5 most thrilling finishes in T20Is

Pakistan v India - Twenty20 Championship Final
Pakistan v India - Twenty20 Championship Final

T20 cricket was first introduced to attract crowds in large numbers to the game of cricket. The first ever T20I was played between Australia and New Zealand in Auckland in 2005. No one would have thought at that time that it would go on to become the most popular form of cricket.

Over the years, cricket lovers have witnessed some really close encounters in T20Is. Here, we look back at some of the most thrilling finishes in T20Is that are still etched in our memory.

#5 India vs Pakistan, World T20, League stage, Durban (2007)

Batting first, India posted a competitive 141/9, thanks to a fine fifty by Robin Uthappa. In reply, Pakistan’s top order was bundled out cheaply. But a steady partnership between Malik and Misbah brought them back into the game.

In the end, it came down to 12 runs needed off the last over. One boundary through the covers and one through mid off brought down the equation to 1 run needed off 2 balls. Misbah could not connect with the remaining deliveries and the match ended in a tie. The winner had to be decided via bowl out.

Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Robin Uthappa were able to hit the stumps whereas the Pakistani bowlers drew a blank. India won the match 3-0!

#4 Australia v Pakistan, World T20 semi-final, Gros Islet (2010)

Australia v Pakistan - ICC T20 World Cup Semi Final
Australia v Pakistan - ICC T20 World Cup Semi Final

Buoyed by the brilliance of Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal, Pakistan posted an excellent score of 191 batting first. In reply, Australia lost their way early in the innings but were kept in the game by some excellent hitting from Cameron White.

Michael Hussey then smashed Mohammed Amir for 16 runs in the penultimate over. This brought down the equation to 18 runs needed off the last over. The ball was thrown to the magician - Saeed Ajmal. What followed was some of the greatest display of hitting that you would ever have seen. Hussey dispatched Ajmal for 3 sixes and a four to take Australia into the final of the World T20, with a ball to spare.

#3 India vs Bangladesh, World T20 Super 10 stage, Bengaluru (2016)

Unforgettable Runout

Having been put into bat, India struggled to 146/7 due to some excellent bowling by Shakib al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza. Cameos from Tamim and Sabbir ensured that Bangladesh were well on their way to achieving the target.

The equation boiled down to 11 runs needed off the last over. The ball was thrown to Hardik Pandya. Mushfiqur Rahim slammed two fours off the 2nd and 3rd balls of the over. With 2 needed off 3 balls, a “brain fade” occurred. Mushfiqur slammed a length ball straight to mid wicket whereas Mahmudullah deposited a full toss into the safe hands of Jadeja.

With 2 needed off 1, Shuvagata Hom missed with a wild swing and Mustafizur was run out trying to steal a bye. The image of Dhoni breaking the stumps is one for the ages.

#2 India vs Bangladesh, Nidahas Trophy Final, Colombo (2018)

One of the bes
One of the best cameos

Bangladesh were again on the receiving end of a nerve-wracking match. Having been put into bat by a young Indian side, Bangladesh were pegged back early in the innings due to some excellent spin bowling by Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar.

A late flourish by Sabbir Rehman helped them to a competitive score of 166. In reply, India were well on course to achieve the target, courtesy a controlled fifty by Rohit Sharma. However, some tight bowling by Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman brought Bangladesh on the verge of victory, with 34 runs needed off the last 2 overs.

Then, “the Dinesh Karthik” show began. Batting like a man possessed, he hammered Rubel Hossain for 22 runs off the penultimate over. With 9 needed off 3, Vijay Shankar managed to squeeze a boundary through the third man region. It came down to 5 needed off the last ball. The part-timer, Soumya Sarkar, who had bowled an excellent over till then, missed with his wide yorker and was dispatched to the cover boundary for a flat six by Karthik, resulting in a famous victory for team India.

#1 West Indies vs England, World T20 Final, Kolkata (2016)

First team to win two WT20 titles

The City of Joy - Kolkata bore witness to one of the most epic encounters in the history of T20 Internationals. In the final of the World T20 in 2016, England were put into bat by a maverick West Indies side led by Darren Sammy.

A well compiled fifty by Joe Root and some lusty hitting by Jos Buttler ensured that the English had something to bowl to. Needing 156 to lift the trophy, West Indies had a disastrous start. Both Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle holed out to Joe Root in the second over of the chase.

Marlon Samuels held up one end but regular strikes by David Willey with the ball ensured that England were firmly in the driver’s seat. It all came down to 19 needed off the last over. What followed was unprecedented. Carlos Braithwaite chose the biggest of occasions in world cricket to stamp his name in the history books.

The pressure got the better of Ben Stokes, who missed his length on the first 4 balls and was deposited for a six on each occasion. West Indies became the only team in the world to win the World T20 twice.

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