 T20Is, taking a combined 610 wickets. Zaheer had the uncanny ability to reverse the ball under all kinds of conditions and with all three balls - the Duke, SG as well as the Kookaburra.
The early 2000s saw Zaheer battle with hamstring injuries. However, 78 wickets for Worcestershire in the county circuit saw him emerge as the leader of the Indian bowling line-up when India toured South Africa in 2006.
Also see – World Test Championship Schedule