With the announcement of the fixtures of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020, here are some battles to keep an eye out for in the Super 12 stage.
Australia v Pakistan
Super 12s, match 1
Sydney Cricket Ground
The SCG will play host to a humdinger of a match to begin proceedings in group one of the Super 12 stage: Australia versus Pakistan. It will come 10 years after the two sides battled it out in one of the most thrilling matches in the tournament’s history.
After setting a challenging target of 192 in the semi-final clash in Gros Islet, Shahid Afridi’s Pakistan side would have been confident of reaching their third consecutive ICC World T20 final. And with Australia 105/5 after 12.3 overs, it seemed it was a near-certainty.
Enter, Michael Hussey. Australia’s dashing left-hander proceeded on a one-man mission, taking his side to an awe-inspiring win, his knock of 60 coming from just 24 balls. Till the last over, it seemed that the script was written for a Pakistani victory. With 18 runs still required for an Australian win, the mystery off-spin of Saeed Ajmal was called upon.
Hussey, seemingly a man possessed, went on to hit two sixes and a four to level the scores, before finishing things off in style with a maximum over long-on. A roaring celebration from the veteran reflected the magnitude of his innings, an impossible job accomplished. Tom Cruise would have been proud.
While the two sides have met again in subsequent editions of the competition, a Pakistan victory at the SCG would be quite the riposte a decade on from Hussey's heroics.
India v England
Super 12s, match 17
Melbourne Cricket Ground
1 November 2020
Two previous winners of the tournament will face off in Group Two of the Super 12 stage, India and England. For England, victory arrived in 2010, a magical time in the Caribbean seeing Paul Collingwood’s men stand as world champions after a disappointing showing on home soil in 2009.
For India, their time as tournament winners came in the inaugural edition, a famous win against Pakistan in the final signalling the beginning of the T20 age. It was in that tournament that the two sides enjoyed their most famous T20 encounter.
On 171/3 after 18 overs, Yuvraj Singh was at the striker’s end, ready to launch India to a strong total with 12 balls left to play with. A young, baby-faced Stuart Broad was the bowler. What unfurled over the course of the next six deliveries few will forget, as Yuvraj launched Broad for six sixes in one over as the crowd in Durban erupted in view of an exhibition of power-hitting.
In striking the final six, Yuvraj broke the record for the fastest fifty in the format, coming off of just 12 balls. While England were valiant in their chase of 219, reaching 200 from 20 overs, this was Yuvraj’s match, India’s wristy left-hander at his most destructive.
Will we get a similar showcase when the two sides meet in 2020?
Pakistan v West Indies
Super 12s, match 20
The showdown between Pakistan and the Windies will see a fierce battle between two sides that have enjoyed great success in the tournament. Pakistan were at their best in the first two editions of the competition, a runners-up finish in 2007 bettered by a final win over Sri Lanka two years later, under the captaincy of Younis Khan.
Their current crop might be even better; in recent times they have established themselves as one of the best and most consistent T20 sides of all time, winning 11 series in a row, a record which stretches all the way back to the 2016 World T20, and opening up a 12 point lead atop the MRF Tyres Men's T20I Team Rankings.
In recent tournaments however, the Windies have been a dominant force, coming to the fore when it's mattered most. In 2012 they spoiled the party in style, defeating Sri Lanka on their opponents' own turf to capture their first World T20 crown. In 2016, four sixes from four consecutive balls from Carlos Brathwaite stunned England to see the Windies clinch a thrilling last-over victory in Kolkata, becoming the first team to claim the title twice.
While Australia and New Zealand will feature in their Super Sixes group, both Pakistan and the Windies have a rich history in this competition which will stand them in excellent stead.
Personalise your homepage with an ICC account
News, fixtures and updates tailored to your favourite team. Never miss a moment!