Reliving previous opening matches from World T20s
Chris Gayle scored a hundred in the very first World T20 gameThe ICC World T20 2016 would kick off on March 15 with the hosts India set to take on New Zealand at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur.While Idia would look to continue their excellent form in T20I and beat New Zealand for the first time in the shortest format of the game, the Kiwis would try to upset the hosts and begin the tournament on a high.Over the years, in the previous editions of the World T20, we have seen some exciting opening contests to kick off the biannual tournament, some of which have been the trendsetters for the rest of the league.In this slideshow, we try to relive the opening matches from the five previous editions of the World T20.
#1 World T20 2007: West Indies vs South Africa
The very first game of the very first edition of the ICC World T20, in 2007, clearly pronounced the possibilities that came with the shortest format of the game.
The hosts South Africa took on West Indies in what turned out to be a run-fest, that saw a target in excess of 200 being chased down for the first time in a T20I.
Batting first, West Indies rode on Chris Gayle’s whirlwind century, as he smashed 117 off 57 with 7 fours and 10 sixes, to post a mammoth 205/6 on the board in their 20 overs.
Many would have thought that the game was over right after the first innings, but Herschelle Gibbs, who knew a thing or two about chasing world record targets, decided otherwise.
Gibbs’ 55-ball 90 comprising 14 fours and 2 sixes, combined with Justin Kemp’s 22-ball 46 and further helped by the 28 extras that the Caribbean side gave away proved out to be the right ingredient to hunt down the target of 206.
It was a complete nightmare for the bowlers, however, as Shaun Pollock and Ravi Rampaul went for 52 runs in their 4 overs.
#2 World T20 2009: Netherlands vs England
If the tournament opener of the first edition culminated into a high-scoring run-chase, the first match of the 2009 edition was no less good by any means.
Add to that the fact that the hosts England were upset by an Affiliate Member of the ICC in a last-ball thriller, and it becomes, arguably, the most exciting opening match of all the World T20s.
Netherlands defeated England in the first game of the ICC World T20 2009 after they chased down a modest target of 163 set by the hosts.
Batting first, England were benefitted by the solid 102-run opening stand between Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara, who made 71 (49) and 46 (34) respectively, and finished on 162/5 in their 20 overs.
Although the score was only a par one, Netherlands were never given any chance of getting close, let alone winning.
But the hosts were in for a surprise, as the Dutch, helped by useful cameos from Tom de Grooth (49), Peter Borren (30) and Ryan ten Doeschate (22*) clinched the victory off the very last ball.
#3 World T20 2010: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand
Keeping up with the tradition of having close finishes in tournament openers, Sri Lanka and New Zealand played out a low-scoring last-over humdinger, wherein eventually, the Kiwis trumped the Lankans by 2 wickets with 1 ball to spare.
Sri Lanka couldn’t capitalize on Mahela Jayawardena’s 51-ball 81 opening the innings, and could manage only 135 runs at the loss of 6 wickets after their 20 overs.
In reply, although New Zealand lost Brendon McCullum or a duck on the fourth ball of the innings, Jessie Ryder made sure that his side was always in the hunt with 42-run knock off just 27 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes.
Even though Ryder’s dismissal led the way to a brief collapse-- with Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Scott Styris departing within the space of 30 runs-- which was initiated by Muttiah Muralitharan who got Ryder, and was carried forwards by Sanath Jayasuriya and Ajantha Mendis, NZ had enough power in their arsenal to inch past the Sri Lankan total off the penultimate ball of the innings.
Styris, Daniel Vettori, Jacob Oram, and Nathan McCullum played brief yet important cameos of 17, 17, 15, and 16 respectively.
#4 World T20 2012: Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka
The jinx of having a closely fought contest in World T20 inaugural matches was finally broken in the 2012 edition, when the hosts Sri Lanka outplayed Zimbabwe and beat them by 82 runs in Colombo.
Useful contributions from Kumar Sangakkara (44) and Jeevan Mendis (43) in the middle-order, and by Tillakaratne Dilshan at the top (39) meant that Sri Lanka posted a formidable total of 182/4 in their 20 overs.
The Zimbabwe innings, in reply, never really got going as Ajantha Mendis wrecked havoc by picking up 6/8, his best T20I figures, and in the process, rattling the Zimbabwe batting line-up.
The visitors were bundled out for 100 runs in 17.3 overs, and the hosts cruised to victory by 82 runs. Jeevan Mendis too picked up 3 wickets.
#5 World T20 2014: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan
Bangladesh outclassed Afghanistan in their opening game of the World T20 campaign at home in 2014, beating them by 9 wickets.
Afghanistan were bowled out for a paltry 72 in the first innings, with Shakib-Al-Hasan (3 wickets) and Abdur Razzak (2 wickets) doing the bulk of the damage. Mahmudullah Riyad and Mashrafe Mortaza also picked one wicket each, as the visitors found it tough to negotiate the hosts’ bowling attack.
The Tigers, in their reply, strolled to victory by 9 wickets wth opener Anamul Haque top-scoring for them with 44 off 33 balls. They only lost the wicket of Tamim Iqbal during the chase, who made 21 off 27.
The target was chased down in just 12 overs with consummate ease.