Best T20 Matches of All Time

Best T20 Matches of All Time

Table of content:

Introduction

Since the dawn of the Twenty20 or T20 cricket format, the expectations of joy and adrenaline rush from a single game of cricket have exceeded massively. This short form of cricket was first introduced back in 2003 and with the limited 20 overs per innings, new fans from all around the globe were drawn to the sport. T20 matches are widely played in both international and domestic cricket and with the high-risk, high-reward aspect, it has given some crucial moments to the fan to treasure for the rest of their lives. In this article, we will take a look back at the 5 greatest T20 matches and decide which one among these is the best T20 match of all time. There have been numerous official T20 matches played since 2003, however, we managed to narrow it down to five.

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Top 5 Best T20 Matches of All Time with Briefs

1. India vs Pakistan - 2007 World T20 Final

Popularly regarded as the best T20 match in the history of the sport, the final match of the World T20 Cup of 2007 was more than just a game. As two of the biggest rival teams in cricket, India, and Pakistan, faced off each other at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, the whole world was at a standstill, paying close attention to how things were about to unfold. Apart from the sporting rivalry, the 2007 T20 World Cup was also the inaugural year of the tournament and its champion was about to make history by winning the first ever title. India started off by winning the toss and chose to bat first. Against Pakistan’s ferocious bowling, India managed to raise a total of 157 runs with the loss of 5 wickets by the end of 20 overs.

Gautam Gambhir’s 75 runs in 54 balls played a huge role in the team’s score. With a target of 158 runs, Pakistan started the chase but faced a few early upsets like Mohammad Hafeez’s dismissal for 1 run and Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi being out for a duck. The game was very close for both sides and Pakistan managed to pull to the last over of the game, needing 13 more runs to win with only a wicket to spare. Joginder Sharma took care of the final over of bowling and his first two deliveries were a wide and a dot ball, followed by Misbah’s six in the third delivery of the final over. The equation read 6 runs needed from 4 balls, and as Pakistan was about to seal their victory, Misbah’s understated strike was caught by Sreesanth. With this, India won over Pakistan by 5 runs, becoming the first-ever champions of the T20 World Cup, back in 2007.

2. Australia vs Pakistan - 2010 World T20 Semi-Final

Australia vs Pakistan cricket brawl at the second semi-final game of the 2010 World T20 Cup is a topic of active discussion to this date. Cricket fans from all over the world define this game as the best T20 match of the World Cup in the semi-final stage. The venue for the game was Gros Islet, Saint Lucia in West Indies, the date was May 14th, 2010 and the stakes were higher than ever. Australia won the toss and chose to field first, leaving the initial striking to Pakistan.

The latter started off great and the opening duo of Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt scored 50 runs in 34 balls and 32 runs in 30 balls, respectively. Umar Akmal also held his ground, batting at third, scoring a brilliant 56 runs not out in 35 deliveries. With the loss of 6 wickets, Pakistan ended their innings with 191 runs. Australia, then chasing a target of 192 runs, started off a bit wobbly with David Warner’s dismissal for a duck and Shane Watson’s out for just 16 runs. However, the pull of 43 runs in 31 balls by Cameron White and the magnificent 60 runs not out in 24 balls contribution by Michael Hussey kept the boat sailing as Australia achieved 197/7 and won the match by 3 wickets and 1 remaining ball.

3. New Zealand vs Australia - February 28th, 2010

The second T20I match between New Zealand and Australia during the Australia tour of New Zealand, claims one of the spots in the list and is even considered to be the best T20 match of all time. This match was played back on February 28th, 2010 and New Zealand chose to bat first after winning the toss. With iconic openers, the host started with the loss of a wicket for a duck, which was of Peter Ingram. Opener Brendon McCullum carried the entire team by scoring 116 runs in just 56 deliveries and stayed on the crease till the end of the innings without losing his wicket.

New Zealand managed to score 214/6 by the end of the half and raised a great target of 215 runs in 20 overs for Australia to pursue. The visitors began to strike and the chase was very close. Australia managed to score 214/4 by the last ball of the innings with the contributions of Brad Haddin’s 47, Michael Clarke’s 67, and Cameron White’s 64. As the nail-biting game ended in a draw, a one-over eliminator was played, where Australia scored 6 runs in an over and New Zealand surpassed them by making 9 runs in 4 balls, altogether winning the game.

4. West Indies vs South Africa - January 11th, 2015

The 2nd T20I match was played between West Indies and South Africa back on January 11th, 2015 in Johannesburg, during the West Indies tour of South Africa. The toss was won by West Indies who decided to start with batting. With the early upset of Morne Van Wyk being dismissed for just 4 runs, it was Faf du Plessis who held the fort with his amazing innings where he scored 119 runs in 56 deliveries before being caught out by Bravo and Holder combination. South Africa ended their innings with 231/7 and sealed a target of 232 runs for the opposition to chase.

With this massive target, the odds were in favor of SA, however, Chris Gayle had other plans during his innings. Along with Dwanye Smith as an opening partner, Gayle entered the crease only to wreak havoc on the pitch. He scored 90 runs in just 41 balls with nine 4’s and seven 6’s. Along with Gayle’s magic, Marlon Samuels contributed with his 60 runs in 39 balls that all together helped West Indies to reach 236/6 in the final over with 4 balls remaining. In this exciting storm of runs, West Indies outshined the hosts to claim one of the greatest victories in T20 history, often claimed as the T20 best match.

5. India vs West Indies - August 27th, 2016

The last entry on this list comes from the first ever T20 match of the India tour of the West Indies and the United States of America back in 2016. The match was played between India and West Indies in Lauderhill on August 27th, 2016, where India decided to field first after winning the toss. West Indies started showering runs from the start with opener Johnson Charles scoring 79 runs out of 33 balls and Evin Lewis striking an outstanding century in 49 deliveries. With this phenomenal start, West Indies managed to secure 245/6 by the end of the innings and raised a massive target for the visitors.

As India started batting, they received an early blow which came with the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane for 7 runs in 7 balls and Virat Kohli for 16 runs in 9 balls. But opener Rohit Sharma was strong with his skills and scored 62 runs off of just 28 deliveries. However, the star from India’s side was definitely KL Rahul who outshined Evin Lewis’ century with his 110-run score in just 51 deliveries, followed by MS Dhoni’s 43 in 25. But still, it was not enough as the visitors were a run shy and lost the opening match of the tour to West Indies after being restricted to 244/4 by the end of the innings. This game goes down in cricket’s history book as the best T20 match of the recent decade.

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