Stuck in quarantine? 5 cricket moments that are worth re-watching
- Cricketing history is full of moments both glorious and heartbreaking.
- Since many of us are stuck in quarantine right now, it's worth revisiting some of the classic matches from recent times.
The year 2020 has been a dismal one so far. But the power of sports is immense; it not only unites, but it can also uplift.
Cricketing history is full of moments both glorious and heartbreaking; some astounding displays of athleticism and some victories snatched from the jaws of defeat. It is a game of skill, courage and perseverance that has captivated millions.
On that note, here is a collection of five moments, among countless others, that are worthy of a rewatch if you're stuck in a quarantine due to the coronavirus outbreak.
#5 Indian Premier League 2016, Rising Pune Supergiant v Kings XI Punjab
The Indian Premier League has a long list of phenomenal matches and dazzling displays of cricket - including the fairytale comeback of Chennai Super Kings in 2018 and Mumbai Indians clinching a final-over victory in 2017.
But a match from 2016 between the Rising Pune Supergiant and the Kings XI Punjab is worth mentioning here. Interestingly, the teams finished last and second-last on the points table respectively that year.
Batting first, KXIP conjured up a total of 172 for RPS to chase. But Pune's top order did not quite click, and the required run-rate kept mounting. Little did we know that a thrilling end was in store for us.
MS Dhoni scored a quick-fire 62 off just 32 balls. He faced the final over when RPS needed 23 from 6. And with a classic finish, the scores read 0, wide, 6, 0, 4, 6, 6.
It was a victory fashioned out of near-defeat. It was exhilarating, it was fascinating, it was MS Dhoni at his finest.
#4 1st ODI, Sri Lanka in India ODI series 2009
A massive total of 414 put up by India, with a contribution of 146 from Virender Sehwag, was only one half of this long-remembered thriller.
Sri Lanka embarked on a run-chase which appeared to be difficult at first but achievable later. It was only in the final over that the winner became clear, as each team seemed to be just as close to victory as it was to defeat.
A run out by Suresh Raina and Praveen Kumar turned things in India's favour as Sri Lanka were able to manage only 411 in 50 overs. Tillakaratne Dilshan's knock of 160 went in vain as the visitors fell short of the target by three runs.
Three run-outs and two stumpings at crucial junctures of the game helped India register a spectacular victory. A total of 825 runs were scored that day at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground.
The match had several great performances - including MS Dhoni's 72 off 53 balls and Kumar Sangakkara's brilliant 90 off just 43 balls.
#3 5th ODI, Australia in India ODI series 2009
A century from Shaun Marsh (112 runs off 112 balls) and an impressive knock from Shane Watson (93 runs off 89 balls) anchored Australia's massive total of 350/4 in 50 overs. Cameron White's boundary-studded knock of 59 from 33 balls was impressive too.
India's task was not an easy one as they chased the daunting target in Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. And it was the Master Blaster himself who led India's chase - Sachin Tendulkar scored a magnificent 175 off 141 balls. Many still regard the performance as one of the finest of his career.
But just when the victory seemed assured for India, the wickets started tumbling. Suresh Raina delivered a knock of 59 at a strike rate of 100, but by the time the match entered the 50th over India had already lost nine wickets.
The final wicket fell with three balls remaining. Australia finished victorious as they won by three runs.
#2 5th ODI, Australia in South Africa ODI series 2006
With a magnificent knock of 164 runs off only 105 balls by Ricky Ponting and significant contributions from a couple of others, Australia put up a staggering total of 434-4 in 50 overs. The Proteas had a daunting target ahead of them.
But then came the innings that captivated everyone who watched it. Herschelle Gibbs, with his spectacular knock of 175 off just 111 balls, led a dauntless South Africa to a glorious victory.
Both teams' hopes were alive till the very last over. Even as their ninth wicket collapsed in the final over, nothing seemed impossible for the Proteas - who eventually got home with one ball remaining.
If we were impressed by Australia's innings, then South Africa's innings only impressed us more. A total of 872 runs were scored at the Wanderers in Johannesburg that day. And unsurprisingly, even to this day, it remains the highest successful run chase in the history of ODI cricket.
#1 The Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, England v New Zealand
Unpredictable. Unbelievable. Unforgettable. Perhaps the most exciting match in cricketing history, the 2019 World Cup final will be revisited by fans for years to come. And what a match it was!
There were endless twists and turns, and the fans watched with bated breath the spectacular display of cricket that was unfurling before their eyes. The final over of England's innings read 0, 0, 6, 6, W, W, taking the teams to that famed super-over.
For England, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler put up 15/0 in 6 balls. In response, Martin Guptill and James Neesham did the same for New Zealand.
The way this summit clash concluded was beyond belief. A controversial ICC rule for resolving a super-over tie using the boundary count method came into play, crowning England the world champions.
It was jaw-dropping and emotion-filled. And no one could describe it better than Ian Smith in his commentary:
"This is the moment: it’s Archer to Guptill. Two to win. Guptill’s going to push for two. They’ve got to go. It’s … the throw’s got to go to the keeper’s end! HE’S GOT IT! England have won the World Cup by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins. Absolute ecstasy for England, agony, agony for New Zealand."Published 23 Mar 2020, 18:39 IST